Of all the criteria that you will be judged upon during the admission process, your grade point average (GPA) may be the first criterion used to narrow the pool of applicants.
- Doctorate programs typically consider applicants with a minimum GPA of 3.5
- Master’s program cutoffs are generally near a GPA of 3.0
While these cutoffs may gain you consideration, they are minimums and those accepted into a program will likely have higher GPAs. When exploring graduate programs, look for admission statistics on websites or contact the admissions department directly to request the information. While some programs may not make this information readily available, many do.
Once you have had nine or more psychology credits at Rutgers-Camden, and meet minimum GPA requirements (3.50 for psychology courses, and 3.25 overall), you can apply to be inducted into Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. Applications are accepted in fall and spring semester. Membership can be noted on your application materials and allows you access to Psi Chi newsletters and even undergraduate research grants.
Here are some basic tips for maintaining or building your GPA:
Know where you stand
If you see that your GPA is not where it should be, take time to calculate what your future grades must be in order to maintain a suitable average. A good online calculator can be found here. It allows you to input your current cumulative GPA as well as current and future courses. Take time to know exactly how your course grades could come to affect your overall GPA.
Seek Help Early
If you realize that you are experiencing difficulty with your coursework, find assistance through the Rutgers-Camden Learning Center. Other helpful resources for time and stress management are available through Student Health Services website, workshops, and counseling services. You could always talk to your professor or teaching assistant about ways to improve your grade in a particular course. The sooner you develop good study and life-balance skills the better.
Schedule Wisely & Know Your Limits
When preparing your course schedule for the next semester, speak with your peers about their experiences with different courses and professors. Be mindful of any foreseeable life-changes or work responsibilities that may affect your performance, and adjust your course-load accordingly. Should you come into unforeseen challenges, speak to your advisor or professor about your options. An academic withdraw or incomplete may be acceptable or necessary in certain circumstances, and will not weigh negatively against your GPA. Also remember that your transcripts also will be reviewed, so prioritize courses related to your graduate school interests.
Apply Yourself Fully
At the end of your undergraduate study, it could be a matter of a fraction of a decimal that costs you admission or funding in your choice program. For this reason it is important to remember that every course grade counts. Make your coursework a major priority by keeping up to date on readings, studying well for exams, and taking care in preparing assignments. Only by applying yourself fully will you truly know that your GPA is reflective of your abilities.