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CMU MSCF What are my chances to be admitted to CMU with a low GPA but a lot of experience?

Are my chances good, bad, or possible?

  • Good

    Votes: 2 15.4%
  • Decent/Possible

    Votes: 8 61.5%
  • Not Very Good

    Votes: 1 7.7%
  • Terrible

    Votes: 2 15.4%

  • Total voters
    13

PrivSingh

New Member
Currently, I am working as a computer scientist at U.S. Army Core of Engineers but I want to go into Quantitative Finance. I do programming constantly. I spoke with a counselor today at CMU. I informed her of my weak points. I informed her that I have a relatively low overall undergraduate gpa at 3.2 and math GPA is 3.79. However, I was also running a fintech startup during my time in undergraduate. She informed me that they do a "holistic" review of an application. This is my story.

Startup Story:
I started a hedge fund in my sophomore year for which I did financial analysis on a lot of companies constantly. However, while my team and I did financial analysis, we realized that a lot of analyst spend a great chunk of their time collecting data before they can even start analyzing the data. We contemplated "What if there was a way that can automate the data collection process so analyst can get answers quickly?" We eventually came up with an idea for Q/A engine based on IBM Watson’s Unstructured Information Management Architecture that answers fact-retrieval questions. We had very little programming knowledge; nevertheless, we started learning to develop the product. In the meantime, I was able to raise startup capital through competitions, grants and private accredited investors. After year and half of constant work, we developed our Minimum Viable Product. Looking back, the startup experience was incredibly fruitful because the constant challenges we, as a team, overcame and experiences we were able to acquire. I was able to do software development with machine learning applications, investor relations, and team management. I did all this during my time in undergrad, which did affect my grades.

Current Situation:
Now, this was a quick story of my startup experience. I realize my gpa is very low. After I spoke with a counselor, she informed me that they look at the grades within the context of your activities, like what were things happening that affect your grades during that time. So, they look at all aspects of the program. It sounded as if she did not denounce my chances of getting into the program.

Question:
But, I am curious, do I even stand a chance by applying to the program because of my low gpa? Can my experiences make up for the fact I have a low GPA? Also, my overall GPA is 3.2 and my math GPA is 3.79, I am not sure exactly right now.

Will a near perfect GRE score make my low GPA be a non-issue?
 
Last edited:

Michsund

Well-Known Member
C++
Currently, I am working as a computer scientist at U.S. Army Core of Engineers but I want to go into Quantitative Finance. I do programming constantly. I spoke with a counselor today at CMU. I informed her of my weak points. I informed her that I have a relatively low overall undergraduate gpa at 3.1 with my Math GPA around 3.4-3.5. However, I was also running a fintech startup during my time in undergraduate. She informed me that they do a "holistic" review of an application. This is my story.

Startup Story:
I started a hedge fund in my sophomore year for which I did financial analysis on a lot of companies constantly. However, while my team and I did financial analysis, we realized that a lot of analyst spend a great chunk of their time collecting data before they can even start analyzing the data. We contemplated "What if there was a way that can automate the data collection process so analyst can get answers quickly?" We eventually came up with an idea for Q/A engine based on IBM Watson’s Unstructured Information Management Architecture that answers fact-retrieval questions. We had very little programming knowledge; nevertheless, we started learning to develop the product. In the meantime, I was able to raise startup capital through competitions, grants and private accredited investors. After year and half of constant work, we developed our Minimum Viable Product. Looking back, the startup experience was incredibly fruitful because the constant challenges we, as a team, overcame and experiences we were able to acquire. I was able to do software development with machine learning applications, investor relations, and team management. I did all this during my time in undergrad, which did affect my grades.

Now, this was a quick story of my startup experience. I realize my gpa is very low. After I spoke with a counselor, she informed me that they look at the grades within the context of your activities, like what were things happening that affect your grades during that time. So, they look at all aspects of the program. It sounded as if she did not denounce my chances of getting into the program. But, I am curious, do I even stand a chance by applying to the program because of my low gpa? Can my experiences make up for the fact I have a low GPA? Also, my overall GPA is 3.1 and my math GPA is 3.4-3.5, I am not sure exactly right now.

P.S. I have not taken the GRE/GMAT, but I plan on taking it soon. Assuming I get a very high score, are my chances decent?
What year would you apply for? You would have to apply for fall 2021 so not sure if that allows you to do more for you resume
 

PrivSingh

New Member
What year would you apply for? You would have to apply for fall 2021 so not sure if that allows you to do more for you resume
Thank you for the reply! I would very much like to do for Fall 2021. Assuming timing is not an issue, what did you have in mind that I could do for my resume? Although, I did assume, extracurricular-wise, my resume was not that weak given my extensive programming and fintech startup experience. My weak point was really my GPA. Nevertheless, I am curious on your thoughts about it.

Do you feel my GPA will be a non-issue if I get a near perfect GRE score?
 
Last edited:

Onegin

Well-Known Member
C++
You’ll need linear algebra, differential equations, mathematical statistics, probability (calculus based), and 3 levels of calculus. You mentioned comp sci background, and since you spoke w admissions it sounds like you probably already know this.

Have you looked at other programs? I seriously dig CMU, though there are some others worth Attending. Especially since NYU Courant seems to have revamped their curriculum.
 
You’ll need linear algebra, differential equations, mathematical statistics, probability (calculus based), and 3 levels of calculus. You mentioned comp sci background, and since you spoke w admissions it sounds like you probably already know this.

Have you looked at other programs? I seriously dig CMU, though there are some others worth Attending. Especially since NYU Courant seems to have revamped their curriculum.
Hey! Do you think taking classes in stochastic processes will help in addition to the classes you mentioned?
 
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