i got a D in a major course, am I done when it comes to grad school?

gvc1992's picture
Rank: Senior Monkey | 71

I'm at a non target and a junior accounting major. I have received good grades in business courses, but along the way I had some hardships which my GPA is a 3.33 before the recent semester. I had a internship doing sales and marketing and I also have good extra curricular activities .

Help! I Had a Bad Semester in Undergrad

This semester was a disaster due to:

  • Too many extracurricular activities
  • Officer role in Finance Club
  • Working as a tutor
  • Participating in school athletics
  • Difficult schedule

The result of this semester was receiving mostly B's in my coursework and then 1 A/A-. Not only that happened, I received a D in a major course, which is intermediate accounting and I plan to retake it next semester. My GPA went down to about mid 3.2 or above.

Has anyone who got accepted to Master of Finance programs got low GPAs or got failing grades?

How to Recover from or Explain a Bad Grade

The impact of a D in college depends on many factors including what class it was in, what your career goals are, etc. Here are some ways to recover from or explain a bad grade.

  • Retake the course and explain the D if it comes up
  • Make sure your explanation for the bad grade doesn't come across as whining
  • Explain what you did to improve your grades going forward
  • Withdraw from the class if you think you are going to fail or get a bad grade
  • Adjust future course selection to help boost your GPA
  • Consider dropping some of the extracurricular activities to focus on your studies
  • Include both Major GPA and Cumulative GPA on your resume

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Comments (24)

Dec 22, 2013

you're toast

    • 1
Dec 22, 2013

I don't know.

How have you done in other related courses?

Do you want to retake it? What is the effect on your GPA and transcript?

I hope this doesn't come off as harsh, but I think the real problem here is that you have a 3.2 GPA in a major known for some amount of grade inflation and you are a junior. Yes, there are some engineering classes in there, but with the major switch, you don't get as much credit for that. An excuse for one problem on your transcript is an excuse; two or three different kinds of excuses is whining and a refusal to take responsibility. In this case, your only option is to retake the class and get a B+ and simply note that if it comes up.

You may also want to reconsider whether Accy/Finance is the career for you. If this is some cost accounting course, you may not be able to cut it as a CPA.

    • 1
Dec 22, 2013
IlliniProgrammer:

I don't know.

How have you done in other related courses?

Do you want to retake it? What is the effect on your GPA and transcript?

I hate to be harsh, but I think the real problem here is that you have a 3.3 GPA in a major known for some grade inflation and you are a junior.

You may also want to reconsider whether accy is the career for you.

Financial Accounting A-
Managerial Accounting A-
Business Stats A+
Finance B
Marketing A/A- (teacher hasn't posted it)

Of course I have to retake the course because it is required. Well the way my school does it is, when I fail it won't go into my gpa until I retake it. Yes it will show on my transcript. This is intermediate accounting. This is the first time i failed a course. This semester was rough. I know I could do better in some classes especially finance. I might have figured out on how to succeed in these types of courses.

I enjoy studying accounting and I feel like in my intermediate accounting class I feel like I haven't learn much because my professor's teaching style doesn't suit my learning style. My plan after college is work in the corp finance if I don't get MSF/MSA. If I do get MSF/MSA I either go to transactions or reach as high as I can ;)

G

Dec 22, 2013
gvc1992:

Financial Accounting A-

Managerial Accounting A-

Business Stats A+

Finance B

Marketing A/A- (teacher hasn't posted it)

What is the average GPA in your program?

At UIUC, the average GPA in the College of Business is about a 3.6-3.65. The Business Stats grade is impressive, but outside of that, it looks like you have a ~3.6 GPA, before the D in Intermediate Accounting.

One of the messages that I hammer about 24/7 is that state school students and students at many non-targets should study Engineering or Computer Science. Engineering is one of the last meritocracies on the planet. Accounting may be too, but most people leave after two years, and you will struggle to get hired with a 3.3 GPA.

Dec 23, 2013

You'll be fine. I had few D+s in engineering courses and our acct guys had tough curves too. Embarrassing, but I survived and made it to some top 10 school.

Dec 23, 2013
abacab:

You'll be fine. I had few D+s in engineering courses and our acct guys had tough curves too. Embarrassing, but I survived and made it to some top 10 school.

In the engineering courses Ive gotten C's. So this is my first D in a business course and college course. I guess I have a good reason to explain to admissions why I got a D

G

Dec 23, 2013

Well, if you're D1 and ~top 10 in the country, I say stick with that. That is enough to impress the hell out of recruiters- if you have a 3.5 GPA.

Stop taking such hard courses and focus on cross country. The Olympics (even if it's for another country) will impress them even more.

If you find yourself getting anything less than a B in the Intermediate Accy course, drop it.

Drop the business club as soon as you can without making enemies, take easier classes, and now split your focus between cross country, getting a job, and getting your GPA up to a 3.5.

Dec 23, 2013

This semester might be my last because of new coach came in and wants to make a new program, meaning get rid of the walk ons and bring in his own recruits. Yeah i had a bad xc season due to school, stress, and other activities. So this semester imma try to live the life as a D1 athlete.

The hard courses are the ones I have to take. I just have to balance it out with the easy courses because I took mostly hard courses or bad combos. Or I just have to use effective time management skills.

Yeah the plan is get the extra credit and leave!

G

Dec 23, 2013
gvc1992:

This semester might be my last because of new coach came in and wants to make a new program, meaning get rid of the walk ons and bring in his own recruits. Yeah i had a bad xc season due to school, stress, and other activities. So this semester imma try to live the life as a D1 athlete.

The hard courses are the ones I have to take. I just have to balance it out with the easy courses because I took mostly hard courses or bad combos. Or I just have to use effective time management skills.

Yeah the plan is get the extra credit and leave!

Then maybe I'm hearing you wrong. Are you top 7 in the country? Or just in the conference? I'm not all that familiar with cross country besides high school friends who have run it, but I'd think it would be hard for them to get rid of you.

Professional programs at grad schools love student athletes. A D1 athlete joining a top tier MFE program, for instance, is particularly exotic, although you need the GPA and calculus/stats/linear algebra/programming classes to back it up.

Dec 23, 2013

Realistically, people just look at the overall GPA. Most colleges allow a 'redo' where you can retake one or two courses during your ugrad. If you're in a decent school, no one is really going to bother going through your transcript line by line....they just want to see that what you put on your resume is true.

Dec 23, 2013

I can tell you from personal experience that MSF programs really do take a holistic approach to your application.

I failed calculus and had a sub 2.5 gpa my freshman year and was almost 100 points below the average gmat score at the TOP MSF programs and I was accepted to all that I applied to save one that I am still waiting to hear from and I would guess that some in the WSO community like sellsidebro21 would of told me not to even bother applying to one or more them because of my stats.

I say go ahead and apply, whats the worst that could happen? They say "no"?

Dec 23, 2013

Just out of curiosity, did you have any work experience? What factors do you think led to their final decision?

Dec 23, 2013

Yes, I had 1 year of corporate finance and 1 year in investment services so I had a unique background, but nothing was FO. I also had fantastic letters of recommendations and a clear purpose of why I wanted to go, what I wanted to do after, and what I need to do to get there.

From the responses to questions I asked admins, I feel a huge driving force for a lot of decisions is will this person do well when it comes to employment opportunities.

Dec 23, 2013

Are you a foreigner or is your English really that bad?

    • 1
Dec 23, 2013
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G