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Is 3.0 gpa in eecs good enough for grad school?

  1. Oct 6, 2008 #1

    Been lost as to what schools to apply for grad studies. I have 3 gpa in eecs at uc berkeley and am feeling grim. Does anyone else have any experience on this?

    Thanks for the help
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 7, 2008 #2
    What's wrong with a 3.0 gpa?
  4. Oct 7, 2008 #3
    While a 3.0 GPA isn't a 3.9-4.0, it isn't the worst possible. One of the factors that selection committees look at is WHAT caused the GPA drop (in the transcript). But even so, other factors are weighed in on the decision of selection that are as important or more so. Your GRE scores (both general and subject). Perhaps you took a professional certification exam in your field. You also have to typically include a personal statement and 3-4 letters of recommendation... and in these, the most important factor, the most important is RESEARCH experience. Here's the two reason why: If you don't have prior existing research experience, how do you know you want to go to graduate school? If you don't have research experience, how does the selection committee know that you'll be productive and successful once you arrive? (Trust me, I've been on a selection committee... This is often how it works. Sometimes, but not always, a recommendation from a faculty member at the institution helps. But our committee DID even turn away a student that one of our Nobel Laureate wanted from an REU experience, since the GPA, institution, GRE and experience just wasn't on par with the students we did select, and we'd already made offers to at least 3 other students interested in the same research groups. The prior year we also had to turn away a student I'd recused myself from commenting on since the student had worked in my group as an REU student.)

    Without research experience, good GRE's (especially in the subject test), and a solid GPA, there are always still programs out there that I'm sure you can still get accepted into (you haven't mentioned your fields of interest so we can't exactly make recommendations). You might have to take what you can get. My general philosophy is that you'll get accepted where you BELONG to be. If you don't get accepted there, chances are you wouldn't be competitive there in classes, and you'd wouldn't like the environment of the research groups that are there. If you get accepted, but don't get funding, then you might really want to think twice before accepting an admittance. If you get an offer, hopefully you also get funding... because there they DO want you, you'll probably have a few choices of advisors, and you'll probably fit in to the student body. Hopefully you'll get a few such offers and then make a choice based on visits, program reputation, etc. Perhaps you could just stay at one place for a Master's degree, then move up... perhaps you'll stay for longer. Who knows?

    To get the best advice from us about particular programs, please include some of this info (research experience, GRE scores, etc.) as well as your field of interest (including program type and research topic (example: physics Ph.D., experiemental particle physics, etc.) Then people in that field can make suggestions.
  5. Oct 7, 2008 #4
    3.0 is the min for an ms at many places - not exactly at top 10 schools, but maybe not too much further down the list. If you work hard wherever you end up for that, you could move up for the phd if that is your ultimate goal.
  6. Oct 7, 2008 #5
    I transferred from a junior college and this is my senior year.

    I did not know about importance of research until last semester and currently am involved in Digital design related research team. Its not my passion, but its something I like. As for my passion, I do not know yet. I thought I liked analog circiut design, but I am terrible (academically) in those classes. As for my grades, I try hard and 3.0 the best I've been able to get. there is only one faculty that i could hope a letter from (from the current research group, unfortunately hes on his sabbatical this semester). I have one more semester (spring). Should I try another research group in hopes of having at least 2 professors for letters of REC?

    I have not taken the GREs yet (I was not sure on doing masters. but now beleive I should continue with education and not have a break).
  7. Oct 8, 2008 #6
    Application deadlines are December or January typically. I don't think you can rely on a professor to vouch for you a couple weeks into spring semester. Perhaps you can ask professors whose classes you did well in?
  8. Oct 8, 2008 #7
    To sum up what everyone else said....3.0 is not bad...you can still get into grad school.

    Plus I think most schools have where if you completed a bachelors there will allow you to take grad classes automatically if you meet certain specifications. Otherwise you just go to grad school as nondegree seeking and then get good grades and then get into a program or something like that.

    Many opportunities to do what you want, just have to look for them...
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