Those Pesky “Bad Grades” and “Can I Ever Get into Grad School?”

Ever worry about how those Cs you had as a sophomore would look on  a grad school application?  Or maybe a D?


Worried because every grad school says “we only take the best,” or some such nonsense (look, no one can take the “best,” even if there is such a thing).


Ever wonder how long those bad grades can follow you through an otherwise fascinating and enriching career in “the real world.”  Well, in a small way, here is a response to that question “Can Bad Grades and Graduate School Go Together?


Bottom line is that it never hurts to apply, if that is where your inner muse leads you!

2 thoughts on “Those Pesky “Bad Grades” and “Can I Ever Get into Grad School?”

  1. There are two larger issues holding me back from grad school, coincidentally I was looking at it again for this semester.

    1) GRE. I took it more than 5 or 6 years ago, and did very poorly on the math, very poorly even with studying. I wasn’t accepted into the non-anthropology program I applied to. Now with a handful of professional experience behind me, I can say there’s no chance I’m paying again to take a test that we all know is meaningless. Maybe that means I don’t care enough about grad school. I don’t know. Maybe it means the university system needs to rethink how it wastes the time of professionals.

    2) The cost. I probably could have the money if I put my undegrad loans on hold. But even with in-state tuition, it’s hard to justify dropping more than a grand for a class not including any reading materials that need to be purchased. Again, maybe I just don’t care enough. It’s not even that I think teachers are overpaid. Given the state of academia, one has to wonder if the price is worth it.

    I don’t mean for this all to sound probably as bitter or as silly as it does, but as someone who takes anthropology seriously and who works hard at his independent studies, it’s hard to feel like the trade offs are worth it or that I’m not getting dicked around.

  2. My advice is to apply, and let them know that you need “support,” and see if they offer something. Support means that you work for them as a teaching assistant or research assistant, and then they pick up your fees and pay you a small living stipend (emphasis on small). Many grad students put themselves through grad school this way.

    As for the GRE, not every program requires it. Check.

    Anthro programs can be pretty eclectic with what they require/seek in grad students. Read their program announcements carefully, and give the person in charge of admissions at the specific schools you are interested in a phone call or email asking specific questions about your concerns and anxieties.

    Good luck!

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