Whenyou graduated college, you were probably relieved that GPAs were finallyover and done with — alas, that’s not the case if you’re applying to grad school. While there’s no overall minimum GPA forgrad school,it can be tough to into grad school without stellar grades,no matter how passionate you are about your chosen field. Still, it’s not impossible!
Come with me as we investigate the GPA needed for grad school and why GPA is such an important part of your grad school application. We’ll also teach you howto search for GPA expectations by program and give you tips on what you can do to make up for a low GPA.
Feature Image:Blondinrikard Fröberg/Flickr, resized from original
What Is a Good GPA for Grad School Overall?
Aside from a 4.0 (which all grad schools love), what else is considered a goodGPA for grad school? Unfortunately,there isn’t a precise answer because the exact GPA needed for grad school depends on the program you’re applying to. While someprograms are OK with2.5 or 3.0 GPAs, others balk at anything lower than a 3.5! As you can see, grad schoolGPA expectations can vary widely among programs, just like those for GRE scores.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t any major trends, though. Unlike undergrad admissions, it’s very common for grad schools to have specific GPA cutoffs. A GPA cutoff isthelowest GPA you can have in order to be considered for admission.And based on our research, one of the most common grad school GPA minimums is a 3.0, or a B average.
For example, theUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison and UCLAbothrequire a minimum 3.0 GPA (for the junior and senior years) for admission into any grad program attheir respective schools. While individual programs can vary in their GPA expectations, many grad schools possessschool-wide GPA minimums.
On the other hand, some schoolsare a little more lenient withwhat GPAs they’ll accept —provided applicants can make up for their deficiencies in other ways. One example isNorth Carolina State University, which states, “Provisional admission may be granted to students with related bachelor’s degrees from accredited institutions whose scholastic records are below the standards for admission.” In this case, applicants who don’t meet GPA requirements canstill apply but will consequently face higher scrutiny as grad students if accepted.
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Lastly, some schoolsdon’t have GPA cutoffs at all. And this isn’t limited to smaller, less competitive schools, either; even prestigious schools, such as Stanford’s Graduate School of Education,don’t always have minimum GPAs for their programs. Instead, they’ll review all applications, regardless of GPA! Pretty neat,eh?
Tosummarize what we’ve learned so far,a 3.0 or higher is an overall solid GPA for grad school. But will you always need exactly a 3.0? And what kinds of factors affect grad schools’ GPA expectations anyway?
WhatDetermines a Grad Program’s GPA Expectations?
Whether or not your GPA is good enough for a particular grad program depends on the following three factors:
- The competitiveness of theprogram you’re applying to
- The type of degree you’re seeking
- The field you’re entering
Below, I explain each of these factors using examples of real-life grad programs.
First, let’stake a look at competitiveness. While a majority of grad schools require aminimum 3.0 GPA, others, mainly less competitive ones, accept GPAs in the 2.0s. For example, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette requires a GPA of at least 2.75. Even lower GPA minimums, such as the 2.5 GPA requiredfor West Texas A&M University’s master’s program in interdisciplinary studies, arerelatively rare but do exist.
On the flip side, more competitive programs typically require GPAs higher than the basic 3.0 minimum.Purdue’s doctoral program in mechanical engineering, for example, strongly recommends a minimum3.2 GPA. Generally, any grad programs at extremely prestigious institutions, such as Harvard or MIT, will have some of the highest GPA expectations, often 3.5+.
Master’s or Ph.D.
Graduate schoolGPA expectationsalso depends on whether you’re applying to amaster’s or doctoral program. Typically,master’s programs accept lower GPAs than doctoral programs.
For example, at Illinois State University, the minimum GPA required for admission is 2.8 for master’s students and 3.0 for Ph.D. students. In commenting on this trend,USC’s Department of Psychologyhas stated,“Many master’s programs [in psychology] require a 3.0 GPA just to apply; many doctoral programs a 3.5 GPA.”
Clearly, it’s not atypical for grad programs to hold prospective doctoral students to higher standards than they do prospective master’s students.
Graduate Field of Study
In addition to competitiveness and degree type, your particular field of study can have an impact on how high your GPA needs to be for grad school.
Popular or lucrative grad fields, such as computer science, tend to command some of the highestGPA expectations, no matter the school or program. The University of Arizonarequires a minimum 3.2 for its master’s program in computer science. Meanwhile,Purdue’s master’s program in computer sciencerequires a minimum 3.5 GPA, andStanford’s doctoral programexpects at leasta 3.6!
All of these GPA expectations are higher than the general 3.0 minimum, which is likely due to the fact computer science is so popular (and thus competitive) these days. In 2016,computer science was named one of the bestgrad degreesfor securing jobs.
Why Is a Good GPA Important for Grad School?
Another question you probably have is, why are GPAs so important for grad school admissions? Undergrad GPAs provide one of the most objective senses ofhow you are capable of performing at the university leveland how muchacademic potential you have. Becausemost grad programs require students to maintain a certain GPA (whether to satisfy program or fellowship requirements), it’s critical you prove — via your undergrad transcripts — your ability to earn consistently high grades.
GPAs also show grad schools how seriously you value your education and academia as a whole. Simply put, a high GPA emphasizes your preparedness for grad school in addition to your ongoing commitment to learning. (Likewise,a low GPA makes grad schools question why you feel you can succeed in grad school— an arguably much more difficult academic environment—if you struggled to find success as an undergrad.)
Furthermore, someschools value high GPAs because they are used to calculate school and program rankings. In short, high GPAs = high-quality students. And high-quality students, at the most basic level, indicate a high-quality program.(Of course, a program’s quality isn’t determined solely by the undergrad GPAs of its students; in reality,schools and programs are assigned rankings using rather complicated methodologies.)
But whatabout your major GPA? Do grad schools care about yourmajor GPA the same way they do yourcumulative GPA?
How Important Is Your Major GPA to Grad Schools?
How important your major GPA is depends on the particular program you’re applying to. While many programs request only your cumulative undergrad GPA, other programs will specifically ask you to supply your major GPA. Some programs mayeven state a specific major GPA they’re expecting applicants toapply with. These expected major GPAs are usuallymuch higher than theminimum GPA required for admission.
The good news is, if your cumulative GPA isn’t particularly high, an impressive major GPA might be able tomake up for the deficit, as it proves you have the skills necessary to succeed in your chosen field (assuming your major is the same as the field you’re entering).
On the other hand,if your major is unrelated to your chosen field of study, a major GPA isn’t really any more useful than a cumulative GPA. In this case, it’s best to stress the most relevant grades you have. For example, if you were a biology undergrad who is now applying for an M.F.A. in creative writing, bring attention to all of thehigh marks you received in any English literature or creative writing courses you took as an undergrad.
4 Simple Steps for Finding GPA Info for Grad Schools
Although you’re probably tempted to dive right into your grad school applications, take a little time to first research the GPA expectations of your programs. This way, you can weed out any programs you’re clearly unqualified for and get a sense forwhich ones you’ll need to work extra hard in order to prove you’re a worthy candidate.
To findthe GPA expectations of your grad programs, follow my shortstep-by-step guide below.
Step 1: Make a Table
Begin by organizingall of your information into a simple table. In the leftmost column, fill in thenames of each school you’re applying to or thinking of applying to. Then, across the top of the table, write “School,” “Minimum GPA,” “Major GPA,” “Average GPA,” and “Notes.” Finally, recordyour undergrad GPA somewhere at the bottom (preferably, both your cumulative GPA and major GPA, if available).
Let’s look at an example. Ava majored in English, earning a 3.4 cumulative GPA and a 3.7 major GPA. Now, she wants to get a doctorate in English literature; however, she has no idea how her GPA stacks up against the GPA expectations ofthe programs she’s applying to.
Here’show Ava would fill out her table:
|School||Minimum GPA||Major GPA||Average GPA||Notes|
|University of Chicago|
|My GPA: 3.4 | My Major GPA: 3.7|
Step 2: Check School Websites
The simplest way to dig for information on your programs’ GPA expectations is to peruse your schools’websites. As you do so, pay particular attention to FAQ and admissions requirements pages. If you’re not sure where to look online, you can also try searching for“[Your School] [Your Program] GPA.”
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But exactly what kind of information are you hunting for? Basically,anything related toundergrad GPAs. Online, GPA expectations are typically offered inone of three ways:
- Minimum GPA: the lowest GPA with which you can apply to a program; usually required (or strongly recommended) for admission
- Major GPA: the recommended GPA for your major field (if the field you’re entering is the same as the one you majored in); usually higher than the minimum GPA
- Average GPA: the average GPA of incoming students; usually higher than the minimum GPA
Not all schools present information in the same wayand very rarely dothey list all of the types of GPA expectationsdescribed above. That said, a majority of schools should clearly state whether they have a minimum GPA requirement for prospective grad students.
Minimum GPA requirements are almost always set in stone. So if the minimum GPA for a school is 3.0 and you have a 2.95, you will not be considered for admission (unless, of course, you convince the school to make an exception for you). As previously stated, some schools areless strict about GPA requirements than others, but in the end a low GPA will still pose achallenge to getting accepted.
Let’s return to Ava for a moment. While looking at the webpage forOhio State’s English program, she discovers there is a 3.0 minimum GPA requirement for the grad school. She continues reading until she hits the followingsentence: “Normally, applicants [to the English doctoral program] should have a GPA of at least 3.4 overall and 3.6 in English courses.” In other words, 3.0 is a required minimum (for the grad school), 3.4 is a strongly recommended minimum (for the program), and 3.6 is a strongly recommended major GPA.
Ava writes down what she’s found:
|School||Minimum GPA||Major GPA||Average GPA||Notes|
|Ohio State||3.0 (school)|
|University of Chicago|
|My GPA: 3.4 | My Major GPA: 3.7|
Next, Ava shifts her attention to USC. USC’s English literature programdoesn’t have any GPA minimums or major GPA expectations, but the grad school requires all applicants to have at least a 3.0 GPA.
Ava then looks upUC Berkeley’s English program. This grad school, too, requires a minimum 3.0 GPA. In addition, its Englishdoctoral program boasts an average GPA of 3.85. Ava records all of this in her table:
|School||Minimum GPA||Major GPA||Average GPA||Notes|
|Ohio State||3.0 (school)|
|UC Berkeley||3.0 (school)||N/A||3.85|
|University of Chicago|
|My GPA: 3.4 | My Major GPA: 3.7|
Unfortunately, Ava is struggling to find GPA information for the University of Chicago. After doing a little research, she encounters a short passage concerning GPA on the university’s English department webpage:“The Admissions Committee does not have specific cutoff levels for GRE scores and GPAs.” As there are no specific GPA expectations, Ava must now take an additional step and start conducting some research on the competitiveness of her programs.
Step 3: Compare Program Competitiveness
If aprogram you’re applying to offers little or noconcrete GPA information, it’s time tocompare thecompetitiveness of your programs. I recommend starting withU.S. News,a helpful and robust resource with loads of information on grad programs and their rankings.
Here’s what you’ll do, in order:
- Find a list comparing all major grad programs in your field. Try to find something no older than five years.
- Pinpointall of your programs on the list and record each of their rankings in the “Notes” column on your table.
- Use the information you’ve found to estimate how high of a GPA you’ll need for the unknown program(s).
As we’re aware, Ava is struggling to find GPA information for the University of Chicago’s English doctoral program. She decides to look up English program rankings on U.S. News. Right away, she locatesthis 2017 list of the top English graduate programs (note that the list does not differentiate between master’s and doctoral programs).
According to this list, UC Berkeley andthe University of Chicago are tied at#1, Ohio State is ranked #30, and USC is ranked #33. Because the University of Chicago is one of the mosthighly ranked English programs, Ava can therefore assume its GPA expectations are similar to those for UC Berkeley (and, likewise, more difficult than those for Ohio State and USC).
Ava returns to her table and records her programs’ rankings in the “Notes” column. She then records estimated GPA expectations for the University of Chicago using the rankings she’s found and the GPA information she wrote down earlier for Ohio State and UC Berkeley:
|School||Minimum GPA||Major GPA||Average GPA||Notes|
|Ohio State||3.0 (school)|
|USC||3.0 (school)||N/A||N/A||Ranked #33|
|UC Berkeley||3.0 (school)||N/A||3.85||Ranked #1|
|University of Chicago||None||>3.6 (estimated)||3.85 (estimated)||Ranked #1|
|My GPA: 3.4 | My Major GPA: 3.7|
Step 4: Determine Which Grad Schools Are Accessible
Now,you have a clear sense of which schools you can apply to and which will bemore challenging to get into than others.
Ava’s 3.4 GPA is noticeably higher than the GPA cutoffs for all of her schools, so she shouldn’t have any problem getting her grad applications looked at; however, her chance at getting accepted varies depending on the program.
Her 3.4 GPA and 3.7 major GPA are both high enough for Ohio State’s English program and likely good enough for USC, too. On the other hand, a 3.4 GPA is markedly lower than the average GPA of current English doctoral students at UC Berkeley and (most likely) the University of Chicago. As a result, Ava will probably have a much smaller shot at getting admitted to these two schools than she will Ohio State or USC.
A table based on GPA alone can’t say for certain where you’ll get accepted, though. In reality, we can’t predict what programs will think of certain applicants.But through the simple process described above, you should beable to develop aclear idea of which schools you can apply to as well as which ones you’ll have to work extra hard for in order to stand out.
But what if your GPA isn’t high enough for any of your programs? The battle’s not over, I promise! Read on for the steps can you take to maximize your chance at getting acceptedinto grad school — even when your GPA just isn’t cutting it.
How to Make Up for a Low GPA: 6 Options
Let’s get something out of the way, first:a low GPA doesn’t always mean you’ll get rejected. Ifyour GPA is significantly lower than a school’s minimum, then, yes, you’re highly unlikely to get accepted. But if you can make a compelling case for yourself, or if your GPA is only slightly lower than a program’s GPA expectations, an admissions committeemight be willing to make an exception for you. So whatever you do, don’t freak out — it’s not totally impossible to get into grad school with a low GPA!
Besides GPA, though, what other factors and materials can prove you’re truly ready for grad school? Answer:a ridiculously strong application. Here are our top tips for putting together a fantasticgrad school application —even if you have a low GPA.
#1: Get a High GRE Score
Many grad programs consider GRE scores to be one of the most accurate indicators of your ability to study (and therefore comprehend) grad-level material. If you can score highly on every part of the GRE (or, at the very least, on the section more relevant to your field of study), your application will certainly stand apartfrom others!
In order to perform well on the GRE, you must firstunderstand what constitutes a good GRE scoreoverall. For specific sectional scores, refer to our guides on how to set a goal score for the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections.
Furthermore, be sure you know how tostudy efficiently for the GRE. Quick tips for studying includeusing high-quality GRE prep books and taking as many practice testsas possibleto hone your test-taking skills. And if your score isn’t high enough, there’s absolutely zero shame inretaking the GRE!
All of this goes forGRE subject tests, too. If your programs require a GRE subject test, study as diligently and as often as you can so you can approach test day confident you’ll receive an excellent score. If you want to get an idea of how high to aim,take a look at the current GRE subject test percentiles.
#2: Discuss GPA in Your Statement of Purpose
Applicants with below-average GPAs are usually expected to discuss their grades in their statements of purpose. Don’t think of this essay as a time to make excuses but rather as an opportunityto explain why you received poor gradesand how you intend to make up for the low GPA as a grad student.
Whatever you do, don’t lie! Even if you’re embarrassed by your GPA or the reasons behind it,be as honest and as humble as you can be. Above all, emphasizeyour commitment to the program and your chosen field of study. How will this program ultimately assist you in reaching your academic and professional goals? Whatcan you bring to this program that other applicants can’t?
Oh, and don’t forget toshow off your exceptional writing skills!Typos and awkward grammar are a sure-fire path to rejection, but eloquence and cogency will place you in a brand-new light.
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#3: Secure Quality Letters of Recommendation
Another step you should take is to secure excellent letters of recommendation. Most of the time, these letters should be from (former)professors; however, you can also request letters from employers, mentors, or coworkers who can write about youracademic interests, work ethic, and overall commitment to the field you’re trying to enter.
While you won’t be able to seethe letters your recommenders write for you, you can make sure the letters they compose are high quality. To do so, only chooserecommenders with whom you have positive, professional, and memorable relationships. Don’t just opt for the professor who gave you an A your sophomore year; carefully select people who can speak honestly and enthusiasticallyabout your abilities.
#4: Reach Out to Professors
Contacting professors of the program you’re applying to is a great way to establish connections and ask questions about the application process.
When contacting a professor directly, always take the time to introduce yourself first, explaining why you’re interested in the program and why you’re contacting this professor specifically. Then, explain why you’re worried your low GPA isn’t high enough for the program. At this point, feel free to ask directly if the program has ever accepted applicants with similar GPAs or if there is anything you should include in your application to make up for the deficit.
Remember, professors are busy people and not all are open to divulging admissions information,so don’t expect a step-by-step guide on what you must do. Just be courteous and genuinely enthusiastic about the program and you’re sure to get some help!
#5: Get Experience in Your Field
Not everyone has the time or money to do this, but getting a little work or research experience in your fieldcan give a humongous boost to your application. Most, if not all, of the time, a relevant professional background is a big plus to grad schools, as it demonstrates your dedication and overall zeal for the field on a career-driven level.
If you’ve conducted research in your field as part of your undergraduate career, you can compensate for a lower GPA, especially if you created notable research findings or published papers.
You don’t need to have years and years of experience, either — just enough to prove the field is an important part of your life. If you can’t find any paid positions or prefersomething more short term, opt for (unpaid) internships.
#6: Take Open-EnrollmentCourses
Ifyou have a semester or two to spare before grad school applications are due, consider registering for individual courses at a local university. This is an excellent opportunity for you to showcase your commitment to studying the field. It also shows your ability to handlea college workload and perform well in an academic environment.
If your undergrad major is different fromthe field you want to enter, taking classes in the field is aconvenient wayfor you to acquire some of the basic knowledge you’ll be expected to have for grad school.
Recap: What Is a Good GPA for Grad School?
The most common GPA needed for grad school is 3.0, though exact grad school GPA expectations can vary a lot by program. Some schools do set strictcutoff GPAs, which generally range between 2.5 and 3.5, but you may be able toapply (and potentially get accepted!) even with a lower GPA.
To determine what asolidGPA for grad school is, we must look at the following three factors:
- How competitive a program is
- What degree you’re seeking (master’s or doctorate)
- How important GPA is to a program
StrongGPAs are important to grad schools because they emphasize your dedication to academia and your chosen field of study. GPAs also provide schools with a clear idea of how well you’re likely to perform at a more demanding educational level.
Occasionally, grad programs may want to seeyourmajor GPA, but the importance of a majorGPA varies depending on the program and what you majored in.
Not all schools require a certain GPA for grad school applicants, but if you’d like to figure out what your programs’ GPA expectations are, follow these steps:
- Make a table for organizing what you find
- Search for GPA information on school websites
- Compare the competitiveness of your programs
Worried your GPA is too low for graduate school? Here are some tips you can use to increase your chance at getting accepted:
- Score highly on the GRE (both general and subject test, if required)
- Open up about your low GPA in your statement of purpose
- Secure qualityletters of recommendation, preferably from former professors who know you well
- Contact professors
- Get some practical experience in your field
- Take individual courses in your field
In the end, don’t spend too much time worrying about graduate school GPA expectations. If you’ve got a high GPA, great! But getting into grad school with a low GPA isn’t impossible, either — it justtakes a little moreelbow grease.
Withthat, I wish you the best of luck on your grad school applications!
Confused about grad school?Readour article on what grad school is and what it can offer youto learn about the differences between a master’s degree and a Ph.D.
Wondering if youshould take the GRE? Our detailed guide answers all of your questionsabout getting into grad school —with or without GRE scores!
Got questions about the GRE? Check out our comprehensive GRE FAQ, and get information onhow the GRE is formatted and what it tests you on!
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Author: Hannah Muniz
Hannah graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in English and East Asian languages and cultures. After graduation, she taught English in Japan for two years via the JET Program. She is passionate about education, writing, and travel. View all posts by Hannah Muniz
The most common GPA needed for grad school is 3.0, though exact grad school GPA expectations can vary a lot by program. Some schools do set strict cutoff GPAs, which generally range between 2.5 and 3.5, but you may be able to apply (and potentially get accepted!) even with a lower GPA.Is 3.7 a good GPA in masters? ›
Yes, a 3.7 is typically considered a strong GPA for grad school admissions.Is a 3.5 GPA good enough for grad school? ›
A 3.5 GPA for grad school is generally considered to be competitive for grad school, but it may not be regarded as high enough for more competitive programs. Some programs may have higher GPA requirements, while others may place more emphasis on other factors such as research experience or letters of recommendation.What GPA is good enough for grad school? ›
Most top-ranked graduate programs typically prefer a GPA of 3.5 or better. Exceptions to this rule occur, of course, but many students give up their quest to attend graduate school due to a low (3.0 or less) GPA.Is a 3.37 GPA good for grad school? ›
Many grad programs require a minimum GPA of 3.0, while top-tier programs often prefer at least a 3.5 GPA.Is 3.7 GPA good enough for Harvard grad school? ›
Harvard does not have a minimum GPA requirement. However, Harvard is highly competitive, so it may be challenging to get in with a 3.7 GPA. The average GPA for entering Harvard students is 3.9.Is 3.5 a good GPA for PHD program? ›
With GPA, it is recommended that students have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA and around a 3.5 discipline-specific GPA to remain competitive for Ph. D.Is GRE or GPA more important? ›
GPA shows the academic accomplishment that you achieved during your study. It's more thoughtful and used in most admissions, while GRE is considered a test that can be taken numerous times. Both GRE and GPA have a deep impact on your application process to abroad universities.Can I get into Stanford grad school with a 3.5 GPA? ›
There is no minimum GPA or test score, nor is there any specific number of AP or honors courses you must have on your transcript in order to have your application reviewed or be admitted to Stanford.Can I get into MIT grad school with a 3.6 GPA? ›
MIT has high standards for academic achievement, and a strong GPA is one way to demonstrate your readiness for their rigorous coursework. Although there is no minimum GPA requirement for admission, competitive students have a GPA of 3.5 or above and mostly A's in math and science courses.
A 3.8 GPA is a very strong GPA. Admissions committees consider your GPA and your full application when making their decisions. They look at your test scores, extracurricular activities, recommendations, and essays. A 3.8 GPA may make you a competitive candidate.What is a mediocre GPA for grad school? ›
It is often recommended by admissions officers and hiring staff that you don't include your GPA in your resume for graduate school or job applications if it is less than 3.5. GPA requirements for masters programs vary by school and department, but most programs require a GPA of at least 3.0 -- or a B average.Do employers care about grad school GPA? ›
In business, the GPA might be part of the picture, along with the real-world experience you gained through internships or jobs during your studies. And, as with everything, it's who you know as well as what you know. Back to the short answer: Yes, GPAs matter.Can I get into NYU with a 3.3 GPA? ›
GPAs and credits required vary between NYU's programs. At minimum, you must have 60 transferable credits and a 3.0 GPA.
Academic record: Students should have a GPA of 3.5 or higher, and should have excellent analytic and communication skills.What GPA do you need for Harvard grad school? ›
Earn the required cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 (equivalent to a grade of B) or higher from all Harvard courses. If you haven't earned at least a B in all of your Harvard courses, use our GPA Estimator tool to determine your GPA.Can I get into MIT grad school with a 3.7 GPA? ›
Aim high. Even though there are no official MIT GPA requirements, you should aim for a 4.17 weighted GPA. If you're already a junior or senior figuring out how to get into MIT and your GPA is lower than 4.17, know that scores close to the average MIT SAT scores or ACT scores can counterbalance a lower GPA.Do Ivy Leagues accept 3.7 GPA? ›
Yes, you can get into an Ivy League with a 3.7 GPA. Though, the lower your grade, the less your chances of getting into an Ivy League, but with a strong personal statement and a properly packaged application, you can get in with a grade even less than 3.7 GPA.Can I get into NYU grad school with a 3.7 GPA? ›
An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better is required for admission. Letters of Recommendation, a Statement of Purpose, and a professional resume are also required from all applicants seeking admission to any graduate program.
Q: What is your GPA requirement? A: Typically GPA's are at least 3.6 (on a 4.0 scale) for Ph. D. applicants and 3.5 for MS applicants.
Ivy League Grad School GPA Requirements
While each Ivy League school will have its specific requirements, generally, a GPA of 3.5 or above is considered competitive for graduate programs. However, this can vary based on the specific program and department within each school.
Although actual requirements vary, most graduate admissions committees typically expect applicants to have GPAs from 3.0–3.3 for master's programs and from 3.3–3.5 for doctoral programs. That being said, not all GPAs are weighed equally.Does GRE outweigh GPA? ›
High GRE Scores
If you diligently plan, study, and then kick butt at the GRE, a high score could help offset a low GPA. This aptitude test helps measure your readiness for graduate school. A high score may even do more than your GPA to communicate your capability as a graduate student.
The Importance of Percentiles
Grad school admissions officers sometimes care as much about a candidate's GRE percentiles, meaning the percent of fellow test-takers who the candidate outperformed on each section of the exam, as they do about actual GRE scores.
It is clear that the GRE is not required as a measure of likely graduate school success, and ETS never says that it is. Many schools do not require the test. Some studies suggest that undergraduate GPA is a better predictor of graduate achievement than GRE (Monahan).Can I get into Stanford with a 3.3 GPA for masters? ›
GPA. Stanford University is a holistic institution with no GPA or standardized course requirements. But the estimated average high-school required GPA is around 4.18. The chances are 3.75, plus, good; 3.5-3.75, average plus; 3.25-3.5 average minus; 3-3.24, possible; and below 3, low.Is a 3.8 GPA good for Stanford grad school? ›
Most grad schools would require a minimum GPA of 3.0, but lower-ranked universities might accept students with 2.5+ GPAs as well. On the other end, elite colleges such as Harvard, Stanford, and MIT have high GPA expectations (3.5+ minimum, with average GPAs often as high as 3.8).What is the minimum GPA for Stanford PhD? ›
We do not have a minimum GPA requirement for applicants to the PhD program, but GPAs of at least 3.5 are strongly recommended.What is the lowest accepted GPA for MIT? ›
There is no minimum required GPA, but competitive applicants generally have a GPA of 3.5 or above, and mostly A's in mathematics and science courses. Testing must be completed by the October test date for spring (February) entry and by the March test date for fall (September) entry.What is the lowest GPA for MIT? ›
An MIT undergraduate must achieve all of the following academic standards to qualify and maintain federal student financial assistance: Have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least a C (3.0 on MIT's 5.0 scale)
MIT does not have a strict minimum GPA requirement for undergraduate admissions. However, admitted students typically have very high GPAs, ranging from 3.9 to 4.0, with an average GPA of 3.96.
However, for college applicants, the average GPA is more likely between 3.5 and 4.0. If you're aiming for a top university such as one in the Ivy League, Stanford, MIT, or others of the same caliber, a 4.0 GPA — or close to it — is expected.Can I get into Yale with a 3.8 GPA? ›
Yale University does not have a strict minimum GPA requirement for undergraduate admissions. However, admitted students typically have very high GPAs, ranging from 3.8 to 4.0, with an average GPA of 3.9.How common is a 3.8 GPA? ›
A 3.8 GPA, or Grade Point Average, is equivalent to an A- letter grade on a 4.0 GPA scale. This means is equivalent to a 90-92%. The national average GPA is 3.0 which means a 3.8 is far above average. Because a 3.8 is already so high it can be hard to raise, but with hard work and dedication it is possible!Is 3.4 a good GPA in Masters? ›
The average GPA needed to qualify for most graduate programs is somewhere between 2.5 and 3.5. A GPA of 3.0 is the most common minimum GPA required. It really does depend on the college and the program you are applying to. Some colleges require higher GPAs than others.Is a 3.9 GPA in grad school good? ›
A 3.9 GPA stands for a Grade Point Average of 3.9 on a 4.0 scale. It indicates that you've earned a predominantly A average in your courses. A 3.9 GPA is considered a very good GPA and is an indicator of strong academic performance.What is a low GPA for Masters? ›
Many grad programs call for a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. However, some programs may admit you with a GPA of 2.5 or even 2.0. Online graduate programs with low GPA requirements give you a chance to continue your education even if you didn't do great in undergrad.Should I put my grad school GPA on my resume? ›
You should include your GPA in the education section of your resume, listing that information as close to your degree as possible. It's crucial that you include the accurate number rather than adjust your GPA in the hopes that it will garner more attention.What is the average GPA in America? ›
The average high school GPA in the US is 3.0, which also accounts for roughly 35% of students who don't end up applying for college. However, for college applicants, the average GPA is more likely between 3.5 and 4.0.Will one D ruin my GPA in college? ›
If you have one bad grade, a D , most colleges will allow you to re-take the class ( especially if below a C, since D isn't passing for grad school standards). The D still shows on your transcript but it isn't averaged into your GPA.
None of the Ivy League schools have a minimum GPA requirement for applications, which means anyone can apply regardless of their GPA. However, due to how competitive and selective the admission process is, whether or not you'll get an offer of admission is an entirely different story.Is 3.3 A good GPA for Ivy League? ›
If you're wondering whether a 3.3 GPA is good or not, the answer is it depends on the colleges in consideration. A grade point average of 3.3 is significantly higher than the national average of 3.0, but it's considered low for top tier schools such as the Ivy Leagues.Does Harvard accept 3.3 GPA? ›
1. What's the lowest GPA Harvard accepted? Answer- Harvard requires a 4.18 to get in. However, they may accept some with a 4.0 as well.What is the easiest Ivy League school to get into? ›
Cornell is considered the "easiest" Ivy League to get into because it has the highest Ivy League acceptance rate. While it's easier, statistically speaking, to get into Cornell, it's still challenging. It's also important to remember that students apply directly to one of Cornell's eight undergraduate colleges.Can I raise my GPA from 3.3 to 3.8 in 2 years? ›
To estimate your future GPA, we would need to know the number of courses you've already taken and the number of courses you are planning to take in these five semesters. Yes; it is possible.Do Ivy Leagues accept 3.5 GPA? ›
It may be difficult to get into an Ivy League school with a 3.5 GPA. Most Ivy League schools require that applicants have an average GPA of 4.0.What is the lowest GPA Harvard has accepted? ›
You should also have a 4.18 GPA or higher. If your GPA is lower than this, you need to compensate with a higher SAT/ACT score. For a school as selective as Harvard, you'll also need to impress them with the rest of your application.What is the average GPA for MIT? ›
Average GPA: 4.17
The average GPA at MIT is 4.17. This makes MIT Extremely Competitive for GPAs. (Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.
Graduate Admissions Data (Fall 2022)
For enrolled students across all PhD and masters programs, the average undergraduate GPA was ~3.8 (on a 4.0 scale).
It is often recommended by admissions officers and hiring staff that you don't include your GPA in your resume for graduate school or job applications if it is less than 3.5. GPA requirements for masters programs vary by school and department, but most programs require a GPA of at least 3.0 -- or a B average.
Summa cum laude: 3.9-4.0 GPA. Magna cum laude: 3.7-3.8 GPA. Cum laude: 3.5-3.6 GPA.How impressive is a 3.7 GPA? ›
A 3.7 GPA stands for a Grade Point Average of 3.7 on a 4.0 scale. It indicates that you've earned a predominantly A- average in your courses. A 3.7 GPA is considered to be a very good GPA and is often an indicator of strong academic performance.What letter grade is a 3.7 GPA in grad school? ›
A 3.7 GPA is equivalent to 92% or an A- letter grade. The national average GPA is 3.0 which means a 3.7 is well above average.Can I get into Yale with a 3.67 GPA? ›
There is not much of a way to get around the fact that you need an unweighted grade point average of nearly 4.0 in order to pass Yale's admissions process and as part of Yale GPA and SAT requirements.Can I get into an Ivy League grad school with a 3.7 GPA? ›
Yes, you can get into an Ivy League with a 3.7 GPA. Though, the lower your grade, the less your chances of getting into an Ivy League, but with a strong personal statement and a properly packaged application, you can get in with a grade even less than 3.7 GPA.What is the minimum GPA for Masters in Harvard? ›
Earn the required cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 (equivalent to a grade of B) or higher from all Harvard courses. If you haven't earned at least a B in all of your Harvard courses, use our GPA Estimator tool to determine your GPA.Is a 3.7 GPA a honor roll? ›
Honor Roll GPA must equal a 3.30 or higher • High Honor Roll GPA must equal a 3.7 or higher • When calculating the Honor Roll GPA use the chart below and average out all letter grades.Is 3.8 A good GPA in Masters? ›
A 3.8 GPA is a very strong GPA. Admissions committees consider your GPA and your full application when making their decisions. They look at your test scores, extracurricular activities, recommendations, and essays. A 3.8 GPA may make you a competitive candidate.Can I get into Stanford with a 3.7 GPA? ›
There is no minimum GPA or test score, nor is there any specific number of AP or honors courses you must have on your transcript in order to have your application reviewed or be admitted to Stanford.Can I get into Yale with a 3.7 GPA? ›
You should also have a 4.14 GPA or higher. If your GPA is lower than this, you need to compensate with a higher SAT/ACT score. For a school as selective as Yale, you'll also need to impress them with the rest of your application.
Selection decisions (both on-campus and at the national level) are based on the following criteria: Academic record: Students should have a GPA of 3.5 or higher, and should have excellent analytic and communication skills.Is a 3.8 GPA bad for grad school? ›
Most grad schools would require a minimum GPA of 3.0, but lower-ranked universities might accept students with 2.5+ GPAs as well. On the other end, elite colleges such as Harvard, Stanford, and MIT have high GPA expectations (3.5+ minimum, with average GPAs often as high as 3.8).Is 3.6 A good GPA in masters? ›
Many graduate programs require at least a 3.0 GPA (B average) to maintain a good status and not be put on probation. So that might be your goal.What is the average GPA for masters degree? ›
Although actual requirements vary, most graduate admissions committees typically expect applicants to have GPAs from 3.0–3.3 for master's programs and from 3.3–3.5 for doctoral programs. That being said, not all GPAs are weighed equally.