How important is undergrad GPA?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
avisottda
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:49 pm

How important is undergrad GPA?

Postby avisottda » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:43 am

To what extent does a master's GPA outweigh my undergrad GPA?

Background: I got either rejected by all the schools that I applied to or haven't heard about funding from those schools that accepted me :( However, I got into a 2 year master's program at a pretty good school (with funding, surprisingly); so this is going to be my only option pretty much. But now I am worried if PhD schools will still reject me even after doing master's, based on my undergraduate credentials.

I know exactly what the problem was with my application: I switched to math major last minute. This is what happens when you do that:

1. I lacked a number of core courses in pure math because I switched to math last minute (I did have 2 analysis courses, linear and abstract algebra, and lots of courses like diff-eq. I still lacked courses in combinatorics, geometry, topology, number theory, though)
2. My GRE Subject score was kind of bad because I didn't have to time to prepare for it after switching my major to math last minute
3. My undergrad research topic wasn't really in mathematics because I switched my major last minute
4. I did not get to know my math professors very well because I switched my major last minute
5. My math GPA was not great because I did not plan to major in mathematics, let alone going to graduate school in mathematics; so I didn't take my math classes seriously. I got straight A's ever since I switched to math, but I guess that still wasn't good enough to raise my GPA significantly.

If I try really hard in master's, though, all of these things above are amendable. Except my undergrad GPA. The undergrad GPA is something that I cannot fix no matter what I do. And I heard that schools look at your undergrad GPA more importantly than your master's GPA for some reason.

phku
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:58 am

Re: How important is undergrad GPA?

Postby phku » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:52 am

Your masters GPA and and activities in the program should far outweigh your undergrad GPA. In other words, because you did switch so late in the game, consider yourself very lucky that you did indeed get into a funded masters program. Now work the shit out of that program, take ever opporunity available to you, and prove that you can handle yourself. You do this and you'll absolutely get into a decent PhD program in a couple years.

Grats on the funded masters acceptance btw. :mrgreen:

mathfreak
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:47 am

Re: How important is undergrad GPA?

Postby mathfreak » Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:57 am


colldood
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:45 pm

Re: How important is undergrad GPA?

Postby colldood » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:33 pm

If the Master's is 2 years you will definitely have time to not only demonstrate your skill in your courses and grades there, but you will acquire strong references if you work hard. Given that you switched to math late, I think a 2 year Master's is the perfect way to catch up and improve your app. Is this in Europe?

avisottda
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:49 pm

Re: How important is undergrad GPA?

Postby avisottda » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:38 pm

Thanks for all the encouragement. It's not Europe btw. I am in North America.

Now I think about it, I think this is for the best in the long run since my interest migrated from applied math to pure math this semester (right after I finished applications). I probably won't apply to the same schools for pure math. :roll:

y45askel
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:14 pm

Re: How important is undergrad GPA?

Postby y45askel » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:54 am

avisottda wrote:Thanks for all the encouragement. It's not Europe btw. I am in North America.

Now I think about it, I think this is for the best in the long run since my interest migrated from applied math to pure math this semester (right after I finished applications). I probably won't apply to the same schools for pure math. :roll:



I was the same way! I switched into math late and I didn't get into my top choices last year but I re-applied this year after completing some graduate courses in math and got into every school I wanted to with funding. :)

Although I migrated from Pure to Applied ;)




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