Aug 23, 2010
8
0
Status
Psychology Student
Hi everyone,

In writing a SOP, is it appropriate to explain a low undergrad GPA? Or is it better to not acknowledge it and instead highlight my strengths (research/work experience, masters GPA, etc)?
 
Sep 14, 2010
266
1
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
If you think you have a good excuse, and if you might be able to put a positive spin on it... that being said you don't want to perseverate on your cGPA if its bad.

You could just mention that while you were originally pre-med you discovered your niche in psychology later in your college career, and focus mostly on your MS experiences. That way you can address your GPA without really coming out and saying "Yeah I was mediocre in undergrad"
 

Markp

Clinical Psychologist
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 19, 2007
2,262
20
Status
Psychologist
Hi everyone,

In writing a SOP, is it appropriate to explain a low undergrad GPA? Or is it better to not acknowledge it and instead highlight my strengths (research/work experience, masters GPA, etc)?
Well that really depends what the reason was... I got drunk a lot and partied too much really won't cut it... on the other hand if you had donated a kidney and missed a bunch of school to save the life of someone else and as a result had a tough semester or two, I would expect a certain level of compassion.

Sometimes though you can get away with, I didn't realize how important it was to carry a high GPA until I realized I wanted something more, I turned my life around, got serious, and for the past two years kicked butt and showed what I was really capable of. It's called growing up and some allowances are made for that too. While it may not be optimal, it all depends on how you want to handle it.

First things first, define low GPA. If it's below a 3.0 you have a real problem. If it's above 3.0 but below 3.25, with a strong final two years, don't sweat it too much. I would not waste more than 2 or 3 sentences on this. You acknowledge the mistake, rectify it, and move forward (3 sentences max.) If it's above 3.25 don't worry about it and let the chips fall where they may.

This is just my personal opinion. I suspect that if you have already made it past the GPA/GRE sieve you're mea culpa won't matter much.

Mark
 
Last edited:
Apr 13, 2010
7
0
Status
Pre-Psychology
So my biggest thing with the SOP is knowing how much to write in the portion of the statement tailored for each school. Do you just write a couple sentences about how you fit? Do you give specific examples of how you could be of value to their research?

HELP!