Does low undergraduate GPA influence your GRE Masters Application? 18

Again, did GPAI hit a bull’s eye there? Were you not thinking about this since a long time? Of course this is true for those who could not or did not perform so well through their semesters in the undergrad college and are afraid that the admission committee may penalize them for their low GPAs.

To an extent, may be yes. Consistently low GPAs over the four years of college may raise a few eyebrows, because the admission committee is looking for candidates who are academically proficient. This proficiency is proved by the academic transcripts and the GRE scores together. If any of them go down, there is a red alert.

What is the minimum GPA?

The graduate schools do not publish a minimum GPA requirement for the applicants, but in the present situation where the acceptance rates at the best colleges in the country is in the range of 10 percent to 15 percent, GPAs can indeed play the screening role.

If you take a look at the median GPA of the class of 2011 and 2012 at various MS courses at US universities, you will get to see the clearer picture. A GPA of less than 3.0 is very rare, especially in case of students at the best MS universities in the US.


The low GPA can be because of the fact that the university you went to had strict review and grading system. It may be the case with you and in the most of the cases, the admission committee is ready to take this factor in account while evaluating your eligibility, provided it is aware of the grading and reviewing system followed. For example, for engineering students from Indian universities, the GPA of 7 or 7.5 is considered low as it is famous over the world that the Indian universities are lenient towards semester evaluation.

What to do to if you have low GPA?

If you know that your GPA is low from the admission point of view, then you have to work hard to get high GRE scores. You cannot do anything about your undergraduate marks, but GRE preparation and exam scores are still in your hands. High GRE score can draw the attention away from the low GPA. The aim of both the scores is to highlight your academic competency. GRE scores are recent and high GRE quantitative scores can set all the differences right.

If your GPA is low because of the strict grading system followed at your university, then it is advised that you get at least two out three Letters of Recommendation from the professors in your department. If you have any say in the LOR, then ask the concerned people to mention your class rank or the percentile represented by the GPA.

Last but not the least, explain your particular circumstance deftly in the application essay. Do not go on and on about it or sound apologetic. Learn to take responsibility for your actions and their results. If your marks were low because you opted for an optional subject in which you lost interest or did not do well, then state the reasons in a formal and precise way. They key is to take responsibility for your results and make things right.

In any case,

Please do not refrain from applying to a college just because your GPA is low. If you are proficient in all other areas, that is have high GRE scores, strong resume, good application essays, LOR and work experience, then you still have very good chances of making it to your desired graduate program.

What do Universities look for in an Graduate school application 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

18 thoughts on “Does low undergraduate GPA influence your GRE Masters Application?

  • Uzair

    I have completed my bachelors in Electrical Engineering with a GPA of 2.94 on a scale of 4.
    I wanted to ask you that, for admission in Engineering Masters, is it that only the quantitative GRE score is important or the verbal section is also important? For example, if someone has a GRE Quantitative score of 168 but his Verbal score is 155, can he still get admission in a good US university with a gpa of 2.9? Looking forward to your reply Sir.

  • Mohit Sharma

    but what other than GRE, as i have a time of two years, for preparation…what other things are needed other than GRE and TOEFL…please suggest….off course i will definitely make up to excellent score on GRE, but besides these what do i need…@admin

  • Shiva

    My CGPA is 6.55. I am now taking a year off for preparing for GRE.I do not have much work experience. I have taken one seminar ,one project work and done some training during my engineering course. Is there any point in me preparing for GRE?? Will I be admitted in any good universities??
    Please do reply as soon as possible.

  • Mohit Sharma

    hello sir, I have completed my BE Mechanical from pune university, and having a aggregate of 57%. I really messed with it. My 10th score is 72% and 12th is 68%. I don’t know what to do, as I have done with my academics, now its not in my hand, rather it was, but I messed up everything. I am going for job, for 2 yrs break for MS. I wanted to know what things should I do in these 2 yrs, that can compensate my low % and increase my chance for admission in good US universities. besides I have done projects in my all 4 years of academic during graduation program, and have achieved total of 6 awards (awarded 5 times on 2nd position and 1 time at 1st position) for my projects. I think US do consider these activities while admission, but they are not the tie breaker. what things I need to cover, to improve my overall application. how much should I score on my GRE and TOEFL. I just need to draw their attention away from my BE aggregate. please let me know what things should I pursue extra, besides GRE and TOEFL to prove the selection committee that I am a deserving candidate for admission in their University. Please do comment and provide a solution on this. waiting for your reply.

  • Kunal Sharma

    I am a student of Delhi College Of Engineering. I have a poor academic record. I have 61% aggregate (our university dont have cgpa criteria) along with a backlog history of 4. But At the same time, i have a strong resume. Have 3 research papers, one of which is published in IEEE xplore online. Also, have 3 strong LORs from the renowned professors of DCE. My GRE score is 327. How much chances do i have for getting into top 10 universities ?

  • oyebanjo

    l finished with a gpa of 2.80/5.0 (second class lower division) Bsc elect/elect engr in university of Lagos, Nigeria. I checked its Usa 4 scale equivalent In the World EducationService ( GPA converter. it is equivalent to the usa 3.0/4 . How reliable is this please.

  • rahul kumar

    i hav 7.58 cgpa in & i hav 2.5 yrs of work experience in construction industry. i m preparing for gre . can i get chances for m.s in u.s top universities.

    • admin

      My advice you should be looking for top universities in your area of experience. Since you have experience and good score, you stand a good chance

  • hitesh

    I want to do MS in abroad. But I have lost one year in my undergrad. How much will it hamper for my master’s prog? Please let me know about the universities that do not consider GPA.

  • Sumit Rawal

    I want to ask from u that i have more than 80% in my 10th and 12th cbse board India but my graduation cgpa is 5.91 which low . Please assist me that can i still apply for GRE exam to get admission in good foreign universities. Can a very good GRE score can put bad GPA to a side. Plz reply urgently as i desperately wants to improve my academics and take admission in good foreign univerisity. plz either reply via email or here urgent