Changing Majors and Failed Courses

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MrWaterhouse

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Changing Majors and Failed Courses

Postby MrWaterhouse » Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:33 am

I am currently a student at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, and have just recently changed my major from a Communications major to a History major. Based on the credits I have accumulated so far, I am enrolled as a junior, which is when I made the switch. The last term of being a registered Comm major I failed two classes but received an A in the other. Because of the nature of the courses and the requirements for the History major, the failed courses won't go towards my new major since they were specific to the Comm major, but will obviously stay on may transcript.

My major GPA is 3.8 and I have never failed any courses before. I have a history of severe ADD, and tried getting off of medication, but that was obviously a mistake. Keeping this in mind, I am wondering what these numbers will do for my prospects of getting into Law School. I feel far more comfortable in the History department and am certain that future terms will be infinitely better, but because of what I have researched I am stressed out about the two failed courses and what they will do to my chances during the application process in the future.

IExistedOnceBefore

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Re: Changing Majors and Failed Courses

Postby IExistedOnceBefore » Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:50 am

What is your cumulative GPA and why did you not withdraw from the classes when you realized you were heading for trouble?

MrWaterhouse

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Re: Changing Majors and Failed Courses

Postby MrWaterhouse » Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:01 am

IExistedOnceBefore wrote:What is your cumulative GPA and why did you not withdraw from the classes when you realized you were heading for trouble?

My apologies. My cummulative GPA is a 3.5.

As for withdrawals, for one of my courses instead of taking midterms and finals we wrote two papers in their places. For the first paper I received a grade, but there was a note hidden in the text that stated I failed to meet the format requirements and thus the paper was not recorded despite there being a grade written on my paper. I tried to get into contact with the professor and work with them to find a solution, but by the time I found the note mentioning my mistake, withdrawal deadlines had already passed, and the professor never allowed me to fix the one mistake keeping me from receiving the grade. For the second course, I became incredibly ill and had to miss several class sessions, which forced me to miss important deadlines and was unable to complete the requirements for the course. For this course I did complete and pass the midterm, but the things I missed once again occurred after withdrawal deadlines.

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rpupkin

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Re: Changing Majors and Failed Courses

Postby rpupkin » Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:03 am

Your major GPA doesn't matter. LSAC will calculate your GPA based on all of your courses. The LSAC GPA is the only GPA that the law schools care about.

If your current cumulative GPA is 3.5 as a junior, you're in decent shape. You can pull that up to or near 3.7 if you get mostly As from here on out.

As for your two failed courses, you can attach a short addendum to your law school applications that explains what happened—e.g., ADD, personal problems, whatever. But your explanation is unlikely to make a positive or negative difference, as the law schools only really care about your LSAC GPA.

In short, your two failed courses are bad insofar as they drag down your overall GPA, but they otherwise shouldn't be an issue for you.

jd21

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Re: Changing Majors and Failed Courses

Postby jd21 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:26 am

MrWaterhouse wrote:
IExistedOnceBefore wrote:What is your cumulative GPA and why did you not withdraw from the classes when you realized you were heading for trouble?

My apologies. My cummulative GPA is a 3.5.

As for withdrawals, for one of my courses instead of taking midterms and finals we wrote two papers in their places. For the first paper I received a grade, but there was a note hidden in the text that stated I failed to meet the format requirements and thus the paper was not recorded despite there being a grade written on my paper. I tried to get into contact with the professor and work with them to find a solution, but by the time I found the note mentioning my mistake, withdrawal deadlines had already passed, and the professor never allowed me to fix the one mistake keeping me from receiving the grade. For the second course, I became incredibly ill and had to miss several class sessions, which forced me to miss important deadlines and was unable to complete the requirements for the course. For this course I did complete and pass the midterm, but the things I missed once again occurred after withdrawal deadlines.



With your medical reasons for doing poorly you can try talking to the registrar or someone in that office about the possibility of a retroactive a withdrawal or a medical withdrawal so that you don't have those failed classes on your record. I would go in person, with any medical documentation that you have, and see what they can do for you. The worst that can happen is you're in the same situation. Whether or not an addendum helps will depend on how well it is written in my opinion.

MrWaterhouse

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Re: Changing Majors and Failed Courses

Postby MrWaterhouse » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:02 am

I got into contact with the professor regarding the paper grade and it looks like I'll be set for that course after all. I still have a failure on record for the second class, but I am going to look into having a retroactive withdrawal. At least I won't have two failures, so that's some good news.



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