What Kind of Post Bachelor's Degree Can I Realistically Earn if I Graduated with a Low 2.01 GPA?

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Happydude26, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. Happydude26

    Happydude26 New Member

    I earned a lowly 2.01 GPA for my Bachelor's of Arts Degree from UCLA a few years ago but I am wanting to go for my Masters Degree at the very least.

    I'm wondering realistically what my options would be considering my GPA isn't impressive at all and doubt a big time university would want me. I never even took my SATs in high school, I just transferred to UCLA from Community College cause I took certain programs that pretty much ushers me in to UCLA.

    Any real guidance is appreciated. Thank you!

    I'll reply quickly to all replies.
  2. nyvrem

    nyvrem Active Member

    You didn't mention which field you wanna enter for your graduate studies, but the first program that comes to mind when someone has a low GPA is Harvard's MLA program.


    They have an 'earn your way in' admissions route where you take 2-3 graduate level courses, and if you score a B grade or higher, you can apply into the Masters program proper.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  3. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    You still have a realistic chance at a good MBA program after a few years of work experience. UCLA is a great school so that brand will offset your low GPA a bit. But you need a high GMAT score (>700 preferably and >650 minimum) and a good excuse for your low GPA (e.g. worked 2 jobs while studying).

    But if you're talking about an academically focused degree such as MS/PhD physics, math, CS, you might be out of luck unless you take a bunch of extra coursework to raise that GPA.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  4. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    If you are completely insane, there are a good many law schools that would take your money and put you into hopeless debt for life. (Don't do it, though.)
    Dustin and Bill Huffman like this.
  5. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I think even Touro would draw the line at a GPA that low.
  6. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Appears you're right but I'm sure some California accredited school would accept the OP.
  7. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Ultimately it comes down to what you WANT to study.

    Do you want an MBA? I'm sure there are some for-profit schools out there with largely open admissions that would admit you no problem. You want a PhD in Philosophy? You're not getting in if your philosophy undergrad grades are reflected in that GPA.

    But while C's may get (undergraduate) degrees consider whether a graduate program is the right step for you. You would have been kicked out of even the most liberal (in terms of open enrollment) online masters programs well before even getting near graduation.

    The fact that you seem to be asking about any ol' grad program doesn't really make it sound like this is a passion. There are paths to get into any number of programs in any number of fields. But you haven't told us what you're looking for. Law? Engineering? Botany? International Business? what's your poison, kid?
    Dustin, Vonnegut and SteveFoerster like this.
  8. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Echoing Neuhaus here: there are lots of schools have open-admission policies. Figure out the field you want to be in. There are always options, which might include going to an open-admit school for either Masters or Bachelor's-level coursework to bump up that GPA.
  9. Acolyte

    Acolyte Active Member


    Liberty University only requires a 2.0 GPA for undergad to be admitted to (some) grad programs
    WGU (Western Governors University) has no posted minimum for undergrad GPA to be admitted to (some) grad programs
    Walden has no posted minimum for undergrad GPA to be admitted to (some) grad programs
    Northcentral has no posted minimum for undergrad GPA to be admitted to (some) grad programs
    Colorado Technical only requires a 2.0 GPA for undergad to be admitted to (some) grad programs
    Southern New Hampshire (SNHU) only requires a 2.0 GPA for undergad to be admitted to (some) grad programs
    Benedictine University only requires a 2.0 GPA for undergad to be admitted to (some) grad programs

    I'd check other colleges that are supposed to be flexible for adult or non-traditional students, such as Thomas Edison and Charter Oak. Many times they have an admissions process that includes a different assessment of the applicant.
  10. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Probably not Charter Oak:
    • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, or international institution equivalent to a U.S. regionally accredited institution, with a grade point average of 3.0 or better.
    • Students with GPA's between 2.7 and 3.0 may apply. If accepted, grades of B or better must be achieved in the first two courses to continue the program.
    On the other hand, in an era when a lot of universities, even public ones, have financial challenges, perhaps it can't hurt to ask?
  11. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

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  12. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I have often admired from afar Amberton's unfortunately named MA in Professional Development. It also has, as far as I can tell, the most generous transfer policy for a graduate program at the moment. 12 of 36 credits transferable and your credits can be in anything as long as you meet their residency requirements and take their two required courses (research methods and ethics). Even the liberal studies program usually require credit minimums in certain fields, typically. You can be all over the map with that one.

    In the end you'll have an M.A. in "stuff." But if you have one of the myriad jobs that just want an MA no matter what it's in, it should do the job.
  13. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    I actually like that name a lot better than "General Studies", "Liberal Studies", etc., that a lot of these degrees tend to be named. Professional Development sounds like almost like executive development, some kind of human potential degree, versus "take 30 credits in any discipline and we'll cobble you together a degree."
    Acolyte likes this.
  14. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    I think you can add a specialization to your degree. So you can end up with:

    MA in Professional Studies, Specialization in Applied Business Analytics

    That looks a LOT better on your resume.

    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  15. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    The reality is, you can make things look better on a resume without committing outright fraud in many instances.

    Say, for example, you got the Amberton degree and you used credits in Human Behavior Development, Religion and Communications. I do not think you would be out of line listing it as "Interdisciplinary Master of Arts (Human Behavior Development/Religion/Communications)" or something like that. I think the specializations can absolutely offer a fine avenue for an official recognition of coursework. But, using Dustin's phrasing, you would need to get more creative if you, indeed, "take 30 credits in any discipline and we'll cobble you together a degree."

    That all said, if you really want a degree in business analytics or similar there are actual programs for that at other places. I get that we're playing with this 2.0 GPA limitation but, again, I seriously question how successful someone who pulled such a low GPA would be in getting ANY graduate degree, let alone one that required specific coursework. Cobbling together nonsense would probable be the safest bet to completing a degree in that instance. Perhaps that's cynical of me but I'm generally cynical whenever someone wants a degree in anything or "whatever is easiest/cheapest/fastest."
  16. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    As an aside...

    When I was a teenager I had a beater of a car. And on one occasion I had need for 4 new tires for said beater. Concerned that I would have to basically MUCH pay from my part time job on it, I asked my father for help. He told me not to go to a regular tire place. He knew a guy. And so I went to meet his guy. An old mechanic's garage surrounded by overgrown weeds behind his house. There was discoloration on the side of the building where once there was a placard indicating this was a licensed repair facility. No customers. Employees. The front office was being used as storage for random household junk. There was no sign. There was no business there at all. Just the shell of a garage in a field behind someone's private dwelling. So my Dad's guy came out, walked me into this place where I was mildly concerned I was about to be murdered, and there in the largely empty garage were 4 brand new tires waiting. He put my car on the lift, changed the tires, asked for $40 and told me to say hello to my dad and I drove away wondering if I had somehow just committed a felony.

    Amberton feels an awful lot like the place you go because your dad knows a guy where you should get your degree.

    Now before people freak out, I don't mean to say they are sketchy. But they are incredibly small and many of their processes are very, very casual compared to much larger schools. I think it adds to their charm, frankly. And, like the friend of your dad's the price is cheaper than most places and what you get out of it is "good enough."

    But dang that is a good and necessary niche to fill.
    Rachel83az, Maniac Craniac and Dustin like this.
  17. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Setting aside easiest/cheapest/fastest, my GPA's look like this:

    Community College Diploma: 4.0
    Semester of University: 2.0
    Community College Certificate: 2.7
    Bachelor's Degree (different school than above): 3.5
    Master's Degree: 4.0 (so far)

    So if you judged me on just the years when I did my semester of university or my community college certificate you'd assume I couldn't handle Master's-level coursework, but I got lucky having lots of opportunities to be in school but not everybody does. So I wouldn't automatically assume a 2.0 means they can't handle it now that they're older and more likely to be studious. There will be a learning curve though, definitely.
  18. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    I used to live in the DFW area a decade ago so I've seen the Amberton "campus" several times. Not really a campus, more like an old building. It was interesting to see they had an actual physical campus - I thought back then (after visiting degreeinfo.com) that everything about Amberton was virtual and the whole thing operated out of someone's basement LOL - glad I was wrong. But being unknown I think benefits Amberton in the sense that they are less likely to be seen negatively compared to U of Phoenix.
  19. Thorne

    Thorne Active Member

    I've often heard it said that graduate classes grades more generously than undergraduate classes. My business partner jokingly says it happens because no university wants to sacrifice a person on the altar of optional post-baccalaureate spending.

    It's also, supposedly, why the LSAC doesn't count graduate credit for calculating your GPA.

    I wouldn't assume someone with a 2.0 GPA couldn't hack grad work, just that they wouldn't be able to hack it in a prestigious university which proably wouldn't accept them anyway.
    smartdegree likes this.
  20. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    I believe in second chances. I also had a low GPA in undergrad (2.8) but ended up with a 710 GMAT score, a full tuition scholarship and a 3.9 GPA in the full-time MBA program at UT Dallas (which is a well-ranked program according to US News/FT). I am glad admissions looked beyond my GPA as I was more mature and had more accomplishments at work.

    Also Happydude26 graduated from UCLA. I can't support this with facts, but if I had to make a bet, a 2.0 GPA at UCLA is probably as hard to get as a 3.0 at lower ranked schools. Also, MBA programs love to publish the undergrad schools attended by their students. Pretty sure some random Cal State MBA program would be proud to have a UCLA grad attending and quoting him/her on their website:

    "As a UCLA grad, the MBA program at Cal State - XXX was very challenging and appropriate for my goals"
    - Happydude26 MBA '22, (undergraduate institution: UCLA)
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