I graduated this December from a major public university with a major in social services. I received a 3.02. I have about four Ws on my transcript and two FS, and quite a few Cs. Two semesters in my early years of school I did very poorly due to a medical issue I was dealing with. When you look at my past 4 semesters though I have done quite well and clearly have an upward trajectory of increasing my gpa each year. Would you write an extra statement to the admissions team stating why you received those bad grades those 2 semesters or put it in your personal statement of intent....or just let it slide and hope for the best. I was dealing with extreme dizziness and neurological symptoms due to undiagnosed hypothyroidism at the time.

Other than that I have multiple internships, practicum experiences, and volunteer work, and will be receiving great letters of recommendation. I am applying to a Counseling Master's Program and do believe this will help a lot!


1 Answer 1


Medical issues, especially during your earlier years, are worth explaining in your SOP BUT it's not worth making an extra statement/essay. You don't want to be overdramatic with it, rather maybe a line or two in the sense of the whole SOP/application. GPA is a bit low, but you have a strong upward trend, plus all the issues were in your earlier years so that will definitely help.

In addition, are any of your recommenders aware of this? In addition to adding an again, VERY small addendum addressing this, your recommenders could also address it as well, making a small addendum in their letters saying the C's/F's/W's earlier on in your undergraduate are in no way a reflection of your ability to succeed in a graduate program or conduct research.

Remember that GPA is only one factor. Your experiences as well as your later years and, most importantly, your letters of recommendation all have a significant part of your application package as well.

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    But, don't make it the focus of the SoP. Make it a sentence or even just a phrase. The SoP should be forward looking about your future plans and goals, not the past.
    – Buffy
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 11:32

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