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I'm studying political science. My CGPA is awful at around 2.95, however, my GPA for the last fall, winter, and summer semester for my 3rd year have been 3.3, 4.0, 3.8 (I did really bad in first and second year). At the best, I am looking at about a 3.1/3.2 CGPA by the time I graduate.

I am wondering how competitive I actually am? Do I even have a chance with such a low CGPA knowing that meeting the requirements does not guarantee acceptance?

In terms of professors, I'm in the DSA of my program and know a couple of professors who would write me a good reference letter. I'm currently doing a independent study research project with a prof as well. And I worked through my entire undergrad: about 4 years of work experience in administrative and retail work.

Do I have a chance or is this a pipe dream? Is it true that grad schools only look at last 2 years?

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    I edited your question to remove the parts people might think make it off-topic. Your question about a sharp improvement in grades is on-topic. But please, put way more effort into preparing your grad school apps than you did this post. – Azor Ahai -- he him Oct 30 '19 at 1:33
  • Yes. For example, get a great score on the GRE. – GEdgar Oct 30 '19 at 12:13
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    It will depend on the admissions committee, of course, and I would recommend applying to a range of programs – Jking Amillions Feb 15 at 20:03
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Yes, you have a chance.

There is no guarantee, but graduate admissions committees do more than just look at GPAs for applicants. If your work for the past two years has been consistently strong, and you have strong letters of recommendation, then use your cover letter to explain what affected your grades earlier. It is equally important to explain what changed, so that the admissions committee does not worry about the problem reoccurring. This does not mean you have to get into personal details; a general explanation is sufficient. The ability to overcome adversity and persevere to reach your goals can be a compelling story about who you are and what your are passionate about.

It will depend on the admissions committee, of course, and I would recommend applying to a range of programs, including your ideal schools and some others that have good programs and less competitive applicant pools. But that is always good advice for applying to graduate school.

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Just echoing others - as somebody who has sat on Canadian graduate admissions, you have a good chance. We look at trajectory, and in our program (a U15 university) if you had a supervisor who wanted you in the program, compelling references, and a good program of statement you would likely be accepted.

The reference letters are key, actually, as they can help us contextualize the marks.

If your cumulative GPA was below a 78%, we might mandate some qualifying activities.

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