Jan 1, 2014
5
1
Status
Pre-Psychology
Hi,

I had a question about how GPA calculation works when grad schools are reviewing applications. I got my undergraduate degree (BA) in Religion - 3.47 GPA cumulative, I think lower 3.9s for my major GPA. Had a change of heart afterwards, and have been pursuing psychology ever since. Since undergrad, I did post-bac coursework in psychology and received a 3.94, mostly to show competency in the field but bring up my GPA.

I'm applying to clinical PhD programs this fall. I'm wondering if they're only going to look at my 3.47 cumulative BA GPA or if the 3.94 psych coursework is going to be factored in somehow? I've heard it all gets entered in together on the application proper, but unsure to what degree the 3.47 is going to stand on its own/ will count against me despite psych GPA (it is definitely on the lower side of some of the mean GPAs for programs I'm looking at).

I appreciate any insight you all can provide.
 
OP
Y
Jan 1, 2014
5
1
Status
Pre-Psychology
I did a post-bac as well and when applying I added them into my uGPA. I'm not sure what the right answer is, but my logic is that the post-bac courses are still undergraduate level, so why not combine them all (and raise my GPA). Either schools didn't care or didn't notice. No school ever asked about it. So I would just do that. A uGPA of 3.47 is not a good thing and could potentially get you thrown out of the application review all together from the start without anyone taking the time to notice your additional work- depending on where you apply. Good luck.
Yikes, I hope it's not that bleak. Otherwise I've thrown 20k down the drain in student loans and wasted away 2 years of my life in research assistantships...
 

Indiana_Jane0411

2+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2016
77
37
Status
Psychology Student
GPA is important but my overall was only slightly higher and I got multiple interviews/offers. Don't lose hope!


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

madeincanada

7+ Year Member
Nov 19, 2010
84
38
Status
Psychologist
Are there specific programs you are interested in?

Email and ask their admin how their GPA calculations work. It can differ by program.
 
Mar 21, 2016
141
77
I apologize for hijacking, but I have a similar question. Do schools look primarily at your overall uGPA or your major GPA as well? I majored in Psych. I graduated with a 3.5 but my major GPA was a 3.78
 
OP
Y
Jan 1, 2014
5
1
Status
Pre-Psychology
Are there specific programs you are interested in?

Email and ask their admin how their GPA calculations work. It can differ by program.
Yes, I have 13 programs I'll be applying to - many of which are clinical science programs. So I'm a little nervous about my GPA. I think that's a great idea, though. I'm going to give this a shot and see what they say.


I'm wondering how this works, though, when programs say (using UCSD-SDSU JDP program as an example) "GPA of 3.25 in the last 60 semester credit hours attempted..." or something along the lines of that. Then they go to say applicants with less than a 3.0 cumulative GPA should think twice about applying. Which is it? Do most programs look at the last two years of your undergraduate study *and* the overall GPA?
 
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psychRA

Psychologist
10+ Year Member
Mar 8, 2007
456
197
It's been a few years since I applied - for context, nearly all of my applications were submitted on paper via snail mail :)

I didn't do a formal postbac, but I did complete most of my psych courses after I graduated from undergrad. In my experience, programs had different approaches to how they wanted me to report my GPA. Some wanted my overall GPA from each institution I had attended, some wanted me to calculate an overall GPA based on all of my credits. Some asked for a major GPA, a last 3 semesters GPA, etc., and some just wanted one overall number.

In addition to following each program's application instructions, I think the important thing is to be sure that if you do combine the your GPA, you weight the number of courses appropriately (i.e., not just averaging your undergrad and postbac GPAs together, since the postbac was likely based on fewer courses). I once reviewed an application from someone who had taken their overall undergrad GPA (let's say that it was a 3.5), added it to their yearlong masters program GPA (let's say a 4.0) and divided it in half for what they reported to be a 3.75 ovgerall GPA. But since the MA was far fewer classes, it looked like a sneaky attempt to inflate their GPA, which reflected poorly on their application.

I got into to multiple funded programs with a GPA that was much lower than 3.47, FWIW. It's harder to do and yes, there are programs that automatically weed out anyone with below a 3.5. But it's not impossible to get in, if that helps!
 

madeincanada

7+ Year Member
Nov 19, 2010
84
38
Status
Psychologist
Yes, I have 13 programs I'll be applying to - many of which are clinical science programs. So I'm a little nervous about my GPA. I think that's a great idea, though. I'm going to give this a shot and see what they say.


I'm wondering how this works, though, when programs say (using UCSD-SDSU JDP program as an example) "GPA of 3.25 in the last 60 semester credit hours attempted..." or something along the lines of that. Then they go to say applicants with less than a 3.0 cumulative GPA should think twice about applying. Which is it? Do most programs look at the last two years of your undergraduate study *and* the overall GPA?
That is their minimum. Your application is likely to be tossed, without review, if your GPA/GRE combo is much lower than their listed numbers.