How important is GPA?

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How important is GPA?

Post by wentrbjdr » Thu May 14, 2009 1:05 am

I was looking at graduate school statistics tonight, and one has the following line:
"If your scores fall below the guidelines stated below, it is unlikely your application will be considered competitive."

Then it lists a bunch of scores (GRE/PGRE) and then says:
"Average GPA (US): approximately 3.80"

Just how bad would a GPA of between 3.66 and 3.7 (both overall and math/physics) be? (I do have a 4.0 in 40 some credits of CS classes though, if that helps?) My school is not famous. The only things really hurting me are my second semester sophomore year and first semester junior year (in which I didn't take and math or physics, but only averaged a 3.33).

I've got all the standardized test scores down, it's just my gpa that might be holding me back.

How much does the gpa count?

Sorry for the silly personalized question, the stress is just getting to me now...

Also, how big of a deal is a "B" in Differential Equations? I mean, I can solve them, I was just lazy on the stupidly easy homework assignments and didn't do them...

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Re: How important is GPA?

Post by shetanak13 » Sat May 16, 2009 1:30 pm

It depends on the which schools you want to apply to. Top 20 schools probably follow that statistic, but I wouldn't say they all do for sure.
It seems like you have a pretty good profile all around (if your gre/pgre scores are as good as you imply). GPA isn't everything, honestly. As long as you have shown the school that you can do well in physics courses overall, I think you'll be fine. They're not going to pinpoint a single grade you got and mark you down for that.

To ease your mind a little more, I had below a 3.0 GPA and I got into a Top 25 school. This shows that they don't care about your GPA only.

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Re: How important is GPA?

Post by cato88 » Sat May 16, 2009 5:03 pm

The average GPA at UCLA is ~3.7 if that makes you feel better. I would not go as far as to say low 3 wouldnt be a deal breaker unless you have an above average PGRE and GRE. I think shetenak story is more about the value of pull from professors in certain departments because otherwise I cannot explain how below average GPA+no PGRE scores = Top 25 School.

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Re: How important is GPA?

Post by Peter » Sat May 16, 2009 7:18 pm

No offence, but shetanak13 was rejected from almost everywhere and she should feel extremely lucky that Minnesota accepted her. It would not count on getting in anywhere with a sub 3.0 GPA. A decent GPA (3.5 ish) supplemented with good scores and research experience should be enough.

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Re: How important is GPA?

Post by bdole1029 » Tue May 19, 2009 10:24 am

Related Question:
I'm in about the same boat as the OP, however:
My physics GPA is around a 3.8
My math GPA is 3.38, to be exact...

Is that a deal breaker???
I can do math! My classes are just soooo easy that I don't try and the teacher takes off huge (and frankly, ridiculuous) numbers of points for tiny little errors. Forget a - sign in one step, lose 40% of the points on a problem (even if you have the final answer right), forget "+..." to show a series is infinite, lose another 20%. I once did a question completely wrong and got the same number of points as a friend who got it completely right but forgot the "+..." We get the same lousy teacher for every class it seems and he gave me a "B" in Differential Equations and a "B+/A-" (we have just one grade between A and B, not two) in our last class in Fourier analysis... I'm really, really panicked about this right now! Thanks!

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Re: How important is GPA?

Post by cato88 » Tue May 19, 2009 7:28 pm

Did you really need to ask. As stated the average incoming GPA for UCLA is 3.7. Assuming you have taken more physics classes than math than youre (math/physics) GPA is closer to 3.8 probably around 3.65 which is logically within a standard deviation of the average since GPA goes up to a 4.0.

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