I have been attending a university in my home state for 6 years. My gpa at the end of this semester is on track to be 2.6 overall. My first four years of courses are not representative of my capabilities, this is due to a major medical issue that involved multiple surgeries each semester and even more during summer breaks.
I have decided that psychological research is the career I wish to strive for, more specifically reseach in Autism Sectrum disorders and related Intellectual/developmental disabilities. Statistics is something I'm very passionate about. The grades I've receive in these type of courses are excellent and my over all gpa has been on a steady upward trend because of them.
Since my medical issues have been resolved I have been conducting solo research projects, participating research groups, have been working as a research assistant for professors (working on data analyses and the article for submission), presenting at regional conferences, acted as a teaching assistant for research oriented courses, and even tutored students struggling in stats(unofficially). I'm on track to receive As or Bs in the toughest courses the program has to offer. I have extensive experience in the specific field I wish to work in, 6 years work (5 providing direct to those who experience disabilities and 1 developing plans of care and assisting families attempting to receive funding for implementation of these plans) and a brother who experiences a similar disability.
I could go on about what I've have achieved despite my low gpa, but ultimately I feel the responses I've been getting when speaking to programs locally and abroad is that my gpa is to low and most reviewers simply pass over those not meeting the requirements (both MA and PhD). The program I'm currently most interested in does not utilize GRE scores in their admissions process.
Due to financial strain I may be forced to just graduate now and dive into the workforce. The jobs I have found are research related and I am a good candidate for the positions, only if I have a BA. If I choose to graduate and enter the workforce rather than retake classes until my gpa recovers, what are the chances of being accepted into program with a weak gpa and good work experience?
Thanks for your time!