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UK MSc Admissability: Low GPA but High GMAT

I am a US undergraduate business student looking at MSc courses including LSE, Imperial, and Edinburgh.

My graduating GPA will be in the range of 2.5-2.8/4.0; these cumulative marks due to some laziness in earlier years are my greatest weakness.

I have not taken the GMAT, but I know I can score at least a 650 with a goal of 695.

Will these two balance each other out in the eyes of admissions?

The reputation of my undergraduate degree is ranked well in the US, with some sources placing my specializations in the top 10 while others rank it in the top 25.

I know a strong personal statement can help too...


I also was interested how my degree would convert to the UK system. Would mine be considered a 2:1 or is there no way to make a comparison?

Thanks!

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Firstly, try your best to get your GPA up. The conversions are pretty inexact, but usually a 2.1 is seen as at least 3.0 and those universities usually ask for at least a 3.3 (LSE wants 3.5, and a high 2.1 - 67+ - is approximated by Oxford as a 3.7). So you are falling short of those benchmarks, but to varying degrees.

I simply don't know whether a good GMAT score will make up for it, since I am not in the business of either financial courses or admissions. If you think you're in with a shot, then it's worth an application since you have nothing to lose. But I would suggest that if you are set on doing an MSc over here that you also put in some applications to less competitive universities, to give yourself the best chance of getting a place.
Reply 2
Generally, offers are contingent on GPA as much as UK offers are contingent on degree class. A 2:1 is seen as somewhere between 3.0 and 3.3, and generally that's the minimum top universities would accept for a masters. At least, I've never seen a US student doing postgrad at a top uni with lower than a 3.0.

Now, if you work for a few years, an MBA is perfectly achievable, as that's more about GMAT and work experience. But for a management MSc, it'll be very tough.
Call them up and ask. In all honesty, you're a foreign student and as such you will be paying the same as three or four UK students. They're going to want to accept you. Its not unheard of that 2.2 students will get a place on courses that ask for 2.1s and 3rd class students get places on courses that ask for 2.2s. Its a completely different story as soon as funding comes in but in the case where you're the one paying, if they can accept you they most likely will.

I would say though that you might want to apply to some other universities just in case. What course is it that you're looking at?
Spanky Deluxe
Call them up and ask. In all honesty, you're a foreign student and as such you will be paying the same as three or four UK students. They're going to want to accept you. Its not unheard of that 2.2 students will get a place on courses that ask for 2.1s and 3rd class students get places on courses that ask for 2.2s. Its a completely different story as soon as funding comes in but in the case where you're the one paying, if they can accept you they most likely will.


It depends on the university - LSE shafts everyone on fees (their standard MSc charge is 14k p/a for all students) so there's no real advantage to being non-EU.
IlexAquifolium
It depends on the university - LSE shafts everyone on fees (their standard MSc charge is 14k p/a for all students) so there's no real advantage to being non-EU.


OUCH! I'm used to most masters being about £4k for residents and £12k for international students!
Reply 6
imperial is about 22k for all students!
Reply 7
Generally for an MBA, the GMAT helps to mitigate the GPA.

Further education courses can also help to mitigate weak GPA's in specific fields. e.g. if your GPA in calculus is bad, take some evening clases and get a good GPA in them

How this applies to MSc's I do not know.
Reply 8
No offense but 650-695 isn't really a "high" gmat, but rather about what you would probably need for those programs if your other numbers/stats were in line. A score like that isn't going to mitigate anything. The only chance of overcoming a gpa like that is scoring 750+ on the GMAT, and you still have an uphill climb. Sorry for the bad news just trying to be honest.
USA09
I am a US undergraduate business student looking at MSc courses including LSE, Imperial, and Edinburgh.

My graduating GPA will be in the range of 2.5-2.8/4.0; these cumulative marks due to some laziness in earlier years are my greatest weakness.

I have not taken the GMAT, but I know I can score at least a 650 with a goal of 695.

Will these two balance each other out in the eyes of admissions?

The reputation of my undergraduate degree is ranked well in the US, with some sources placing my specializations in the top 10 while others rank it in the top 25.

I know a strong personal statement can help too...


I also was interested how my degree would convert to the UK system. Would mine be considered a 2:1 or is there no way to make a comparison?

Thanks!

It's a 2:2.
Reply 10
conversion of grades is not done on a mathematicla formula.

It will be based on the type of degree you did and the grades you acheived in each individual subject.

From what i recall, a 2:2 is in the GPA range of 2.7-3.2
Reply 11
If he was lazy in early years, but had a 3.3 or so in the later years, why wouldn't they let him in? Upper year courses are more challenging and if you prove yourself there, then he should be grad school material.
Wildbore
If he was lazy in early years, but had a 3.3 or so in the later years, why wouldn't they let him in? Upper year courses are more challenging and if you prove yourself there, then he should be grad school material.

Universities go by the final classification. I don't know about Imperial and Edinburgh, but certainly LSE only accept 2:1 and firsts.
Reply 13
Eubacterium
Universities go by the final classification. I don't know about Imperial and Edinburgh, but certainly LSE only accept 2:1 and firsts.


Yea, but his degree isn't from the UK, so he doesn't have a classification.

A GPA can vary wildy between years, especially if someone started a slacker in years 1 and 2, but finished very strong in years 3 and 4. I am saying, if he did well later on, he should have a pretty good chance, assuming they look the transcipt and an upward trend is there.
Wildbore
Yea, but his degree isn't from the UK, so he doesn't have a classification.

A GPA can vary wildy between years, especially if someone started a slacker in years 1 and 2, but finished very strong in years 3 and 4. I am saying, if he did well later on, he should have a pretty good chance, assuming they look the transcipt and an upward trend is there.

But the has a final GPA. Someone with a 2:2 in the UK wouldn't have a chance so I don't see why it should be different for an American student. LSE is very competitive.
Reply 15
Eubacterium
But the has a final GPA. Someone with a 2:2 in the UK wouldn't have a chance so I don't see why it should be different for an American student. LSE is very competitive.

It isn't - many UK universities grad based either solely or primarily on the last year. Very few of the top universities have the first year counting more than 10% towards the final grade. Hence they may look at GPA, or they may look at GPA in the last year, or they may do a weighted version, all of which happen in the UK.

To give three examples, at LSE the first year counts for 1 of 9 exams; at Oxford only the last 2 years count; at Cambridge they grade each year, with the degree having no classification overall, therefore the last year grade is usually taken. Hence having a 3rd in the first year doesn't necessarily have any impact on final grade. Just as having a bad GPA in the first, and to some extent second, year may not matter if you have 3.5+ in the final year or two.
Drogue
It isn't - many UK universities grad based either solely or primarily on the last year. Very few of the top universities have the first year counting more than 10% towards the final grade. Hence they may look at GPA, or they may look at GPA in the last year, or they may do a weighted version, all of which happen in the UK.

To give three examples, at LSE the first year counts for 1 of 9 exams; at Oxford only the last 2 years count; at Cambridge they grade each year, with the degree having no classification overall, therefore the last year grade is usually taken. Hence having a 3rd in the first year doesn't necessarily have any impact on final grade. Just as having a bad GPA in the first, and to some extent second, year may not matter if you have 3.5+ in the final year or two.

So the first and second years of an American degree counts towards the final GPA? As I said its course are very competitive, there's plenty of people applying with high GPAs.
Reply 17
Eubacterium
So the first and second years of an American degree counts towards the final GPA? As I said its course are very competitive, there's plenty of people applying with high GPAs.


Every course counts equally in the US be it first year or last year (4 credits = 4 credits, 3 credits = 3 credits, etc).

Unfortunately for the poster, a GMAT between 650-690 is nothing special for LSE but actually the expected range for the average applicant. Even if they were to give him/her a break on the GPA, the GMAT score won't get any bonus points.
Reply 18
Eubacterium
So the first and second years of an American degree counts towards the final GPA? As I said its course are very competitive, there's plenty of people applying with high GPAs.


Yea, and theres plenty of people applying with middle and low GPAs. If he got a 3.5 GPA in his final year, I say he has a better shot than someone with a 3.5 overall but with a 3.2 in his final year courses.

Has anyone ever told you don't judge a book by the cover.
Wildbore
Yea, and theres plenty of people applying with middle and low GPAs. If he got a 3.5 GPA in his final year, I say he has a better shot than someone with a 3.5 overall but with a 3.2 in his final year courses.

Has anyone ever told you don't judge a book by the cover.

Excuse me I'm quite obviously referring to those who decide at LSE, not my feelings. No I don't believe someone would have a better shot at all, LSE takes the top applicants and there's a bigger difference between 3.5 and 2.5/8 then 3.5 and 3.2. Anyway why are you arguing with me over whether 3.5 in the last year matters or not? I assumed the OP mentioned this is the case but on looking through the thread again, it appears you made it up. The OP never mentioned this. First you said 3.3, now it's 3.5. Why are you making an issue out of something that doesn't exist, even accusing me of being shallow over it?! :mad:

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