• Categories

  • Latest in the Blog

  • Vox Populi

    personal mission sta… on Successful Essays – Stat…
    sirajulislam1 on Successful Essays – Stat…
    How To Figure Out GP… on Grade Point Average and A…
    SEO Consultant Phili… on 100 Free and Useful Web Tools…
    NOORUDDIN CHAUDHRI on Can Indian Lawyers practice in…

GPA another perspective

GPA or Grade Point Average is the method by which US universities evaluate the performance of their students in the examinations.

The range of GPA is from 0 to 4. It is not possible to convert your percentage score into GPA, as they are not linearly related.

For example, a percentage of 75 cannot be said to be equivalent to 3 out of 4.

Therefore, wherever you are asked to state your GPA, you should only enter your percentage score.

A rough equivalence of the percentage score multiplied by the GPA can be got as 4x x/85. For example, if your percentage score is 75, it is roughly equivalent to 4 x 75/85 =3000/85 = 3.53

These Links may also be of interest to you:

Low GPA Stories

About GPA and Class Position

What Happens if my undergraduate GPA is low?

Grade Point Average and Admissions

Understanding GPA

How to convert percentage marks to the GPA system? Part 1

Advice on GPA

Advice About Low GPA

What Happens If My Undergraduate GPA Is Low?

University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Undergraduate GPA is the most common criterion used in admission, but it is not, as mentioned above, an infallible predictor of graduate success. This is because there can be non-academic factors which affect academic performance.
One such non-academic factor is the student’s maturity on entering college. The undergraduate experience is qualitatively different from high school, and many people take some time to adjust to it. (This is why there is frequently a drop-off in GPA from high school to the first term or terms in college.) And some students don’t take college seriously, not realising at the time that this will have ramifications when they decide later to pursue a graduate degree. In addition, the need to work to pay tuition, and/or family situations can have an indirect but significant effect on GPA.
If you discover that your GPA is low, either in terms of being below the minimum required for admission, or low by comparison with other persons applying to a particular program, you need to find some ways to offset the lack of a high GPA. Since graduate programs often use multiple criteria for admission, this is not as difficult as it may seem at first. By gathering strong recommendation letters, scoring well on admissions tests, doing internships or post-baccalaureate employment in the field, you can offset the effect of a low GPA.
It is also appropriate to call attention to non-academic circumstances which may have prevented your GPA to accurately represent your capacity, so as to place your record in an appropriate context. If circumstances affected your performance, you can describe them and indicate what steps you have taken to overcome those circumstances. Such explanations can either be incorporated in your statement of intent/purpose/reasons for graduate study or written up as a separate statement to be included with your application form. The important thing is to phrase your explanation so that it does not sound like excuse-making. Having others read and critique your statement can be very helpful here.
If your GPA was the result of a learning disability or other such condition, you will have to decide whether or not to disclose the disability in explaining your academic performance. Federal law prohibits discrimination in admissions on the basis of disability. It is even illegal to require applicants to disclose disabilities on an application form. But many students feel that disclosing their disability in the admissions process places them at a disadvantage. I can’t argue that they are wrong.
I will say this: if you can show that, once your disability was identified and you began to receive necessary accommodations, your performance was much stronger than it previously was, or better yet equalled or exceeded the minimum required for admission, you have placed yourself in a strong position. If you show that reasonable accommodations put you on an equal footing with the other applicants to the program, the program can’t disqualify you on the basis of your disability.

Should I Apply to Graduate School with a Low GPA?
From Tara Kuther, Ph.D.


Q I want to apply to two highly competitive graduate schools of journalism. My concern is my GPA, which is a 2.5. However I have a wealth of journalism experience. The two programs do not specify GPA. Other schools require a mandatory GPA of 3.0. Should I apply, with the risk of not getting accepted and reapplying next year? Should I wait and improve my credentials?

A. You’ve posed a tough question. There’s no guarantee when it comes to graduate school admissions. We can make predictions, but there are so many factors at play — even factors outside of you, the applicant. For example, the funding of the program and the overall number of slots available can determine whether a perfectly qualified applicant gains admission.
Now, to consider your specific situation, remember that graduate programs look at your overall application. GPA is one part of that application. What else matters? GRE scores, because they measure your aptitude, while GPA measures what you actually did in college. Also recognize that the value placed on GPA depends on what courses you’ve taken. If you take challenging courses, then a lower GPA can be tolerated; a high GPA based on easy courses is worth less than a good GPA based on challenging courses.
Admissions essays are another important part of the package. If you address the topic and express yourself well (especially important for journalism applications), it can allay concerns that arise because of your GPA. Your essay may also offer you the opportunity to provide context for your GPA, for example, if extenuating circumstances harmed your academic performance during one semester. Beware of griping about your GPA or attempting to explain 4 years of poor performance. Keep all explanations concise and don’t draw attention away from the central point of your essay.
Recommendation letters are critical to your admissions package. Demonstrate that faculty are behind you — that they support your academic plans. Stellar letters can trump a less-than-stellar GPA. Take the time to nurture relationships with faculty; do research with them. Seek their input on your academic plans.
If you have a solid package — even if your GPA is slightly below 3.0 — if the other application components excel, you can feel comfortable that your application is competitive. But be cautious and and apply to a range of schools including safe schools. If the other areas don’t compensate for you GPA, then take the time to put together a stronger application. Also consider applying to master’s programs so that you can demonstrate your ability.

How to Recover from a Low Undergraduate GPA

Princeton Review

Okay, in retrospect, maybe it wasn’t the best idea to take Advanced Organic Chemistry during your first, chaotic year of college—your transcript easily could have done without that C- you worked your butt off to score.
Maybe you could say the same for Latin III, Ancient Greek History, or any of the other classes besmirching your transcript and making you feel like you will NEVER, EVER get into the graduate school of your choice. We understand: You’ve got the low GPA blues.
But you’re not alone—and you have no reason to feel doomed. Here are some tips for bouncing back from a low GPA and developing the confidence necessary to take the graduate school admissions process by the reins.
Take a Deep Breath and Relax!
While you might imagine the grad school applicant pool brimming with 4.0 superstars just waiting to blow your application out of the water, it’s not. You’re in the company of plenty of people who wish they had performed better during their undergraduate years and who are now suffering from similar crises of confidence. The good news is that most of you can still get into graduate school if you keep your cool and approach the process strategically.
Choose a Realistic List of Schools—The GPA Scale Is All Relative
Have you made friends with your college’s graduate school (pre-law, pre-mba, pre-med, etc.) advisor yet? If not, hop to it! Their job is to help you compile a list of schools that will realistically suit your needs and strengths. He or she will be the first to discourage you from having impossible expectations and will coach you to be flexible. If you think exclusively in terms of “name” schools with national reputations, there’s a good chance you’ll be disappointed. But you can get a great education at many schools that will primarily consider factors beyond your sub-3.0 GPA, and your job is to figure out which ones they are. Keep in mind: one school’s lower-range GPA is another school’s highest.

Do your research: Books such as The Princeton Review’s Complete Book of Graduate Programs in the Arts and Sciences and online searches like such as the Advanced Graduate School Search will give you a concrete sense of how your GPA and GRE scores match up with students who have been accepted at the schools you’re considering.

Ace the GRE
The GRE, while not usually weighted as heavily as your undergraduate GPA, is important, especially if you are required to take a GRE Subject Test. So get cracking! Aim to score above the median score of your chosen schools. A high score will help you stand out from applicants with equal or higher GPAs.

Communicate with Your Recommendation Writers
Your letters of recommendation are a valuable opportunity to compensate for a low GPA. You should be frank with the professors writing your recommendations. Let them know that your GPA isn’t as high as you’d like and share with them any circumstances relating to why. Looping in your professors allows those with academic credibility to address your concerns on your behalf. This can be very persuasive to an admissions committee.

If your transcript shows an upward trend, find professors who knew you in the later period of your academic career. Also, if your grades for classes in your major are higher than your overall GPA, ask them to highlight that. They can point out your strengths and emphasize your progress while acknowledging the reservations you have about your GPA.

The Personal Statement and Addendum
The personal statement is one of your best chances to distinguish yourself as something greater than the sum of your stats. Talk about particularly interesting accomplishments, experiences, aspirations, and obstacles you’ve overcome. Communicate with personality and conviction, and don’t be modest! You may or may not want to address the issue of your low GPA in the essay-while some admissions officers encourage a candid discussion of GPA, the personal statement may not be the best place to do it.

Consider attaching a separate addendum with a short paragraph containing some justification for lower grades or an explanation of an upward trend. If you switched your major midway through college from a hard science to a more appropriate discipline, or if you took time off and returned to achieve a more impressive record, this is your chance to make it clear. Writing a separate addendum will allow you to keep a positive focus in your personal statement.

The Real World
Though it might seem that everyone in graduate school entered right out of college, in truth, many graduate school students took a year or more off before returning to the classroom. If you feel that you could use some time after graduation to demonstrate your ability in a non-academic environment, you might get an edge over candidates with similar GPAs and GRE scores. Use this time to find work related to your field of interest and take time to reflect on your career choice.

Another benefit of taking time off? You can take some graduate-level courses in your intended field of study to prove that you can handle the coursework. While most graduate schools won’t factor those grades into your overall GPA, they will consider them (law schools are a notable exception, however). Some may even give you academic credit toward your degree. In fact, a few graduate programs even have established non-matriculated programs that allow you to begin working toward a graduate degree before you are formally accepted. Admissions standards for non-matriculated programs are usually less stringent than regular admissions. Doing well in such a program can make your application a virtual shoe-in despite your less than stellar undergraduate GPA.

Graduate School Admissions Officers Are People, Too
Remember: Your application will be considered by human beings with subjective criteria. Instead of envisioning the admissions staff as a group of heartless automatons eager to toss your application into the proverbial “circular file,” imagine them as a thinking body open to seeing the best in what you have to offer. Convince them of your virtues and trust them to be impressed by your strengths. Contrary to what you might hear, graduate school admissions is not just a numbers game.

MBA Admissions: Low GMAT or GPA


First, are your numbers really so bad? “Low numbers” for the purposes of this article, and for most applicants, are GMATs and GPAs at the lower end of or below the mid-80% range for a given school. It may be difficult to find average GPAs, but if you have a 2.6, you know it’s low for almost any MBA program. Roughly, except for the most elite schools, a GPA below 3.0 warrants a deliberate effort to counterbalance.
Say, by these criteria, your numbers are low. What do you do?

Looking closely at your numbers. Which numbers are low – GMAT, GPA, or both? If only one of these numbers is low, at least the other number demonstrates your academic ability. Then the question becomes why is the GMAT or the GPA low? Some people are simply not great standardized test-takers. A low GPA often is attributable to the simple fact that college students are still growing up. In fact, a 3.0 GPA that starts out below 3.0 and trends upward consistently, with the final semester or two in the 3.5 range or higher, is not nearly as worrisome as a GPA that trends in the opposite direction. If both numbers are low, how do they break down? For example, if your GMAT quant score was high and you had solid grades in quant courses in college, that’s a plus, because MBA adcoms always look for evidence that the applicant can handle the mathematics involved (basic calculus and statistics). If it’s the quant side that drags the numbers down, it’s more of a problem. The point is, read the nuances of your scores. Assess and interpret the picture that emerges. Then develop an application strategy to address that issue. Low numbers vary significantly in the impression they create, depending on the details.
Addressing low quant scores. It’s the worst-case scenario, low quant scores on both the GMAT and the transcript. Register at your local community college ASAP for calculus and/or statistics if you haven’t taken them (or if you took them and earned below a B) – and earn an A! If you earned a D or F in other quant-oriented courses, consider re-taking them as well. If you have time to take additional quant-oriented courses, such as finance or accounting, it will help even more. In your essays, highlight quantitative aspects of your work to demonstrate proficiency. Finally, if you have some say in what your recommenders write, ask them to confirm your quantitative ability.
Addressing low verbal scores. Both written and spoken communications skills are essential for MBA students, especially given the emphasis on teamwork. Thus, consistently low verbal scores will raise a red flag. Your essays are the ideal place to neutralize this concern. They should be expressive and flawlessly written, of course. You also should select examples and anecdotes that highlight your communication skills. The opportunity the essays offer is also a pitfall, however – mediocre essays will only confirm concern about your verbal skills. So excellent essays are a must. Looking beyond the essays, ask recommenders to comment positively on your verbal skills. Finally, you can take a course at a local college that involves substantial writing, either business related or other – and earn an A.
Evaluating the numbers in the context of your demographic profile. This article’s guidelines (above) for what constitutes “low numbers” are general. To really understand the impact of your numbers, you must first understand your demographic profile vis-à-vis the MBA applicant pool for your chosen school(s). Regardless of how rare a demographic profile may be, an adcom will not admit an applicant if it believes he cannot handle the coursework. Beyond that, it’s really a matter of supply-and-demand. Demographics encompass your ethnicity, nationality, gender, and industry background. It is well known that Indian engineers and computer scientists with high numbers are over-represented in the applicant pool, as are white and Asian male investment bankers with high numbers. Thus, a GMAT in the lower 80% range and a 3.3 GPA may be a problem for them in applying to, say, Wharton, whereas a female Peruvian corporate finance associate with a 650 GMAT and 3.3 GPA from a good national university would be a viable applicant. If this Peruvian female had a 590 GMAT and a 2.7 GPA, that might not be the case, as questions would arise as to her ability to master the coursework. In a sense, understanding your demographic profile is part of looking closely at the numbers and reading the nuances.
Using your essays to counteract the low numbers. With low numbers, your first hurdle is demonstrating you’re qualified. But being qualified is a far cry from being admitted. Your low scores may now be “understandable,” but they won’t excite the adcom, so your work experience must. “Mine” your work experience for all evidence of accomplishment, leadership, and impact. Show through anecdotes and examples that you are a person who makes a difference on the job beyond what’s expected. Exceptional contribution and leadership as a volunteer or in another non-work activity also serve this purpose, though with the low numbers, strong work experience is still essential.
Selecting the right schools. All schools do not give the “pillars” of your application – GMAT, GPA, work experience – the same weight. Some, such as Columbia and Stanford, will put more weight on the GMAT and/or GPA than others. Some will be more interested in the specific qualities, experience, and demographic factors you bring than will others. First, select programs that meet your learning needs. Then focus on those that take a more holistic view of applicants and/or those that favor your distinguishing characteristics.
The optional essay. If your numbers are below the 80% range, they warrant an acknowledgement and an explanation. Similarly, if extenuating circumstances caused the low numbers, those circumstances are an important part of your profile. The optional essay is often the place to make these statements. If you write the optional essay, make it short and straightforward. Provide a brief explanation, take responsibility, and focus on evidence of your talents that counters the impression made by the low stats. Also, explain (or, ideally, show through example and anecdote) that either you have dealt with the problem causing the poor grades, or the circumstances no longer apply.
Creating a thoughtful strategy to counteract the effect of low numbers can transform you from a non-viable to a viable applicant at the schools of your choice. However, it’s up to you to show the adcom that the numbers don’t define you.

PhD with low GPA

While doing some web browsing on quantum algorithms, I stumbled upon your page. I noticed that you boast that you have the lowest undergraduate GPA of any professor you have ever met. I am an undergraduate computer science student who dreams of one day obtaining a PhD, but my GPA is less than impressive. If you have a moment, I would love to know how you were able to convince graduate admissions and more importantly, yourself, that you were up to the task of getting a PhD.
Hard work, arrogance, and pure dumb luck.
I always wanted to go to grad school, but I was a LAZY undergrad. I spent more time hacking on independent programming projects than on homework or studying for exams. Anything I found boring, I spent no time on whatsoever. Usually, by the time final exams rolled around, I was too far behind to catch up. (I’d love to claim that I spent all that time partying, but I was also a geek.) I aced the programming classes (which landed me some student TA jobs), and I did lots of independent study projects, but I bombed everything else. It wasn’t that I couldn’t understand the material or do the work (at least, if I’d kept up); I just didn’t care.
Hey, it worked in high school. I got into college, despite almost failing English and history, because I was years ahead at math.
My senior year in college, a couple of other computer science majors started their own software company. They hired one of my friends; he suggested they hire me (since I was good at programming). That was where I finally learned to work. School was great, because if I didn’t get something done by the deadline, I didn’t have to do it anymore! Sure, there’s a bad grade, but whatever. At the startup, if I didn’t get something done by the deadline, I still had to do it — unless I wanted to pay back all the money they’d given me — only now my boss and co-workers were pissed off. After a few months of this, it finally sunk in that it would be easier just to do the work. I still have to remind myself of this sometimes.
The first time I applied to grad school, I didn’t get in ANYWHERE, despite high GRE scores. I got some rec letters through my undergrad TA jobs, but they all said “he’s smart but lazy”, which is the kiss of death.
The startup was bought by a bigger company in Silicon Valley (which is now part of Apple, or dead, depending on who you ask). By this point I’d learned to work, but I discovered (or remembered) that I was more interested in doing things RIGHT than doing them NOW, which is bad news in the software industry; this wasn’t the place for me. On the other hand, I got a reputation for being able to answer hard math-y questions, and I found myself working through automata theory textbooks for fun while I waited for my program to compile. So I decided to apply again, this time saying I wanted to do software engineering (since I’d been a software engineer for four years) and getting letters from my managers (who said I could work hard) in addition to my old profs (who still remembered me as smart but lazy). I retook the GREs and did well.
This time, I got into a couple of schools. When I arrived at UC Irvine, the director of graduate admissions, a software engineer, told me he had burned some political capital to get me admitted despite my crappy GPA, that he had a lot riding on my success, that he’d gambled on me because of my work experience, and that I’d better not let him down. (That was the last time I ever talked to him. A month later, I realized I didn’t want to do software engineering.)
I think one big reason I got in despite my grades was good timing. I started at Irvine in 1990, at the height of the PC software boom/bubble. It was basically a smaller version of the .com boom/bubble ten years later. Most good CS students were getting high-paying programming jobs, or even starting their own companies, right out of college. So fewer people were applying to graduate school, but undergrad demand was up, so more faculty were being hired, so there was more room for grad students. The bar for admissions must have been lower.
Five years later (as I was finishing my PhD), the software bubble burst, and the pendulum swung the other way — it was hard to find programming jobs, undergrad enrollment dropped, faculty hiring went down, more people applied to grad school. The bar for grad admissions (and faculty jobs) went back up.
The same thing happened later with the .com bust, only this time I saw it from within the grad admission committee. At UIUC, we get many more, and much better, domestic grad school applications now than in previous years. (International applicants are more complicated. Yay 9/11.) Good grades are a MINIMUM requirement for admission now. Most incoming grad students already have some research experience; some of them even have publications. That was not true five years ago.
When grad applications arrive, one of our department secretaries sorts them roughly into three equal piles — MAYBE, PROBABLY NOT, and NO — based almost entirely on GPA, weighted by the quality of the school, and GREs. (Penn has a very good program, so this works in your favor.) The committee looks at the MAYBE pile, and if there’s still space, maybe the top of the PROBABLY NOT pile. If a student’s GPA is under 3.0, it’s very likely that no one on the committee will even look at their application. (This is a bit of an oversimplification.)
…UNLESS they’re rescued by someone on the faculty. Occasionally, I’ll get an email from someone I know at another school asking me to look out for their student’s application and pointing out their other strengths: independent study projects, research experience, internships, other employment, etc. If the student looks interesting, I’ll pass the note to the committee, asking them to look at the file. That doesn’t guarantee that they’ll be admitted, of course — especially if they’re in the NO pile — but if a faculty member really wants to admit someone, it’s harder for the committee to say no.
That’s how I got into grad school. Someone on the faculty liked my application, despite my bad grades, and they pulled for me.
Free advice is usually worth exactly what you pay for it, but let me offer one concrete suggestion: Talk to faculty in your department who do the things you’re most interested in. (Penn’s a big department, so you’ll have to hunt them down.) If you’re good at their subject, tell them you’re interested and ask if they can suggest something for you to study further. If you’re not so good at their subject, tell them you’re interested anyway and ask if they have any suggestions for how to improve. Don’t be discouraged if they don’t have time; just ask for suggestions for other faculty to talk to. Figure out what you’re best at, and do something visible with that!
I hope this helps. Good luck!


Clear Admit

-I am a 28 year-old Canadian male.
-top engineering school in Canada, GPA is 2.65 (last two years 2.88) with overseas experience. -well rounded (i.e. professional and extracurricular)
1- I need to apply this year for top 5 schools. Aside from the fact that I should aim for 700+ GMAT, how to best address the GPA given I am an engineering graduate? Does it make sense to take some undergraduate level quantitative courses or should I take a graduate MBA course to prove my academic abilities?
2- Another question: What are the top 5 US schools and what are the top 10 schools? I have seen the ranking but how would this forum rank the top 5 and rest of the top 10.
3- Given my profile can I apply for round 2 with similar odds of applying for round 1?Reply
Thank you for reading this forum and posting your questions. You raise several interesting points, so let’s tackle them one at a time.
First, your GPA of 2.65 falls well below the averages at top MBA programs (typically around 3.4-3.6). Having said that, most people know that the grading system in Canada is quite different from the one in the USA (A’s are given out less frequently, etc). As such, you may want to look into your class rank or any other metrics (honors, dean’s list) that might paint a brighter picture. If you went to a top school – and performed well relative to your peers – that should be the focus (as opposed to your GPA).
If your class ranking or other metrics don’t help much, you’ll need to look to other ways to address the low GPA. As far as the GMAT is concerned, your instincts are correct: you will need a high score. In fact, the best way to counter a low GPA is to simply hit a homerun on the GMAT and then indicate to the adcom that your GMAT score is the most accurate, most recent measure of your academic ability. Of course, if you are looking at the top 5 MBA programs, you should remember that their average GMAT scores tend to be around the 700-720 mark. This means that hitting a homerun would require something upwards of 720 (ideally a 730+).
Taking outside classes and building an alternative transcript is another way to address a low GPA. Of course, the best way to do this is to take several courses (2-3) in order to show the committee that you are comfortable in the classroom. It is critical to maintain a 4.0 GPA in these courses. They need not be MBA-level courses, since the idea is to prepare for the MBA (using foundation courses like math, statistics, economics) rather than to actually pursue MBA coursework. A final area to explore with regards to a low GPA is ‘extenuating circumstances’. Did you work 40 hours/week while paying your way through school? Did you suffer some sort of personal setback that took your focus away from studying? These kinds of circumstances can sometimes be used to address poor performance in school.SCHOOL RANKINGS
I am curious as to why you are just applying to the top 5 MBA programs – given how different they are in terms of size, teaching methods, strengths, etc. What are your career goals? Which top schools are best suited to helping you reach those goals? You mention an interest in Kellogg – so perhaps you enjoy a close-knit, team-oriented community? Perhaps you are interested in studying marketing? If that’s the case, there may be other programs outside of the top 5 that are well suited to your needs, etc. As to your question, the “top 5″ is commonly regarded as: Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, Kellogg and Chicago. Some might argue that the fifth spot belongs to a school like MIT – which may be the case – but let’s just assume this list is more or less accurate. The other top 10 schools would include MIT, Dartmouth/Tuck, Columbia, Duke and Michigan. Of course, these rankings should be taken with a grain of salt, since each school is different and each program has unique strengths (in various academic disciplines).
I don’t really have enough information on your profile to give you concrete feedback, but if your GPA is as much of an issue as it seems, you should ABSOLUTELY apply in the first round. The schools tend to make fewer exceptions with key metrics (GPA/GMAT) as the admissions cycle goes along. Feel free to contact us directly via email if you would like to set up a free assessment via phone.
What’s the Role of GPA in Graduate School Admissions?
From Tara Kuther, Ph.D.


Your GPA or grade point average is important to admissions committees, not because it signifies your intelligence, but instead beacuse it is a long-term indicator how well you perform your job as student. Grades reflect your motivation and your ability to do consistently good or bad work. Generally, most master’s programs require minimum GPAs of 3.0 or 3.3, and most Ph.D. programs require minimum GPAs of 3.3 or 3.5.
Not all grades are the same, though. Admissions committees study the courses taken: a B in Advanced Statistics is worth more than an A in Introduction to Pottery. In other words, they consider the context of the GPA: where was it obtained and of what courses is it comprised? In many cases, it’s better to have a lower GPA composed of solid challenging courses than a high GPA based on easy courses like “Basket Weaving for Beginners” and the like.
Frequently admissions committees will examine your overall GPA as well as the GPA for the courses relevant to the programs to which you’re applying (e.g., GPA in science and math courses for applicants to medical school and graduate programs in the sciences). Ensure that you’re taking the right courses for the graduate program to which you plan to apply.
Admissions committees also understand that applicants’ grade point averages often can’t be meaningfully compared. Grades can differ among universities – an A at one university may be a B+ at another. Also grades differ among professors in the same university. Because grade point averages are not standardized, it’s hard to compare applicants’ GPAs. Therefore admissions committees turn to standardized exams, like the GRE, MCAT, LSAT, and GMAT, to make comparisons among applicants from different universities. Therefore if you have a low GPA, it is essential that you try your best on these tests.

Getting into Graduate School – Masters, Ph.D., Psy.D.


Approximately 50 – 60% of the students applying to Masters programs are accepted. For many programs, if you meet the qualifications, you are accepted. However, some schools do put limits on how many students can be enrolled in the program at one time, so just because you meet the basic criteria doesn’t mean that they will automatically accept you (In other words, the minimum is not the maximum that you should do). BTW, when you are looking for just a Master degree, make sure that you look for one that is a Terminal Masters (T). This means that the program expects that you will stop at the Masters. Don’t waste your time applying to a Doctoral program in which students earn a Masters along the way if you don’t expect to go for the Doctorate.

GPA – The minimum GPA to get into a Masters program ranges between a 2.5 and a 3.0. The median GPA of a student getting accepted into a Masters program is a bit higher – around a 3.0 – 3.25. The median GPA in Psychology is typically higher – closer to 3.4.

GRE – The minimum GRE required ranges 400-500 per section. The median GRE score total is around 1000-1050. Masters programs are also more likely to consider the Analytical section, as well as the Verbal and Quantitative section of the GRE – however, not all do.

Required Courses – Most require Introduction to Psychology, Statistics, and Experimental courses. Many also require or prefer that you take Abnormal, Tests and Measurements, Developmental or at least 2 other upper level psychology courses. Again, this varies from program to program.

Subjective Criteria – Letters of recommendation, interviews (where required), and personal statements are rated of high importance, research and work experience are rated of medium importance, and extracurricular activities are rated of low importance.

Accreditation – As of now, Masters programs in Psychology do not have an official accrediting body the same way that the Ph.D. programs in clinical, counseling, and school psychology do (i.e. APA). They may, however, have some type of accreditation. For example, our Ed.S. program in School Psychology is checked out by NASP and our School Counseling program is seeking CACREP approval. If you decide to go into Social Work or Family or Marriage Counseling, these programs do have an accreditation process at the Masters level.


Most Ph.D. programs only accept approximately 5-15 students a year into each program. This varies from year to year and typically depends on how many new spaces become available in someone’s lab. Therefore, just because you meet the minimum requirements does not mean that you will get into the program. Competition is greatest for Clinical Psychology (on average, 150-300 students will be applying each year). For Counseling and School Psychology, programs typically see slightly fewer applications – about 60-150. The number of students applying each year to the Experimental, Development, and Biopsychology programs range on average from 35-75.

GPA – Minimum GPA’s, when given, range from 3-3.25. The median GPA of a student getting accepted into a Ph.D. program ranges from a 3.4-3.6 (if you are applying to a Clinical Psychology program, the median is closer to the 3.6). The median Psychology GPA is higher – about 3.6-3.7.

GRE – The average minimum GRE score is a 500 for Verbal and 500 for Quantitative. Ph.D. programs usually don’t look at the Analytical section. The medium GRE score for each section ranges from 550-625 per section, with the median total around 1200. Again, the medium GRE score for students entering into a Clinical program is slightly higher.

Required Courses – Most require Introduction to Psychology, Statistics, and Experimental courses. Many also require or prefer that you take Abnormal, Tests and Measurements, Developmental, Learning, or at least 2 other upper level psychology courses. Some even require Math or Science or Language. Again, this varies from program to program.

Subjective Criteria – Research, letters of recommendation, interviews (where required), and personal statements are rated of high importance, work experience is rated of medium importance, and extracurricular activities are rated of low importance.

Masters in hand on an applicant’s chances for admission- Some programs expect you to have a Masters in hand when you apply, but many don’t. If the program doesn’t want you to have one, then the value of a Masters is goes down a bit. The information I have concerns Clinical, Counseling and School Programs. If you have good undergraduate GPA and GRE scores, having a Masters degree is rated as positive (or at least somewhat positive) for the majority of the Counseling and School programs. The majority of Clinical Programs rate a Masters degree in hand between somewhat positive and neutral. However, if you have a mediocre GPA and GRE, there is a definate shift toward the negative. The majority of the programs (Clinical, Counseling, and School) now are neutral to negative about the effect of having a Masters degree on an applicant’s chances for admission. The other issue you need to consider is whether or not your classes will transfer to the new program. Graduate programs are much less likely to accept transferred courses, so you may have to repeat a number of classes.

Accreditation – APA accredits 3 programs only – Clinical, Counseling, and School and only progams that train students in the scientist-practitioner and professional models. Competition for accredited programs is even greater than for non-accredited program, however, it is easier to seek licensure and certain interships.


Psy.D.’s are available for Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychology. The number of students applying to these programs is just as great at the number applying to the Ph.D. program (approximately 200 a year). More students are accepted into Psy.D. programs each year, with the average being around 25-60 per program.

GPA – Minimum GPA’s range from 3-3.25. The median GPA of a student getting accepted into a Psy.D. program is a bit lower than a Ph.D. program, usually closer to a 3.3. Again, the median GPA for Psychology courses is somewhat higher than the overall GPA.

GRE – The average minimum GRE score is a 500 for Verbal, 500 for Quantitative and 500 for Analytical. It is common for Psy.D. programs to look at all 3 sections of the GRE. The median GRE score for each section ranges from 525-600 per section.

Required Courses – Most require Introduction to Psychology, Statistics, Abnormal, and Personality. Some also prefer Developmental, History of Psychology, and Test and Measurements. Again, this varies from program to program.

Subjective Criteria – Letters of recommendation, interviews, personal statements, and work experience are rated of high importance and research and extracurricular activities are rated of low importance.

Masters in hand on an applicant’s chances for admission- The information I have concerns the Clinical Psy.D. If you have good undergraduate GPA and GRE scores, having a Masters degree is rated as positive or somewhat positive for the majority of Clinical Psy.D. programs However, if you have a mediocre GPA and GRE, there is a shift, with most programs reporting being neutral. The other issue you need to consider is whether or not your classes will transfer to the new program. Graduate programs are much less likely to accept transferred classes, so you may have to repeat a number of classes.

Accreditation – APA accredits 3 programs only – Clinical, Counseling, and School and only progams that train students in the scientist-practitioner and professional models. Competition for accredited programs is even greater than for non-accredited program, however, it is easier to seek licensure and certain interships.

For More on GPA also See :

Low GPA Stories

About GPA and Class Position

More on GPA

What Happens if my undergraduate GPA is low?

Understanding GPA

How to convert percentage marks to the GPA system? Part 1

University of California Engineering school comparison

(if you cannot see a table click the Header of the article)



San Diego


Santa Barbara



Size (FT/PT)

1,300 / 394 

1,147 / 0 

1,256 / 0 


1,044 / 72 

868 / 97 

Acceptance rate







Number of applicants







Number accepted







Number enrolled







Average undergraduate GPA







Average GRE verbal score







Average GRE quantitative score







Analytical writing GRE score







Minimum computer TOEFL score







out-of-state tuition







Required fees




$7,491 pa


$503 pa 















Miscellaneous expenses







Total fellowships / assistantships







Percent international







Research expenditures 2004-2005 (in millions)







Students specializing in chemical







Students specializing in civil







Students specializing in computer







Students specializing in electrical







Students specializing in mechanical








Safe Universities

Please note that different programs have different range of requirements.

CS and EE are the most demanding in engineering.

In sciences Biology and Chemistry are having strict admission requirements.

Of Professional programs Biotechnology, Pharmacy are difficult to get into.

If you are applying to any of the above programs admission requirement shall become more demanding.

GRE Range 1100-1150

GPA Range above 60%-65%

University of Texas Dallas
University of Houston
Syracuse University
University of Memphis
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
University of Maryland Baltimore

GRE Range 1000 – 1100

GPA Range 60 – 65%

New Mexico State University
Wayne State University
California State University San Jose
University of Dayton
University of North Texas
Wichita State University
University of Missouri Kansas City
Texas A & M Commerce
University of Alaska Fairbanks
University of Louisiana Lafayette
Illinois Institute of Technology
Florida Institute of Technology
San Diego State University
University of Texas Arlington
University of South Dakota
Clarkson University
Northwest Missouri State University
Portland State University
University of Texas Arlington
East Carolina University
University of North Carolina Charlotte
Illinois State University
University of Toledo
Tennessee Technological University
University of Arkansas Fayetteville
Temple University
University of Nebraska Omaha

George Mason University
Louisiana State University
Villanova University
Louisiana Tech
Rochester Institute of Technology
Northern Illinois University
University of Alabama Huntsville

Wright State University

GRE Range 900-1000

GPA Range 55-60%

University of Findlay
Farleigh Dickenson University
Gannon University
Robert Morris University
New York Institute of Technology
Oklahoma City University
Mc Nesse State University
St Joseph University
Governors State University
Ferris State University
University of Bridgeport
Grand Valley State University
Kent State University
Suffolk University
New Jersey Institute of Technology
SUNY New Paltz
Ball State University
University of New Heaven, Connecticut
Indiana State University
Texas A & M Kingsville
Western Kentucky University
Lamar University
Golden State University
Bowling Green State University
University of Detroit at Mercy
Widener University
Bowling Green state University
Boise State University
Towson University
Southern New Hampshire University
State University of New York
University of Texas at El Pasco
California State University Chico
St Clouds State University, MN
Eastern Michigan University
Western Illinois University
Arkansas State University
University of Illinois at Springfield
Oakland University
Loyola Chicago
University of Southern Mississippi
Montana State University
University of Louisville
Middle Tennessee State University
Southern Illinois Carbondale

Old Dominion University

Rankings According to GPA Required

(To properly view the table hit the headline of the article)

GPA is on a scale of 5

Stanford university 1 (4.83)
Massachusetts_Inst_of_Technology 2 (4.79)
U_of_Illinois_at_Urbana-Champaign 3 (4.70)
University_of_California-Berkeley 4 (4.69)
California_Institute_Technology 5 (4.46)
University_of_Michigan 6 (4.38)
Cornell_University 7 (4.35)
Purdue_University 8 (4.02)
Princeton_University 9 (4.01)
University_of_Southern_California 10.5 (4.00)
Univ_of_California-Los_Angeles 10.5 (4.00)
Carnegie_Mellon_University 12 (3.94)
Georgia_Institute_of_Technology 13 (3.93)
University_of_Texas_at_Austin 14 (3.88) 4
Columbia_University 15 (3.79)
University_of_Wisconsin-Madison 16 (3.77)
University_of_Maryland_College_Park 17 (3.75)
University_of_Minnesota 18 (3.73)
Univ_of_California-Santa_Barbara 19 (3.71)
Univ_of_California-San_Diego 20 (3.57)
North_Carolina_State_University 21 (3.54)
Ohio_State_University 22 (3.53)
Rensselaer_Polytechnic_Inst 23 (3.44)
Polytechnic_University 24.5 (3.42)
University_of_Washington 24.5 (3.42)
Rice_University 26 (3.36)
Virginia_Polytech_Inst_&_State_U 27 (3.30)
Pennsylvania_State_University 28.5 (3.28)
U_of_Massachusetts_at_Amherst 28.5 (3.28)
Yale_University 30.5 (3.26)
University_of_Florida 30.5 (3.26)
Texas_A&M_University 32 (3.25)
University_of_California-Davis 33 (3.24)
Johns_Hopkins_University 34 (3.23)
Brown_University 35 (3.22)
Arizona_State_University 37 (3.17)
Washington_University 37 (3.17)
University_of_Colorado 37 (3.17)
Northwestern_University 39 (3.16)
University_of_Arizona 40 (3.12)
University_of_Pennsylvania 41 (3.11)
Case_Western_Reserve_Univ 42 (3.05)
University_of_Utah 43 (3.02)
Michigan_State_University 44 (3.00)
University_of_Notre_Dame 45 (2.98)
University_of_Rochester 46.5 (2.96)
University_of_California-Irvine 46.5 (2.96)
Drexel_University 48 (2.90)
Syracuse_University 49 (2.86)
Rutgers_State_Univ-New_Brunswick 50 (2.83)
CUNY_-_Grad_Sch_&_Univ_Center 51 (2.79)
Iowa_State_University 52 (2.78)
University_of_Iowa 53 (2.73)
Duke_University 54.5 (2.71)
University_of_Virginia 54.5 (2.71)
Northeastern_University 56 (2.70)
University_of_Rhode_Island 57 (2.66)
State_U_of_New_York-Stony_Brook 58 (2.63)
Auburn_University 59 (2.61)
State_Univ_of_New_York-Buffalo 60.5 (2.60)
Colorado_State_University 60.5 (2.60)
Oregon_State_University 63 (2.59)
University_of_Texas_at_Arlington 63 (2.59)
University_of_Pittsburgh 63 (2.59)
University_of_Illinois_at_Chicago 65 (2.58)
University_of_Tennessee-Knoxville 66 (2.57)
Lehigh_University 67 (2.54)
Naval_Postgraduate_School 68 (2.53)
Texas_Tech_University 69 (2.47)
George_Washington_University 70.5 (2.46)
Vanderbilt_University 70.5 (2.46)
University_of_Kansas 72 (2.45)
Clemson_University 73 (2.44)
Clarkson_University 74.5 (2.41)
New_Mexico_State_University 74.5 (2.41)
Southern_Methodist_University 76 (2.40)
University_of_Central_Florida 77 (2.39)
University_of_Delaware 78.5 (2.37)
University_of_Connecticut 78.5 (2.37)
Washington_State_University 80.5 (2.32)
University_of_Missouri-Rolla 80.5 (2.32)
Boston_University 82.5 (2.29)
University_of_Missouri-Columbia 82.5 (2.29)
Illinois_Institute_of_Technology 84 (2.23)
Ohio_University 85 (2.22)
Air_Force_Inst_of_Technology 86 (2.21)
University_of_Cincinnati 87 (2.16)
West_Virginia_University 88 (2.15)
Wayne_State_University 89.5 (2.14)
University_of_Houston 89.5 (2.14)
Worcester_Polytechnic_Inst 91 (2.12)
Brigham_Young_University 92 (2.10)
Stevens_Inst_of_Technology 93 (2.09)
University_of_Oklahoma 94 (2.06)
University_of_Alabama-Huntsville 95 (2.03)
University_of_Wisconsin-Milwaukee 96 (2.00)
University_of_Kentucky 97 (1.85)
Univ_of_Southwestern_Louisiana 98 (1.81)
University_of_Miami 99 (1.77)
Louisiana_State_U_&_A&M_College 100 (1.75)
University_of_South_Florida 101 (1.72)
Mississippi_State_University 102 (1.67)
New_Jersey_Inst_of_Technology 103 (1.66)
Oklahoma_State_University 104 (1.63)
University_of_Alabama 105 (1.59)
University_of_South_Carolina 107 (1.58)
Kansas_State_University 107 (1.58)
Florida_Institute_of_Technology 109 (1.56)
Univ_of_Arkansas-Fayetteville 109 (1.56)
University_of_Toledo 110 (1.55)
University_of_Dayton 111 (1.52)
Howard_University 112 (1.43)
Old_Dominion_University 113 (1.41)
University_of_Akron 114 (1.40)
Oregon_Graduate_Inst_Sci_&_Tech 115 (1.39)
University_of_Wyoming 116 (1.38)
University_of_New_Hampshire 117 (1.31)
Florida_Atlantic_University 118 (1.25)
Wichita_State_University 119 (1.24)
Portland_State_University 120 (1.19)
State_Univ_of_New_York-Binghamton 121 (1.16)
University_of_Mass-Lowell 122 (1.15)
University_of_Vermont 123 (1.05)
University_of_Idaho 124 (1.00)
Tennessee_Technological_Univ 125 (0.94)
Tulane_University 126 (0.84)

For More on GPA See:

Advice on Low GPA

Low GPA Stories

Here is a compilation of low GPA stores from Business Week Forum.

Brewskind – 2/15/06

Hey, my GPA was considerably less than yours (around a 3.0) and I still was accepted to Kellogg.I had a high GMAT score and I broached the subject during my optional essay. About me — I was also a math major and took graduate level classes as an UG. I also had steady extracurriculars while participating in ROTC training all four years of school. I only had one bad academic year and my GPA for the other three was around a 3.3. Still, I am not “proud” of my GPA and was honest about the issue in my essay — specifically I stated that I just don\’t identify with the person who performed to that level anymore. I used my subsequent GMAT score, quant background, and work experience to show that I have the brains and the discipline to excel in any future academic endeavors. I also pointed out that following graduation from UG I was recognized as an honor grad during army officer training, etc. Hope this helps. FYI, I would be happy as a pig in sh*t if I had a 3.2 — it’s all relative

teladan – 2/15/06

I have 2.6 in engineering and I will attend Wharton in August. I did not build alternative transcript, but I did write an optional essay explaining why my UG record is not a representative of my potential and intellectual ability. mid 700 GMAT, 3.5 WE in 2 countries, speaking 4 languages, almost non existent EC

Itcolt1 – 2/15/06

I wasn’t even close to a 3.0, and I got in several top-10 schools. You’ll need to show that you’ve done a lot of other significant activities, have a good leadership history, and that you can bring a unique background to the school. A high GMAT can also compensate for a low GPA, assuming your undergrad was at a really good school. Personally I feel like the GMAT is more important to most schools than GPA, but in my case, they definitely looked at my complete application. Just recognize that your GPA is a weakness, and focus your essays on your strengths.

Whartonite07 – 2/15/06

Got a 3.3 GPA. Lousy transcript. C- in Intro to Calc. The only Math or Econ Class I took. 720 GMATs. At Wharton now as a 1st year. Got a summer job offers at MckBain in San Francisco office, two multi-billion $ hedge funds, and 1 large PE shop. Incredible recruiting year with all my friends with multiple offers. The Wharton name carries tremendous clout to recruiters. Mck and Bain asked for my GPA and still gave me offers. Go figure! They really don’t care about GPA, once you get in.

cdubya- 3/7/06

I had a 2.8 (and 1 failing grade) and I just got into Ross. Here is what I did to mitigate the negative effects of my GPA;
1. got a high GMAT (710)
2. Developed an alternate transcript (took 3 business classes and got A’s)
3. Addressed in the additional info essay (explained that my GPA is nobody’s fault, but my own, and said that XYZ proves that it will be better this time)
Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to an application, but I think these above points (among other things) serve to mititgate a low GPA. I had a 2.8 and a failing grade and I just got into a top 10. It can be done.

mjd903 – 3/7/07

Hi, I have a 2.8 GPA 690 GMAT and got accepted in Columbia.

natashaMBA – 3/7/06

I got into Wharton with a less than stellar GPA. And have a job at Goldman for the summer so it can be done (I did have a high GMAT and took 4 extra classes and got As to build an alternate transcript)…

Westernkhan- 3/8/06

I had a 2.8 undergrad GPA. I balanced this out with a high GMAT and high MS GPA. I am in at Kellogg and Chicago.

3/8/06 KeithHScott

Currently in at Darden, interviewing at Yale, waiting from Tuck and Haas. Due to failing not one but two (!) classes freshman year, I sport a very odd 3.2 from a good but not great small college. I stressed in the optional essays that I learned from my failures, and put up an increasing GPA each year after that. (Had something like a 3.6 the last two years.) I also scored solidly on the GMAT (ever so slightly above median top-10 scores), and, I believe, most importantly, completed a four-course certificate program at Columbia while working full-time last year. Hopefully the 3.8 I racked up there makes a convincing case that I\’m no longer a volatile undergraduate hippie who can\’t be bothered to attend class.

110th st- 3/9/06

Not really a success story, but I think I’m a pretty strong applicant despite a 3.04 GPA in CS at a good engineering school. First 2.5 years I had a 2.7, then for the last year and a half I had a 3.5. Had 740 GMAT. Also some really cool work experience, as I crewed on a yacht that crossed the Pacific after college. My dings stem more from the 2 yrs W/E in corporate america rather than gpa.

hekmatyar – 3/21/06

Another low GPA success story….I got into Kellogg with a GPA of 2.7 (Ivy league school). GMAT was around the average for Kellogg.


2.9 gpa. downward grade trend. major gpa something like a 2.3 (obviously did not highlight) econ (which apparently for everyone else was an easy major) no alt transcript. 730 gmat (gave up a few months of life to study for it) Accepted at Wharton. is it just me? seems like Wharton’s the way to go if you have low gpa but story to back it up. all I can say is… there’s hope! at the end of the day, you want them to look at who you are, not what your stats are. I was really discouraged when i started out, specially from reading all these forums. but at the end of the day it’s really letting what you’re all about shine through, not about contorting yourself to fit what you think they want. of course you do that strategically, but really, the process is not as fake and superficial as people on these boards make it out to be. they really do want to get to know you!

ScoobySteph -3/22/06

Hi everyone, I fit in this category, I had just below a 3.0 from a solid undergrad school. I have almost 4 years of work experience and I took courses at a nearby community college to make up for my transcript. My quant score on the GMAT was good too. I am in at Darden and currently waitlisted at Chicago. I was waitlisted at Cornell but I’m going to take myself off. I think that it is definitely something you can overcome, but you need to act on it outside of the workplace in my opinion. My biggest piece of advice is that you can make up for weaknesses in the past, but you cannot make up for sloppy essays. Do not take the writing aspects of the application lightly, it will hurt you more than poor stats.

I haven’t finished my quest yet, but I have had some success thus far, so figured I\’d share… 2.46 ugrad Ivy CompSci, 710 GMAT (77% Q)
My work experience has been really strong (I’ll have 7 yrs upon enrollment) with 2+ years of management experience. Been doing volunteer work for last 2 years and have been an electronic music DJ as a hobby for last 6. Start picking up extracurriculars ASAP if you don’t have any. They make great essay topics, too, IMHO. Interviewed at Wharton, Columbia, and MIT in R1. Was really hoping for the MIT one, but got the ding. I took 3 classes (calc, accting, stat) and got A’s and A+’s in them prior to applying. I think this was what prevented me from being “dead meat” (gotta love Sandy). I HIGHLY recommend you do this if you had a poor GPA. Also spent a ton of time on my essays and really tailored them to the specific schools. You really need to show you are extremely interested and knowledgable about the school, but its even more important if you’re not one of those 800 GMAT / 4.0 braniacs who work at McKinsey and climb volcanos in their spare time. Just found out I was waitlisted at Yale (with no interview….weird) and so now I am enrolling in another class (econ) at UCLA Extension (online) to show that I’m still committed and that I am still going to do well in my classes. And who knows, I might get some love from HBS (although it hasnt happened yet), this whole process is such a black box I don’t know what to expect any more! Hope this helps someone out there. And don’t give up hope w/a low GPA. You absolutely should apply, but plan on working twice as hard as aforementioned brainiacs :) The way I look at it, they worked harder than me as a ugrad, and now I am paying for it. As a side note, having to bust my butt also made me constantly confirm that I really wanted to do this.

These Links may also be of interest to you:

About GPA and Class Position

More on GPA

What Happens if my undergraduate GPA is low?

Grade Point Average and Admissions

Understanding GPA

How to convert percentage marks to the GPA system? Part 1

Advice on GPA

Guidelines for Applying Based On Past Experience

Most students aspiring for graduate study apply without much prior knowledge about the University’s selection policies or the performance of the earlier batch of students.

These STATISTICS are based on the performance of students over the past 5 years. University specifics have 3 headings namely :

– broad suggestions about the graduate school

inside tips
– some specific features about the graduate school

– credentials of students who have made it to that graduate school in the past few years.

The CGPA is given on a scale of 10. If required please adjust it according to the method followed by your undergraduate institution.
General Comments

These STATISTICS are compiled University wise and not separately for each branch as it would lead to confusion.

The rankings of certain Universities are very much different in different fields. Since these are general statistics these are best used along with University rankings for the particular field in which you propose to apply to graduate school.

Important note about GRE Score Conversion from Old to New Pattern

Two very rough indicators are given below

A score of 2000 in the old pattern GRE will be roughly equivalent to a score of 1300-1350 in the new GRE and a grade of 4.5 in the Essay section.
A score of 2200 in the old pattern GRE will be roughly equal to a score of
1450-1500 in the new GRE and a grade of 5.0 in the Essay section.

As a bench mark you can say that
1.Universities which were accepting a score of 2000 or above should be seeking candidates with a score of 1450 or above.
2.Universities falling under 1800 to 2000 would want a score of 1300 to 1450
3.For those falling in the group 1500 – 1800 a score of 1100 to 1300 will be desirable.
4. For those under 1500 a score above 1000 should do.
Caution. This is an intelligent guess.
Some universities also ask for percentile scores.

A broad outline :
( based on subject wise rankings )

University Ranking General Tips
(1) Rank 1- 5 graduate schools generally give a lot of importance to academic performance as compared to GRE scores. Good under graduate CGPA and an impressive research credentials are a must. Best chances for the top 3 in a class. Others need not waste your time.
CGPA > 9.0 GRE > 2200 A research paper

(2) Rank 10 – 25 Grad schools in this range are a safe bet for students with a decent academic record and GRE scores. Excellent GRE scores can make up for a slightly low CGPA.( 2250+ ).Research credentials do improve your chances.
CGPA > 8.0 GRE > 2000

CGPA > 7.5 GRE > 2150 good project work

(3) Rank 30 – 50. Students with mediocre academic record and good grades in courses specific to your field of interest stand a good chance. Good GRE scores are a boost and can certainly get you an admit ( inspite of weak academics ) but aid might be more tricky. Research credentials can make up for bad academics and get you aid .
CGPA > 7.0 GRE > 1800

CGPA > 6.0 GRE > 2000

(4) Rank 50 – 80 Universities are generally rated Low. Getting an admit might be much easier but aid is generally a problem as funding is quite less. Computer Science and Electrical students have a decent chance of getting aid . Funding in other branches might be erratic. Research Credentials may prove to be inconsequential.
CGPA > 6.0 GRE > 1600

CGPA > 4.5 GRE > 1800

(5) Rank Beyond 100 Getting an admit should be easy . But expect no funding. You will have to finance yourself. Maybe except for a Masters in Computer Science ask yourself whether it is worth it ??


BP – Branch position

RA – Research Asstship

TA – Teaching Asstship

CGPA – Cumulative Grade Point Avg.

——> Look at applying process for conversion formulae

Prof Let : writing to faculty

1. Penn State at University Park
Suggestions : A graduate school with lots of emphasis on GRE scores. A high GRE ( 2250 + ) can make up for low grades.

Inside Tips : Getting an application packet might be a spot of bother . You need to fill in a pre- application form and mail it back. You might get a pre – application bump ! Prof letters may work try it out .

Requisites :

CGPA > 8.5 & GRE > 2100
CGPA > 8.0 & GRE > 2250

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Suggestions : A school reputed to be very good in pure sciences .Also very highly ranked for material sciences. A decent academic record and GRE score should see you through.

Inside Tips : Lots of importance given to pure science courses. Recommended for students wishing to pursue doctoral studies in Physics , optics etc. boasts of Professor Resnick ( of Resnick and Halliday fame ). Try to put your research credentials in an impressive manner. Prof letters have been known to help.

Requisites :

CGPA > 8.3 & GRE > 2100
Doctoral students in pure sciences : CGPA > 7.8 & GRE > 1900

Ohio State University
Suggestions : Decent academic record and GRE should see you through. A CGPA of 8 + and GRE of 1900 + should suffice. Good grades in courses pertaining to the field in which you are applying will be useful. App fee around $ 40

Inside Tips :Very persistent prof letters do pay off. you may have to write a couple of times before you get replies but keep at it. If you have good credentials Prof letters will give you an advantage over others with similar credentials. Aid decisions may come through a bit late ( by May ! or even June end )

Requisites :

CGPA > 8.0 & GRE > 2000
CGPA > 7.6 & GRE > 1900 with very good grades in relevant courses has made it through.

University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

Suggestions : A graduate school for you if you are considering a doctorate or a career in academics. An app fee of around $ 55 .The ranking of this graduate school is very high in some fields of study. Very good academics are required for those fields

Inside Tips : There are some not very well known areas of graduate study …dig deeper into the website and hunt around for such programs .A CGPA of 8 + and GRE > 1900 should get you an admit. Prof letters are known to work but start early.

Requisites :

CGPA > 8.0 & GRE > 2000
CGPA > 7.2 & GRE > 2000 with some good project work ( for doctoral studies ).

John Hopkins University
Suggestions : Absolutely top school for Medicine and students interested in pursuing Bio technology , Bio engineering, medicinal physics , genetic engineering and related fields.

Inside Tips : Prof letters do work. Try to do a project in some field of on going research work. Try requesting faculty for their research publications if you are keen on the subject. Getting a RA should not be very difficult if you get an admission first.

Requisites :

CGPA > 8.0 & GRE > 2000 ( for above fields )
CGPA > 7.0 & GRE > 1800 ( other fields )

Virginia Tech
Suggestions : A graduate school whose rankings vary widely in different fields. A CGPA of 6.5 and a decent GRE score

( 2000 ) should get you an admission. App fee is quire less around $ 25

Inside Tips : Prof letters do work but mostly are non committal. An excellent place to head to if you can fund yourself. Getting an aid is slightly dicey and depends upon your field of study.

Requisites :

CGPA > 8.0 & GRE > 2100
CGPA > 6.5 & GRE > 2000

North Carolina State University ( NCSU)
Suggestions : A graduate school which insists on good academic performances. A CGPA > 8.0 should get you through. Moderate GRE scores suffice > 1800 .App fee around $ 40

Inside Tips : Prof letters certainly do work. Good SOPS and relevant research experience if put forward impressively and to the correct faculty member should get you an RA.

Requisites :

CGPA > 8.5 & GRE > 1800
CGPA > 8.1 & GRE > 2000
Good project work for getting an RA.

Rice University
Suggestions : A moderately ranked university with very high rankings in some fields like Bio medical engineering. Located in a relatively inexpensive place ( Houston ). A CGPA > 8.0 and GRE scores > 1900 should see you through. Students contemplating a doctorate stand very good chances of admission. App fee $ 25

Inside Tips : Prof letters work. Try writing to faculty members early. You can outdo people with better grades and GRE scores if you contact faculty members and impress them with your credentials !!

Requisites :
CGPA > 8.5 & GRE > 1800 and impressive prof letters
CGPA > 8.2 & GRE > 2000

University of Colorado Boulder
Suggestions : One of the most picturesque Universities. Check out the snaps on the net ( totally awesome ! ) .High GRE scores preferred around the 2200 mark. CGPA of around 8.4 should do. App fee around $ 40

Inside Tips : Getting an application packet might be a little tough . There is screening in the pre application stage. Prof letters do not work. You may try prof letters after getting an admission

Requisites :

CGPA > 8.5 & GRE > 2200
CGPA > 8.2 & GRE > 2100 and terrific research credentials

Duke University :
Suggestions : Good grades in your senior year ( ie 3rd year ) will help you . Academic performance in core courses is given a lot of credit . App fee around $ 50.

Inside Tips : Lots of importance given to undergraduate project work . If you have done some good project work in relevant fields of research you stand good chances of getting an R A .make sure that your SOP reflects your research abilities and try getting a very good letter of recommendation from your guide .

Requisites :

CGPA > 8.0 & GRE > 2000
CGPA > 7.5 & GRE > 2150

University of Pennsylvania :
Suggestions : The BSchool Wharton is located here. This makes it a good choice for students wishing to go in for programs like Industrial management and financial engineering. A CGPA > 8.3 and GRE scores > 2100 should see you through.

Inside Tips :Students contemplating doctoral are preferred for financial aid. Prof letters do not help at all. Try sending mails to the graduate secretary with your queries. You will mostly have to apply online.

Requisites :

CGPA > 8.4 & GRE > 2100
CGPA > 8.6 & GRE > 2000

University of Florida- Gainsville
Suggestions : Well head here if you like the sun !!!!A CGPA > 8.4 and GRE scores > 2000 should suffice. Try prof letters. They work decently.

Inside Tips : Getting complete financial aid might be a bit of bother. You often end up getting tuition fee waiver or half a fellowship kind of stuff.

Requisites :

CGPA > 8.3 & GRE > 2000
Impressive SOPS and relevant research credentials for an RA.

University of Virginia
Suggestions : Ranked very highly in the fields of arts and economics. A CGPA of 8 and GRE scores > 2100 should suffice.

Inside Tips : Students wishing to move over to Economics or B Schools try applying here. Inter disciplinary programs especially in Operations management , financial engineering etc must be good.

Requisites :

CGPA > 8.5 & GRE > 2000
CGPA > 7.5 & GRE > 2200

Rutgers State University – New Brunswick
Suggestions : A CGPA around the 8.0 mark and GRE scores in excess of 2000 should suffice.

Inside Tips : Prof letters may be misleading here. Expected Q + V scores > 1350

Requisites :

CGPA > 8.2 & GRE > 2050

Iowa State University
Suggestions : A moderately high GRE score especially Q + V scores > 1400 . CGPA around 7.5 should suffice.

Inside Tips : Prof letters do work. Try them

Requisites :

CGPA > 7.8 & GRE > 2050
CGPA > 7.3 & GRE > 2160

Lehigh University
Suggestions : A decently ranked university . A CGPA of 8 + and a GRE score of 1900 + should be able to see you through. App fee around $ 40 .

Inside Tips : PhD strong ie you are sure to get an admit and aid if you are contemplating a PhD ( with decent credentials of course ). An economic place to be in. Prof lets are not known to work . Research credential are of importance . Be sure that you get an acknowledgement once you have applied or keep mailing for one .

Requisites :

CGPA > 8.2 & GRE >1950
CGPA > 7.6 & GRE > 2000 and some good project work .

Washington University in St Louis
Suggestions : A university where you stand a good chance with a CGPA of 7.3 and above . Not very particular about high GRE scores . 1800 + should be sufficient . Low app fee around $ 25

Inside Tips : You can get a Waiver on reporting your GRE and TOEFL scores ( save around $ 24 ) , try contacting the program coordinator . you may have to report only after you get an admit . Prof letters do work and you often get encouraging replies . Aid has been slightly dwindling of late.

Requisites :

CGPA > 7.7 & GRE > 1800
CGPA > 7.4 & GRE > 1940

Michigan State University
Suggestions : A cgpa of 7.6 or excess should hold u in good stead .

Inside Tips : A acad strong university . Good scores expected in Q + V sections of GRE ( Q + V > 1150 ) mostly .

Requisites :

CGPA > 7.5 & GRE > 2000
CGPA > 8.0 & GRE > 1750

University of Arizona
Suggestions : Yet another school which makes early decisions . A GRE score of 2000 and decent academic credentials should be sufficient .

Inside Tips : Lots of importance given to senior year grades especially in relevant courses . Good grades in such courses will make up for a relatively low all round CGPA . Research and practical credentials given a lot of importance .

Requisites :

CGPA > 7.4 & GRE > 2000
CGPA > 7.7 & GRE > 1850

University of Rochester
Suggestions : A highly ranked University in some fields . A GRE score of 1900 + and a CGPA around the 8.0 mark should help you get an admit.

Inside Tips : PhD strong . You stand very good chance s of getting an admit to doctoral programs . Prof letters are known to work . Try contacting faculty with similar research interests. Their replies are often very accurate about your chances of aid .

Requisites :

CGPA > 8.0 & GRE > 1900
CGPA > 7.6 & GRE > 2100

University of Delaware

Suggestions : A university whose rankings vary a lot with the field of specialization . A high CGPA required for fields in which it is ranked in top 20 else a CGPA of 7.2 + should suffice . App Fee around $ 40

Inside Tips : Check out the ranking before you apply . Not GRE strong and a GRE score of 1800 + should suffice . Good academic credentials necessary especially in core courses .

Requisites :

CGPA > 7.4 & GRE > 1850 ( ranked beyond 20 )
CGPA > 8.6 & GRE > 2000 ( ranked in top 20 )

University of New Mexico
Suggestions : A safe university for someone with CGPA of around 8.0 and a GRE score in excess of 1900 .A high GRE score can get you through with a CGPA of 7.2 + .App fee around $ 45

Inside Tips : A university which makes late decisions so app early . getting the app forms might a little trouble so preapp early to avoid delays. SOPS should be impressive.

Requisites :

CGPA > 8.0 & GRE > 1900
CGPA > 7.4 & GRE > 2050

Arizona State University
Suggestions : A CGPA of 7.5 + and a GRE score in excess of 1950 and you are home safe ( in most cases ! ) .

Inside Tips : A university which decides quite early . Offers may be made as early as January end for the fall . Aid decisions are often made after admissions . Prof letters play a big part in getting you aid after an admit . not very GRE strong . Write to faculty and concentrate a lot on your SOP to make your research potential clear .

Requisites :

CGPA > 7.8 & GRE > 2000
CGPA > 7.5 & GRE > 1950

University Of Massachusetts – Amherst
Suggestions : A CGPA of 7.3 + and a GRE score in excess of 2000 and you are home safe ( in most cases ! ) . Sometimes higher grades and academic performance is preferred . App fee around $ 55

Inside Tips : A university where research credentials have a lot of importance . Good project work can get you an admit and an aid even if your grades are low . An excellent school for doctoral studies as most of the faculty are doctorates from M I T . Prof letters play a big part in getting you a research assistantship.

Requisites :

CGPA > 7.3 & GRE > 2040
CGPA > 7.8 & GRE > 1950

Auburn University
Suggestions : Ranked pretty low around the 70 mark in most departments. A good graduate school to land up in with a cgpa of around 7.0 – 7.4 . GRE scores around 1700 – 1900 should get you through . Score reporting and app fee are not waived . App fee ( around $ 25 )

Inside Tips : The funding here is quite good. Complete aid is around $ 18000 an year which is very good . You can also apply for a doctorate and later convert it into an M S once you get there .

Requisites :

CGPA > 7.3 & GRE > 1800
CGPA > 7.0 & GRE > 2000

Suggestions : A graduate school located in a slightly unsafe area . Good academic grades are expected . A CGPA of 8.0 should ensure an admit . App fee and score reporting fees are waived . around $ 45 anyway

Inside Tips : Located in NY . There are two main problems one is the high crime rate and the other is the expensive place .Worth going to only with full financial aid and even then the chances of your being able to save money is very less . The academic credentials required by this grad school will also get you into other more economic and safer graduate schools.

Requisites :

CGPA > 8.0 & GRE >1800

University of Connecticut
Suggestions : Ranked around the 65 mark . A CGPA of 7.6 and GRE scores of 1800 should see you through .Good grades in the senior year are a definite advantage .

Inside Tips : A good feature is that in most cases aid is almost guaranteed if you get an admission . You are assured of some form of financial assistance . Good SOPs are a must , please do not just cut and paste previous ones .

Requisites :

CGPA > 7.8 & GRE > 1900
CGPA > 7.2 & GRE > 2000

Kansas State University
Suggestions : A cgpa of 7.0 + and a GRE score of 1700 + should suffice in most cases . A university with pretty low intake of students . Ranks around the 75 mark .

Inside Tips : Suggested only for students who can afford to finance their graduate studies . Funds are usually low and aid is very difficult to come by .

Requisites :

CGPA > 7.2 & GRE >1830
CGPA > 6.8 & GRE >1740

Illinois Institute of Technology
Suggestions : Ranked around the 80 mark . A CGPA of 6.5 + and GRE scores in excess of 1750 should give you a fair chance of admission.

Inside Tips : Aid is generally not given in the first year for M S students . Suggested to students who can afford to finance at least a part of their graduate study . Chances of aid are good after a semester .

Requisites :

CGPA > 7.1 & GRE >1820
CGPA > 6.6 & GRE >1760

State University of New York Buffalo
Suggestions : Ranked in the vicinity of 55 – 60 in most fields . Very highly ranked in some specific fields . A cgpa around the 7.3 mark should be sufficient . App fee around $ 40

Inside Tips : An expensive place again . Think twice if you are going to finance your graduate studies . Good GRE scores can make up for some poor grades . Do not go to this graduate school with only partial aid if you do not have sufficient funds to back you up .

Requisites :

CGPA > 7.9 & GRE >1960
CGPA > 6.4 & GRE > 2100

Drexel University
Suggestions : Rankings range from late 40s to the 60s . A cgpa of 6.5 and GRE scores of 1960 have seen people through .

Inside Tips : Prof letters are known to work . Try writing if your grades are slightly low and you wish to check out your chances .A good graduate school for students contemplating a doctorate ( with low academic credentials …)

Requisites :

CGPA > 7.5 & GRE > 1950
CGPA > 6.6 & GRE > 1940

University of Illinois Chicago
Suggestions : Ranking around 65 . Getting an admit should be pretty easy with decent academic credentials . An undergraduate cgpa of 7.2 should see you through .

Inside Tips : Prof letters do work . Getting aid might be a little difficult . If you can show enough funds accept this graduate school . Once you land up there it is pretty easy to get aid .Speaking personally to faculty should really help you in getting financial aid.

Requisites :

CGPA > 7.2 & GRE > 1890
CGPA > 6.8 & GRE > 2120

Michigan Technological University
Suggestions : A cgpa of 8.0 and GRE scores around 2050 should give you good chances but decisions have been erratic in the past . An app fee around $ 40 .

Inside Tips : Prof letters do not work . Getting a reply it self is very unlikely . Not very highly ranked but still applications are rare .Suggested only if you can fund your graduate studies . Our advice is to steer clear of this graduate school .

Requisites :

CGPA > 8.1 & GRE >2060

Oklahoma State University
Suggestions : A cgpa in the vicinity of 7.3 and GRE scores around 1800 should suffice . Ranked around the 100 mark

Inside Tips : Prof letters are not necessary. Partial financial aid is very common , suggested to students who can furnish some initial funds . SOPs should be original and should show research experience .

Requisites :

CGPA > 7.8 & GRE > 1810
CGPA > 6.4 & GRE > 2000

Mississippi State University
Suggestions : Ranked around the late 80s and 90s in several fields . A cgpa of 7.2 and GRE scores around 1800 should be sufficient for a student.

Inside Tips : A very good graduate school for mathematical programs like CFD and computing etc . Lots of importance given to undergraduate grades in math based courses. Prof letters can be of assistance.

Requisites :

CGPA > 7.4 & GRE > 1830
CGPA > 6.6 & GRE > 1780

University of Iowa
Suggestions : A cgpa in the vicinity of 7.3 and GRE scores around 1850 should suffice . Ranked around the 60 mark

Inside Tips : Admissions are relatively easy but financial aid is often hard to get. Suggested if you can afford to fund yourself for a semester .SOPs should be original and should show research experience .

Requisites :

CGPA > 7.3 & GRE > 1870
CGPA > 7.8 & GRE > 2000

New Jersey Institute of Technology

Suggestions : An undergraduate cgpa in the vicinity of 6.4 and GRE scores around 1650 should suffice . Ranked around the 95 mark . Some good project work can make up for low grades.

Inside Tips : Aid might not be available initially . However if you have sufficient funds go ahead ,you will invariably get some form of financial aid once you get there . Prof letters do work as in you might be promised financial assistance once you land up there . For prospective doctoral students with a cgpa of 6.0 should suffice.

Requisites :

CGPA > 7.1 & GRE > 1810
CGPA > 6.4 & GRE > 1650

Wayne State University
Suggestions : A cgpa in the vicinity of 6.8 and GRE scores around 1700 should suffice . Ranked around the 85 – 90 mark

Inside Tips : Prof letters are helpful . A safe graduate school for students with low undergraduate grades . Replies from the faculty indicate your chances of admission pretty well . If you are contemplating a doctorate a cgpa of 6.0 should suffice .

Requisites :

CGPA > 7.3 & GRE > 1860
CGPA > 6.1 & GRE > 1780

University of Maryland at Baltimore County
Suggestions : A cgpa in the vicinity of 7.2 and GRE scores around 1800 should suffice . Ranked around the 100 mark

Inside Tips : Multiple offers have been made in the past . So if students with better credentials than yours drop out the offer rolls down to you ..However decisions may come late .. ( around April end to May mid )

Requisites :

CGPA > 7.4 & GRE > 1860

University of Houston
Suggestions : Rankings vary from 30s to 70s so cannot say accurately . look up the ranking in your prospective department and apply accordingly

Inside Tips : If it is ranked in the top 30 then a CGPA of 8.4 and GRE scores of 1950 is required . More updates later !!

Requisites :

CGPA > 8.4 & GRE > 1980

University of Cincinnati
Suggestions : A cgpa in the vicinity of 7.2 and GRE scores around 1850 should suffice . App fee around $40

Inside Tips : It is easy to get a tuition fee waiver but full financial aid offers are not very common . Suggested to those who have enough funds to pay for living expenses . Prof letters do help but request for aid from early apping stages itself instead of requesting an admission which is quite easy to obtain.

Requisites :

CGPA > 7.2 & GRE > 1890
CGPA > 6.4 & GRE > 2050

Clemson University
Suggestions : A cgpa in the vicinity of 7.1 and GRE scores around 1950 should surely get you an admit . App fee $ 40 and ranked around 80 – 100

Inside Tips : A safe grad school . Multiple aid offers are very common . Lots of Indian students manage to get aid in this graduate school . Tuition fee waivers are also common . Prof letters might prove useful for aid decisions.

Requisites :

CGPA > 7.3 & GRE > 1900

University of Pittsburgh

Suggestions : A cgpa in the vicinity of 7.3 and GRE scores around 1950 should suffice for students willing to pursue doctoral studies . Application for masters M S is not all too common .

Inside Tips : Prof letters are very useful . Suggested for students willing to pursue doctoral studies . Students with cgpa of 8.4 and GRE > 2100 have been rejected for M S .

Requisites :

CGPA > 7.3 & GRE > 2030 ( for students interested in PhD )

University of Notre Dame
Suggestions : Ranking ranges from 30s to 60s . As said before go by the departmental rankings .

Inside Tips : Prof letters do not work as replies from faculty are all too rare. In highly ranked fields cgpa of 8.5 and GRE of 2050 may prove to be inadequate .

Requisites :

CGPA > 8.6 & GRE > 2100