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Thread: Failing a Gen Ed Course?

  1. #1
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    Failing a Gen Ed Course?

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    Hello all,

    I just graduated from an undergrad double majoring in Econ and Math from a Top 25 school, and am planning to do a 1 (or 2 year) RA at a Top 10 Econ school that I was accepted to starting this summer.

    I took a non econ/math gen ed this semester, and turns out I got an F (talking to other students, the professor was very unfair, and plan on talking to the professor and try to raise it up at least to a C, but no guarantee since some professors are very persistent).
    My overall GPA is around 3.6 (with three Ws in non econ-related courses), and my major GPA (Econ, Math) is around 3.7. I've struggled initially with math (including a C+ on Real Analysis #1), but improved in advanced courses - re-took Real Analysis #1 got an A, got A's in Real Analysis #2, General Topology (grad-level), Intro to Measure Theory (grad-level), Abstract Algebra, proof-based Linear Algebra, Real Analysis (grad-level), Stochastic Processes (grad-level, stats course). Econ courses - mix of As and Bs.

    I was told that I have an extensive research experience, and plan on taking PhD Micro and PhD Econometrics during my predoctoral RA. My advisor thinks that it is highly possible for me to get As in them, which I will try my best in. And if I do, my advisor thought I would have a shot at a Top 10 school.

    But this was before this F came out, and now it's worrying me. How much of an impact could it have on my application, based on my background so far? Your thoughts will be appreciated, thanks!

  2. #2
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    Re: Failing a Gen Ed Course?

    Maybe others will know better about the F specifically, but when you do apply, I'd probably recommend taking a relatively large list of schools. Given your strong research background but somewhat rocky grades, you may see more variability in acceptances. You may get top 10 admissions from schools that love your research background, and top 30 rejections from schools concerned about the F or withdrawals.

  3. #3
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    Re: Failing a Gen Ed Course?

    Thank you for your thought. Any other inputs will be greatly helpful and appreciated!

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    Re: Failing a Gen Ed Course?

    A pattern of Ws and Fs raises concerns about time management and persistence, which are important skills for graduate students. That is a general statement, not a comment on your particular transcript or strengths and weaknesses. When those grades are early in a student's education they can be attributed to immaturity which has presumably been outgrown. They are more problematic in junior or senior year. There is not much you can do about them now. Having work experience and recommendations that speak to your ability to see things through and persevere might help. Otherwise, I agree with jjrousseau: apply widely and anticipate high variance.

  5. #5
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    Re: Failing a Gen Ed Course?

    Thanks for sharing your thought! If I do well on those PhD courses during my predoctoral at the top 10 school, is there a possibility that those W/F grades will be overlooked and still have a chance at top 10 PhD?
    Any other thoughts would be appreciated as well.
    Last edited by think12345; 05-26-2019 at 09:32 PM.

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