Post-Graduate degree

watchkeeper

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How well do top tier post-graduate schools look at service academy grads when they are applying to them? I would find it hard to get into one if they treated my GPA like they would treat a traditional school's GPA.
 

shiner

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I think you will find there is a high degree of respect for SA graduates at top-tier graduate schools. There are too many examples to count of even middle of the pack SA grads going to schools like Stanford, Wharton, Harvard, MIT, etc...
 

Old Navy BGO

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A Service Academy pedigree won't hurt...even if GPA is less than stellar, but its not a free pass into post-grad. Most programs weigh standardized test scores pretty heavily. I was accepted into almost all the Law Schools I applied to (> 25 years ago). One thing to keep in mind, particularly now a days, is that many (most ?) faculty have a somewhat liberal bent, so while you can be proud of your military service, don't be too rigid or military in your communications. (In other words, don't go all Oorah, Hooyah, Hooah or whatever ...on them).
 

UHBlackhawk

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Not post graduate school, but one company in my field wants at least a 3.0 college GPA from applicants. Unless you went to a SA, then it’s a 2.5 GPA.
 

Casey

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Not post graduate school, but one company in my field wants at least a 3.0 college GPA from applicants. Unless you went to a SA, then it’s a 2.5 GPA.
This has been my experience with grad school programs as well. A lot of schools seem to give a bit of grace for a lower GPA from a SA, understanding there’s a lot more going into a SA’s workload and GPA calculation than might be at a typical undergrad program. That said, it’s a lot easier for grad schools to give grace for a Cs in something like mil move or combatives than a core subject directly related to the program you’re trying to be admitted to.


And in regards to the other post concerning liberal leaning to a lot of higher institutions of learning, I’m currently working in a grad school program that has an incredible left lean. Like couldn’t be more left. None of my classmates or professors has been anything but incredibly gracious of my choice in employment when it comes up, and the interaction with a community that is very different than many I have been exposed to up to this point in my life has been to make me a better person and more informed leader. If anything, they’ve been curious about my experiences, and where I’m getting to learn about how society in my field operate outside the military, I get to act as an ambassador for the Army seeing as a good majority of the modern population has very little to no direct connection to active service. One of the other reasons that grad schools give some wiggle room for SA grads’ grades coming in is they know we provide a different perspective than the majority of the rest of their student body. Diversity in view points and lifestyles is part of the educational experience...
 

cb7893

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This has been my experience with grad school programs as well. A lot of schools seem to give a bit of grace for a lower GPA from a SA, understanding there’s a lot more going into a SA’s workload and GPA calculation than might be at a typical undergrad program. That said, it’s a lot easier for grad schools to give grace for a Cs in something like mil move or combatives than a core subject directly related to the program you’re trying to be admitted to.


And in regards to the other post concerning liberal leaning to a lot of higher institutions of learning, I’m currently working in a grad school program that has an incredible left lean. Like couldn’t be more left. None of my classmates or professors has been anything but incredibly gracious of my choice in employment when it comes up, and the interaction with a community that is very different than many I have been exposed to up to this point in my life has been to make me a better person and more informed leader. If anything, they’ve been curious about my experiences, and where I’m getting to learn about how society in my field operate outside the military, I get to act as an ambassador for the Army seeing as a good majority of the modern population has very little to no direct connection to active service. One of the other reasons that grad schools give some wiggle room for SA grads’ grades coming in is they know we provide a different perspective than the majority of the rest of their student body. Diversity in view points and lifestyles is part of the educational experience...
How much would you say is the SA Education and how much is it Active Duty service that Grad schools value? Or for that matter Employers?

BTW Happy to hear your experience has been positive as an under-represented minority giving you an opportunity to educate and represent.
 

Casey

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How much would you say is the SA Education and how much is it Active Duty service that Grad schools value? Or for that matter Employers?

BTW Happy to hear your experience has been positive as an under-represented minority giving you an opportunity to educate and represent.
You bring up a good point that part of the interest from these institutions probably is the general benefits JMOs bring to a population, if they can adapt to the civilian workforce or education system they’re joining, and not just the SA pedigree. JMOs bring the perspective of active duty service and unit level leadership that many time peers of similar age in the civilian workforce have yet to achieve in responsibility. SA grads are a small portion of that population, but that said, for what I’ve seen from peers starting various MBAs with very prestigious programs, SA grads seem to get a little more of a boost than other JMOs who didn’t come from top tier universities. I would imagine that the ROTC/OCS folks with Ivy League or similar type backgrounds have a similar respect for undergrad program’s rigor. Networking is still a large benefit of the AOG, better or for worse, that many ROTC programs don’t enjoy the benefits of.

I can’t speak for employers. I’ve only had the one during my adult life, and I don’t foresee not working for my current organization anytime soon haha.

And thank you! I’m enjoying the program. My point bringing up my experience was to convey an alternate perspective in regards to the negative views much of the liberal education system stereotypically receives. There’s definitely some fairness in the stereotype (I’ve come to realize “deadlines” do not necessarily come close to meaning the same thing as what West Point taught me they meant and I have definitely had some fun in seeing how flexible certain views are on said topic to cater to students’ “feelings” but that’s a very separate story), but I think people can also make a stereotype a selfulfilling prophesy if they go into a situation with their mind made up about what the other side is actually like before they get there.

I had the opportunity to pursue NPS coming out of the Academy, and one of my advisors recommended I go get some actual AD experience and attend a grad program where I wouldn’t have to be in uniform. His point at the time was I would have received a great engineering degree from NPS that I would have benefitted from academically, but he was worried I would miss out on the broadening a civilian program would give me, particularly after having spent four years in a uniform at West Point. I’m glad I waited. While relearning calculus hasn’t been fun due to the time away from math, I’m getting the academic advancement I would have at the time while also getting a fresh view on civil society that my job is to help protect That I wouldn’t have received. Its good to have the reminder when I’ll have a decision here in the next couple years of whether I stay or go do something different with my career.
 

Old Navy BGO

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And in regards to the other post concerning liberal leaning to a lot of higher institutions of learning, I’m currently working in a grad school program that has an incredible left lean. Like couldn’t be more left. None of my classmates or professors has been anything but incredibly gracious of my choice in employment when it comes up, and the interaction with a community that is very different than many I have been exposed to up to this point in my life has been to make me a better person and more informed leader
My point bringing up my experience was to convey an alternate perspective in regards to the negative views much of the liberal education system stereotypically receives
I really don't think your experience is so much different than mine.,.my comments were simply to act as a caution about the overly "military" attitude that many JMO's bring when they leave the service. That doesn't necessarily play well in the politically correct, enlightened academic world. That said, true academics welcome the diverse perspective that everyone brings to the program , and with one exception, I had a pretty good experience in law school. Because of my exposure to "the other side" , I am a better , more critical and more tolerant thinker than I was coming out of USNA.
 

USAFA10s

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Agree with all the above, but I wanted to emphasize the point that @Casey made on what courses low grades are in mattering. Really low grades in courses that are required prerequisites or are seen as very relevant could be problematic in some cases, but there is pretty much universal acceptance of lower SA overall GPAs.
 

usna1985

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When I was applying to grad school (also >25 years ago), I panicked that my GPA would kill me. It didn't. One thing that can help is class rank. In my day, a 3.2 put you in the top 15% of your USNA class. In my day, NO ONE got a 4.0 and anything over a 3.5 meant you were this side of brilliant. If you also have decent test scores (GRE, LSAT, MCAT, etc.), that will help. The fact that you have life / work experience also helps.

When I asked USNA for my transcript, I asked them to indicate that GPAs at USNA were much lower than at civilian schools. I don't know if that was done.

I know USNA GPAs are much higher across the board today than they were 30-40 years ago. That may help as well.
 

OldRetSWO

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When I was applying to grad school (also >25 years ago), I panicked that my GPA would kill me. It didn't. One thing that can help is class rank. In my day, a 3.2 put you in the top 15% of your USNA class.
For my class, a little above 2.7 was the middle of the class
 

NavyHoops

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For my class, a little above 2.7 was the middle of the class

I graduated with a 2.6 and I was the middle of my class. I have a few Masters and finished all with above 3.8 (although a graduate GPA isn't that hard, or at least in my opinion). They were all much easier for me than my undergrad. No one graduated with a 4.0 in my class.
 

OldRetSWO

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I graduated with a 2.6 and I was the middle of my class. I have a few Masters and finished all with above 3.8 (although a graduate GPA isn't that hard, or at least in my opinion). They were all much easier for me than my undergrad. No one graduated with a 4.0 in my class.
Yup, mid 2.7's at USNA and comfortably into the upper half of my class. Then Distinguished grad at a number of Navy schools and well above 3.6 in grad school.
 

watchkeeper

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I think you will find there is a high degree of respect for SA graduates at top-tier graduate schools. There are too many examples to count of even middle of the pack SA grads going to schools like Stanford, Wharton, Harvard, MIT, etc...
Thank you, hopefully, I will be one of those students.
 
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