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Eggie's avatar

Is my degree still valuable with a low G.P.A?

Asked by Eggie (5148 points ) October 19th, 2013

I have found out that my G.P.A is just at a pass level but it is below 3.0. I feel really lousy right now and I want to do something to make it better but where I am working and the hours that I am working it seems impossible to repeat classes. I want to pursue a Masters Degree, is my degree still worth it and is anyone out there has a degree with a low G.P.A and still got ahead?

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15 Answers

muppetish's avatar

The degrees worth depends on what you want to do with it. With a low GPA, you are still employable. Most employers, from my understanding, will not ask what your GPA was.

However, pursuing further education is going to be extremely tricky with a low GPA. What is your major? What is your GPA for your major? (ie. if you are a math major, what is the GPA for just your math courses? if English, what is your GPA for your English coursework?) If the GPA for your field-specific courses is strong, then you might be able to explain your lower coursework scores in your personal statement when filing applications.

You might also be required to take the GRE. A high GRE score can’t replace a low GPA, but it will help. So will a strong personal statement, glowing letters of recommendation, and an in-person interview with the department you are applying to.

I can answer in more depth if I have more details. What do you intend to do with the degree? What higher education are you considering, and why?

Eggie's avatar

I have a bachelor of education degree and my G.P.A is around 2.60. This degree qualifies me to teach primary education. I would like to pursue a Masters Degree in Child Psychology.

muppetish's avatar

What are the requirements for your state for teaching education? (In CA, you must have teaching credentials in addition to a BA). Do you intend to go into education? What is your career plan?

glacial's avatar

Disclaimer: I do not have an Education degree, nor do I have experience with applying for jobs in that field.

Do you mind if I ask why your GPA is so low if you are pursuing a degree in Education? I mean… if you want to teach others, shouldn’t you be able to teach yourself?

In many fields, having a degree with a low GPA would not matter – as @muppetish said, most employers will not ask for your GPA. But in Education, I suspect this may be a stumbling block. If you can convince someone to take you into a Master’s program, you must use that opportunity to show that you can do better.

livelaughlove21's avatar

A 2.6 GPA is equivalent to a score of 81, which is a B in most US colleges. It’s not as if you almost failed out of school. It could definitely be better, but people have graduated and gained employment with lower scores.

Is your degree still useful? Yes. Are you employable? Yes. Can you get into grad school? Probably, but it will be harder for you than for someone with a higher GPA. You may not qualify at certain schools or for certain programs with GPA requirements.

What I would do is kick ass until graduation (provided you are not already done) to see if you can get it to go up even a little bit. Upon graduation, find a teaching job. Get a few years of teaching under your belt before applying to grad school. Undergrad GPA matters, but experience looks good and it’ll most likely improve your chances of being accepted into a graduate program. Graduate psych programs are known for being extremely competitive, and child/developmental psych is a popular field of interest, so be prepared for some rejection – be persistent!

I actually don’t think going to grad school right after undergrad is a great idea unless you NEED that higher degree to get a job in your field, such as doctors and lawyers. Companies don’t typically like to hire people with too much education and too little experience. The new graduates seem to expect better pay, but employers don’t want to pay more for people who have never actually done the job.

glacial's avatar

@livelaughlove21

2.6 / 4.0 = 65%.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@glacial No. GPA conversion is not simple division. Look here and here and just about any other GPA conversion website.

It’s quite obviously not 65% if a 4.0 is a mid-A, a 3.0 is a mid-B, a 2.0 is a mid-C, an so on. 65% is a D.

glacial's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Well then, evidently this varies on a regional scale. In the universities where I’ve studied, it is simple division. Look here and here for examples of GPA conversions to percentages. We have @Eggie‘s comments calling it a low GPA, which I don’t think he would have said if it was 81%. Perhaps he will come back to clarify.

glacial's avatar

Actually… it occurs to me that your links are showing percentiles, not grades in percentages. I’m not sure what value an 81st percentile carries as far as admissions offices or employers go.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@glacial Both of your links show 2.7 to be a B-. Am I missing something? On the second website, the grading scale is clearly different than the typical 10-point scale we have here, which may explain why division will suffice, but the letter grade matches what is shown in both of my links. A B is a B.

Seek's avatar

The lowest D (or, 1.0 on a four point scale) is 60%, isn’t it?

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr The lowest D is a 0.5. But 1.0 is also a D. The whole numbers on a 0–4 scale represent the middle of each letter grade, the average score in the range. For example, a 3.0 is a B, but it’s like an 85%. On a 10-point scale, 80% is also a B.

Many colleges require a 2.5 average in order to graduate, which would explain why the OP stated his/her GPA was just at a passing level.

bolwerk's avatar

The bad news: such a low GPA probably won’t get you into a very good grad program.

The good news: Even selective grad programs are actually pretty forgiving if you do badly as an undergrad, go back and take some non-matriculated classes (either undergrad or grad level) and kick ass, and then apply. This might be especially true if you show some development and maturity in the intervening time.

Also, they can tell if you started out on the wrong foot and corrected yourself. You might just want to lighten your class load and get better grades, especially if you’re early in or even midway through your program.

Bottom line: your worst case scenario is having to prove yourself later. Obviously, that costs tuition money you may have more trouble getting loans for, but it’s not impossible.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I depends on what the GPA scale is. I’ve seen some schools that scale to 5.0 and others 4.0. In my school A=4.0 B=3.0 C=2.0 and D=1.0 so a 2.6 average would be a C+

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