I'm applying for a master's degree at top graduate schools for robotics, such as MIT. However, I've heard that the recommended minimum GPA for these schools is 3.5. My GPA is actually 3.45. I know the supposed "cutoff" isn't rigid, but I'm worried because I don't have any publications either, although I have several years of highly relevant experience working in a number of research labs. With a difference of 0.05 points, will it be rounded to a 3.5 in the admissions reviewers' minds, or is this the final stroke that would send my application straight to the trash bin?
From another answer I wrote
I have seen people get into harvard within 3.20 range and I have seen people get rejected with perfect 4.00 from "lesser" schools. From what I have seen it is more about what a transcript / application tells rather than whatever the GPA is... I fear no one here would reliably be able to tell you your odds with this amount of information. Even if you disclose every information you have available to yourself, the recommendation letters written about you will have significant implications.
With that said, from what I read and heard, I begin to wonder if some schools are too trigger happy with student ellimination. They usually get a lot of applications and there is no real way to order them swiftly and reliably. I fear they might employ tactics like:
- Elliminate everyone with an F
- Elliminate everyone with GRE score < some percentile
It is hard to say if this is a general trend or not.