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ktchem12
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All I did was send my transcript to one university (haven't taken the GRE yet or collected the LOR to mail in) and I got a letter in the mail saying "GPA too low to refer." They didn't even wait to see if I could blow them away on the GRE. That's cool.. I know some schools are real strict about the GPA limit.
but anywho.. my question is.. What's the best way to rectify this low GPA? Retake classes? Go back for a second major?

Specifically.. I got denied by the Uni of OK's Grad College. I'm almost done with my applications to Purdue and State (I doubt I'm getting into Purdue now) for a Master's in Meteorology. I got my BS in Chemistry. My transcript starts out rough because I skipped CH 101 by taking AP chem in high school. (Big mistake). On the bright side.. I did take a Jr level class in my Soph year and many professors were impressed I got a B+ in it and said I shouldn't have even been allowed in it that early. So I do have some bright spots in it.

Maybe I'm acting too soon, but I don't have much faith I'm getting into State either with what I have now.

Thanks!

PS I guess this is the right forum to post in?? I'm kinda new

3/17/2011 8:31:36 PM

FykalJpn
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PBS

3/17/2011 9:11:08 PM

ALkatraz
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http://www.google.com/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&=&q=how+to+get+into+grad+school+with+a+low+gpa&aq=3&aqi=g10&aql=&oq=how+to+get+into+gra

3/17/2011 10:37:46 PM

ktchem12
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thanks for nothin. Like I didn't try the most common resource of google first? Was looking for something a little more personal from maybe people who had gone thro it but whatev

3/17/2011 10:57:03 PM

xbltheshadow
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Well, as a Meteorology major also applying to grad schools this year (for Meteorology), I can tell you from current experience that every school you apply to is strict on GPA requirements. If you don't have a 3.0, you don't get considered, especially with funding being extremely hard to come by. Hell, I have a friend that applied to a program out west and was flat out denied even though she has somewhere in the ballpark of a 3.9, so it can't be just grades they're looking at.

Now I don't know what your transcript looks like, but not every Meteorology department is the same. Some have a somewhat less strict requirement of having a 3.0 only in your last 60 credit hours, and I believe State is one of them. So maybe you either meet this requirement already, or maybe you just need to go an extra year or two for a second BS like you said.

Just know that all Meteorology/Atmospheric Science departments are strict on their GPA requirements, and the GRE is really not a big factor, but it can help if your application is lagging in other areas. I would also consider applying to smaller schools as your chances of getting in would be better. Let me know if you have any other questions, and good luck to you in the process! I'm currently playing the waiting game from multiple schools.

3/17/2011 11:27:28 PM

mcfluffle
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^^^^

3/17/2011 11:46:41 PM

AndyMac
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Do really well on the GRE

3/18/2011 12:46:28 AM

darkone
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^ That won't help you if the school in question has must-meet minimum requirements. At many schools, the grad school doesn't even forward applications to the departments in question if minimum requirements aren't met.

How low is your GPA and what's the minimum you're trying to meet? You might be able to just take an extra semester or two of easy classes. I don't know how additional classes factor into your GPA once a degree is awarded. You'd have to talk to someone in the university about how that works in order to plan an appropriate course of action.

Why was your GPA low? Did you get overly ambitious with your course selection and get in over your head? Low GPAs make professors very nervous when it comes to selecting grad students because a low GPA usually means one of two things: The student in question doesn't have a good work ethic or they don't have the intelligence in easily learn introductory concepts. You don't what either of those problems with your grad students.

As for grad school in meteorology, what are your goals? The job market is terrible and you have to be at the very top of the field to have good prospects.

My constant piece of advice for potential grad students: don't accept any offer without a written promise of sponsorship. If your chasing a meteorology PhD on your own dime, I suggest that you do something else with your time and money.

3/18/2011 1:45:26 AM

Wraith
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Would it be possible for you to work a few years with just your BS and go back to school later? I know nothing of the grad school application process so pardon my ignorance but perhaps if you have some years of industry experience under your belt you would have better luck?

3/18/2011 9:47:17 AM

ThePeter
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^might be an option. Many companies these days pay for employees to get advanced degrees provided you have been there long enough (for mine, a year), and you get the added benefit of the advanced degree being built for your job.

If you're having trouble getting into OU, then things don't look good for Purdue and NC State. My suggestion is that you could try aiming at smaller schools who might overlook your low GPA in exchange for getting an American student...or another grad student period.

3/18/2011 10:58:58 AM

ktchem12
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Thanks guys. These responses were really helpful. I appreciate it.

(sorry my earlier post was a bit moody. I'm kinda frustrated with myself)

To answer some questions,
My gpa was low bc I work a demanding job for my mom. Some semesters I worked way more than I should have but I still kept a full course load (and probably shouldn't have). However I did try to stay around 14 credits. Also I have a lil sis that's 10 years younger than me that I'm basically a second mom to.
So basically I let family and work come before school.

I'm interested in physical meteorology in relation to storm formation. I know meteorology is a competitive field so I went for chemistry in undergrad (I pretty much like all the physical sciences). I would be interested in research, operational meteorology, or consulting for a business like an airline if I were to actually fulfill this dream.

Maybe it would be best to go back for a second major in met. Anyone every done that or know someone that has- how long do you think it'd take? I think I'd have about 30 credit hours to do. Guess I could knock it out in 2 years?

3/18/2011 11:42:28 AM

lewisje
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let the dream die, kid

let the dream die

3/18/2011 12:05:19 PM

xbltheshadow
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I don't know of anybody in my current class that is getting their Meteorology BS in 2 years. Most of the people coming for a second bachelors are getting their Meteorology BS in 2.5 or 3 years. I can think of a way it would be possible, and since you probably already have most of the gen ed requirements done. All you would need to take are the core/elective Meteorology courses. I would talk to the undergraduate advisor for the department to see if it's possible.

3/18/2011 1:09:06 PM

neolithic
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My GPA was pretty modest coming out of undergrad, but I was able to finish right at the minimum requirements for most places. I had a lot of health issues my first two years which affected my GPA. I tripled majored in engineering so all of my "free" electives were upper level CSC or ECE classes, so all of the free As that normally pad transcripts were usually B+s for me. I also did a lot of other things like TAing classes and taking internships, which meant I was usually doing more than a reasonable amount.

I knew that I wanted to go to grad school though and GPA alone would not get me there, so I took a year off and found a job that was involved in research, which was for less pay then other jobs that were not research focused. In this time I was able to get some first author journal publications, conference attendance and poster presentations, and made good contacts with professors who could vouch for me.

Bottom line is that your GPA isn't the final say in whether you can go to grad school. If you are serious, take more classes and get involved with things that will fill out your resume. It can be stressful when things don't go as planned, but if you are sure grad school is what you want, you can still make it happen.

[Edited on March 18, 2011 at 1:42 PM. Reason : ]

3/18/2011 1:40:16 PM

ALkatraz
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Quote :
"thanks for nothin. Like I didn't try the most common resource of google first? "


Most people don't and you didn't say anything like "I've been searching around on the internet for an answer to my question but hadn't found anything relevant yet." So I figured you hadn't.

3/18/2011 5:33:15 PM

Supplanter
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I think there are limits to how long undergrad classes can be applied towards a new major. So if you are considering doing a new undergrad degree vs working for a years, finding out that fact and taking it into consideration could help in the decision making.

On the other hand GPA means very little on the job market, even if it a weed out number on grad school applications.

My education path was 4 years in undergrad, 3 years workings, and 2 years in grad school (I'm getting my masters this May). I don't think I could have been nearly as successful in grad school without some real world experience to ground it in. Of course everyone's situation is unique. But working for a year or two could give you some more time to think strategically about your options and long term plan rather than just being opportunistic and trying to move ahead too fast.

Something like work for 1 - 2 years in a related field, even if it is a lowly position compared to what you ultimately wish to do, go back and get the specific undergrad degree in the area you want which would hopefully go quickly since you already have undergrad credits, and then deciding whether grad school or the working world is right for you, might be a decent plan.

You also have to ask yourself, having the underlying conditions that cause this situation substantially changed since last time, before you commit to more schooling at any level, because otherwise you're setting yourself up for a repeat.

Hopefully though you'll get into one of the schools you're applying to now, work your butt off, and get an awesome dream job, and not have to worry about any of this. But its not the end of the world if it doesn't go that way. In fact, most people in my particular grad school program have had life get int he way at some point, and aren't coming straight from undergrad but rather are coming from working for a few years, or grad school part time while working full time, or what have you.

Good luck with whatever path you pick!

3/18/2011 5:50:01 PM

ktchem12
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Sorry, ALkatraz. I kinda snapped and hastily jumped to conclusions and thought you were trying to be "funny." again, sorry.

I've been looking.. it's hard to find some type of meteorologic work with a chem degree. I suppose I will maybe start off with some non degree classes and see how I feel. I'm kind of at a loss now for what I want to do with my life. Just gotta hope it'll come to me soon!

Thanks for the good luck wishes Supplanter!

3/18/2011 10:59:37 PM

simonn
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Quote :
"On the bright side.. I did take a Jr level class in my Soph year and many professors were impressed I got a B+ in it and said I shouldn't have even been allowed in it that early. So I do have some bright spots in it."

this is irrelevant.

the way to get around a low GPA is not to do well on the GRE, as many have suggested, but to have letters of recommendation that say you are interested, and good at, RESEARCH. so don't retake classes or go back for a second major; find a way to do some research.

3/19/2011 10:46:52 AM

AstralAdvent
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When they ask you your gpa jump up and start sayin "how low can ya go?"

I'm astraladvent and I approved this message.

3/19/2011 4:02:27 PM

cschp
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In all seriousness, the military is always hiring. Your bachelors of science would help you get into OCS and you could do something scientific/meteorologic for them. You'd get all of the specialized training you need, and this would help you later go back if you still wanted (probably funded by Uncle Sam). If you do well, you could always pivot the career into intelligence work (analyst) and make an interesting run of things.

[Edited on March 20, 2011 at 12:36 PM. Reason : na]

3/20/2011 12:36:19 PM

FykalJpn
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http://www.noaacorps.noaa.gov/

--would be more appropriate, n'est-ce pas?

3/20/2011 2:36:47 PM

ktchem12
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I had no idea there was a NOAA Corp!
I had always thought of joining the military; a little secret dream of mine that I don't really think I have the guts to do. I have a lot to think about now. Thanks guys for your input!

3/21/2011 2:08:52 PM

GrumpyGOP
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I have no idea how the Meteorology Department at State works, but when I came back to NCSU for my masters they basically told me that my undergraduate GPA wasn't adequate, but they gave me a chance to take some PBS (Post-Baccalaureate Studies, I think...basically just grad courses you take without seeking a degree) classes in the field to prove that I could do well in them. I did well and they let me in. It is possible that you will have a similar route available.

3/21/2011 6:08:17 PM

roberta
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^^ i don't really know anything about the NOAA corps, but i was on a research cruise last fall on a NOAA ship and met a few NOAA corps chicks that were really cool and they get to drive huge ships which seemed pretty sweet

that has nothing to do with your grad school question though -- some good suggestions on this thread, i would focus on the research advice; if you decide to get the second bachelors, definitely link up with a professor and do some research

if you can somehow work with a potential advisor (even without going back for the second BS, maybe by volunteering or through a technician position/internship/whatever) they can often go to bat for you and convince the department to take you even if your gpa/scores are low...

3/21/2011 8:07:40 PM

aaronburro
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do you have knee pads?

3/22/2011 2:27:38 PM

ncsuallday
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You may have a shot at State or any school you could take PBS courses in, do well, and hopefully get some LOR's from the teachers you have during those classes. Otherwise <3.0=no grad school

3/26/2011 8:49:27 PM

Socks``
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from my limited experience applying to econ phd programs, good references can really make up for a lot of things.

so if you are close to any of profs, i would let them know your situation/goals/etc so they could frame their letters to circumstances and hopefully outshine a low gpa.

just a thought anyways

3/26/2011 9:42:07 PM

OZONE
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^Strongly agree with the above statement. My GPA and GRE scores were both just OK coming out of undergrad (3.4 and 1150ish). I ended up getting a full assistantship in the atmospheric science program at State in large part because my undergraduate advisor gave a strong personal recommendation to my then future graduate advisor. From what my advisor told me, 3.5 and >1200 GRE score is the benchmark for funding for MEAS.

3/27/2011 8:57:47 PM

NCSUDiver
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Get a job and then take a few graduate level classes as a non-degree seeking student. You can work towards a certificate, or usually a few classes will usually transfer towards a degree later. They want to see that you're capable of succeeding in graduate level coursework and more undergraduate courses aren't going to help make that point. I did a distance master's program and started with a conditional acceptance, but that particular program wasn't super competitive when I went through and my 2.8 wasn't too far off. A few A's at the masters level and you'll be fine.

3/27/2011 10:02:04 PM

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