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Does graduate school gpa matter?


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#1 arandomstudent

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 11:13 PM

Hi all, I am in my 4th year but missed the application deadline for U of T this year. I am thinking about applying for 2018 admission and doing a short masters degree (8-12 month) to fill the gap. However, some of the schools I am considering can be quite challenging, so I am a little worried that doing badly in my masters might undermine my overall qualification. It says on the FAQ page that "A very strong performance in a graduate program may overcome modest weaknesses in an undergraduate record, but will not usually overcome an undergraduate record which is otherwise uncompetitive", but it didn't mention what happens the other way around. My cGPA isn't that impressive to start with, if U of T will look at graduate schools seriously, I might have to go with some easier options. Any input is greatly appreciated! Thanks!



#2 Diplock

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 11:23 PM

Graduate programs simply don't grade on the same scale as undergraduate programs at all. Most are curved roughly to A- or so. So U of T is well in the majority when they say they don't directly take the GPA from graduate transcripts because really, they'd be comparing apples to oranges. That said, I think any school is going to look at your graduate program generally, and if you'd doing badly in it that might not reflect well on you.

 

Two further pieces of advice, however. First, I don't know what a "quite challenging" one year Masters program looks like, but I can't imagine any examples that would qualify in my mind as compared to law school itself. There are, if you'll forgive me, a larger slice of students who surf into graduate studies on a wave of inertia than there are in law school. Those are the students you should easily out-perform on curve. Frankly, if there's a graduate program anywhere where you can't easily achieve at least average (A- ish) grades, you're doing something wrong. Second, get over your fear of competition now. Whether it's founded or not, in this case, and accurate or not, in this case, get over it anyway. You are trying to gain admission to the most challenging cohort of law students in Canada so that you can enter a very competitive profession filled with many highly accomplished people. And they are all going to want the same things you want. Which means you'll be competing with these people for what you want for the rest of your career. If your instinct is still to say "I'll pursue my goals, but only if it isn't too competitive" then either fix that attitude or get the hell out now. Seriously.

 

Good luck.


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#3 conge

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Posted 24 November 2016 - 06:38 AM

Hi all, I am in my 4th year but missed the application deadline for U of T this year. I am thinking about applying for 2018 admission and doing a short masters degree (8-12 month) to fill the gap. However, some of the schools I am considering can be quite challenging, so I am a little worried that doing badly in my masters might undermine my overall qualification. It says on the FAQ page that "A very strong performance in a graduate program may overcome modest weaknesses in an undergraduate record, but will not usually overcome an undergraduate record which is otherwise uncompetitive", but it didn't mention what happens the other way around. My cGPA isn't that impressive to start with, if U of T will look at graduate schools seriously, I might have to go with some easier options. Any input is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

 

If I had 8-12 months where I wasn't otherwise committed to studies, a career, or anything else (e.g. caring for family members), I would go travelling somewhere; go get a job in another country or another part of the country, try to learn a new language there, apply for government/NGO programs where you can do something interesting.

 

Gradate school is nothing to sneeze at, and if you're seriously interested/passionate about the subject, it could be pretty great time before law school, but this is such a great opportunity, it would suck to waste it in a program you are doing just to "fill a gap".



#4 Luckycharm

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Posted 24 November 2016 - 07:46 AM

Hi all, I am in my 4th year but missed the application deadline for U of T this year. I am thinking about applying for 2018 admission and doing a short masters degree (8-12 month) to fill the gap. However, some of the schools I am considering can be quite challenging, so I am a little worried that doing badly in my masters might undermine my overall qualification. It says on the FAQ page that "A very strong performance in a graduate program may overcome modest weaknesses in an undergraduate record, but will not usually overcome an undergraduate record which is otherwise uncompetitive", but it didn't mention what happens the other way around. My cGPA isn't that impressive to start with, if U of T will look at graduate schools seriously, I might have to go with some easier options. Any input is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

 

Why bother?

 

Make sure you havw everything ready for the next cycle and go enjoy yourself. 



#5 arandomstudent

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Posted 24 November 2016 - 06:11 PM

Graduate programs simply don't grade on the same scale as undergraduate programs at all. Most are curved roughly to A- or so. So U of T is well in the majority when they say they don't directly take the GPA from graduate transcripts because really, they'd be comparing apples to oranges. That said, I think any school is going to look at your graduate program generally, and if you'd doing badly in it that might not reflect well on you.

 

Two further pieces of advice, however. First, I don't know what a "quite challenging" one year Masters program looks like, but I can't imagine any examples that would qualify in my mind as compared to law school itself. There are, if you'll forgive me, a larger slice of students who surf into graduate studies on a wave of inertia than there are in law school. Those are the students you should easily out-perform on curve. Frankly, if there's a graduate program anywhere where you can't easily achieve at least average (A- ish) grades, you're doing something wrong. Second, get over your fear of competition now. Whether it's founded or not, in this case, and accurate or not, in this case, get over it anyway. You are trying to gain admission to the most challenging cohort of law students in Canada so that you can enter a very competitive profession filled with many highly accomplished people. And they are all going to want the same things you want. Which means you'll be competing with these people for what you want for the rest of your career. If your instinct is still to say "I'll pursue my goals, but only if it isn't too competitive" then either fix that attitude or get the hell out now. Seriously.

 

Good luck.

 

Thank you so much for the input. I really appreciate it. It didn't occur to me before that I was too risk averse. Thank you for pointing that out for me. When I say challenging graduate programs, I am referring to the economics MA at U of T, which is currently my top choice. I heard from other students that the midterm average is around 35%. It's completely hearsay but it does surprise me a bit and get me thinking what effect of a 35% grade might have on my application. I have applied to UBC law for 2017 too and I believe my chances are quite good for that. It's just I am planning to practice in Toronto, so U of T is a much better option for me. 



#6 arandomstudent

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Posted 24 November 2016 - 06:18 PM

If I had 8-12 months where I wasn't otherwise committed to studies, a career, or anything else (e.g. caring for family members), I would go travelling somewhere; go get a job in another country or another part of the country, try to learn a new language there, apply for government/NGO programs where you can do something interesting.

 

Gradate school is nothing to sneeze at, and if you're seriously interested/passionate about the subject, it could be pretty great time before law school, but this is such a great opportunity, it would suck to waste it in a program you are doing just to "fill a gap".

I completely hear you. Would love to do all that, but on the other hand, economics is indeed something I am interested in. I am thinking about doing the master outside Canada though, so that I might get the best of both worlds. 



#7 CarmenSandiego

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 09:07 PM

Does anyone know how post-degree Bachelors, such as Bachelors of Social Work (typically 2 years after having done undergrad) are considered? Are they part of GPA calculations or considered similar to graduate programs?



#8 Eeee

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 01:01 AM

Does anyone know how post-degree Bachelors, such as Bachelors of Social Work (typically 2 years after having done undergrad) are considered? Are they part of GPA calculations or considered similar to graduate programs?

Worth asking u of t directly. I can imagine it going either way in certain scenarios



#9 Pyke

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 02:01 PM

Worth asking u of t directly. I can imagine it going either way in certain scenarios

 

 

The answer will be something generic like, "We consider every part of an applicant's file in assessing whether to admit that student to our law school class". 



#10 breezy

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 02:30 PM

I always wondered this because I have a buddy at University of Toronto law, who did a 1 year MBA at Laurier and got into UoFT after finishing his MBA and they really liked his MBA experience as he stated...