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Impact of B on graduate applications to top schools
Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:09 pm
How much does a single B (or a few B's) affect chances at a top school (say, top 10) for an otherwise great application?
Re: Impact of B on graduate applications to top schools
Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:17 am
It really depends on the context. But generally:
1) Upper level courses are weighted more heavily than first-year courses. A B in Quantum Mechanics is considered more of a red flag than a B in a first-year Introduction to Mechanics course. Some universities will separately calculate the GPA for your last two years.
2) Courses in your major are weighted more heavily than electives or "general education" requirements. They probably won't care if you got a B in English or Art History. The major GPA is just as important as the cumulative GPA, and a high major GPA can make up for a low cumulative GPA.
3) In general, GPA only matters insofar as you're well above the GPA minimum. A 3.8 would be just as competitive as a 3.9. The minimum for the top 10 schools usually isn't set in stone and depends on stats of the incoming applicants for that specific year, but it generally hovers around 3.5. Furthermore, unless your GPA is below a 3.0, a low-ish GPA can always be compensated by a high pGRE score, positive recommendation letters, or research experience.