Well, there is really little you can do about it now, but you can control how you explain it in your application and how it affects your career plans.
You can still earn a masters degree with low grades
But it may not be easy to do. You must be ready to explain yourself and then to do a very candid assessment of your career path. There are two major issues facing applicants with this grade trend:
- In what context did you earn these grades?
- How flexible are you in your future career plans?
Look objectively at your undergraduate grades
- If there were challenges you faced consistently as time went on, explain it. If this is a situation that you no longer face, then be ready to assure the admissions committee and explain why.
- How did your performance compare with others in your school and program? If your experience was typical of students in your major, point it out.
- What kinds of courses caused the biggest part of your low GPA? If they were outside your major, then there may be less impact than if they were in your major. On the other hand, if you only did ok in your major classes and didn’t do well in other subjects, then MBA applications may be tougher since MBA admissions committees like to see well rounded applicants.
Consider your future career plans: the second step
If you are applying for a research program and your lowest grades were in the same field, you may have a really tough time finding a program that will admit you. If your plan is to move into more general programs (like an MBA), then you still have a chance.
- Get work experience to offset grades. The better your other qualifications are, the more flexibility you may be given with the other requirements. Especially with MBA programs, the better your experience, the more flexibility you have with academics. This is particularly true when you look at most programs that are not ranked.
- Consider going to a part time program because the admissions requirements are typically much more flexible. These programs often have a continuing education mission and admit people with much lower academic qualifications.
- Do really well on the admissions test to help offset low grades. Although it doesn’t apply in all cases, generally doing well with your GMAT or GRE will help give the admissions committee more confidence in admitting you with lower grades. Remember too that a more recent (and strong) test score will be more important than older (several years older) grades.