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Justification of a low GPA

The inclusion of a student with a low GPA in a fellowship competition should be addressed through comments on the recommendations already allowed by the competitions. These comments should be included on the competition’s required forms.  Extra documents are not acceptable. 

A recommending supervisor and/or the departmental nomination is the most appropriate place to address a low GPA. In some cases, this justification will guarantee the inclusion of the student; in some cases, it will not. If you have any questions, contact GPS Fellowships.

Examples of admissible, compelling circumstances

These circumstances should be addressed in the Departmental assessment or a separate letter, as applicable to the competition. In some competitions, there will be no exceptions made to GPA requirement.

  • Illness of student or immediate family member where the student was primary care-giver
  • Foreign GPA conversion, where the converted grade does not reflect student achievement
  • Courses completed in an unrelated field of study
  • Significant field experience gained since studies earlier in academic career; a significant gap between earlier studies and current program.