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Average GPA for grad school?

  1. Dec 22, 2006 #1
    I was wondering if anyone knew of a website that listed the average GPA of students accepted into specific grad schools and for specific majors?

    I ask because I am a Materials Science & Engineering major and I have a lot of lab experience and a couple publications, but GPA isn't anything special. I am not sure if I should work harder for my grades in the following years, or keep doing a lot of research and clubs and such.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 24, 2006 #2
    The only one i know from looking the past few weeks was University of Chicago said last year their admittance had averages of 860 (i think) on the GRE and a 3.7 in their PHYSICS coursework. So while I have a 3.5gpa, my physics classes averaged out to a 3.67 or something, which is acceptable (but my 640 on the gre is not... :) )

    But from looking around I haven't found anything liek that yet, though I would love it. Its mainly due to so many contributing factors (recommendations, research experience, gpa, gre, etc).
  4. Dec 24, 2006 #3
    US News has a lot of statistics:

    I actually bought the thing they have for 15 bucks when I was doing my school search. I don't really know if it helped or not because I ended up looking at every school's faculty research anyways. They actually have a column for GPA in the "admissions" section but I only checked a few schools and none of them had any reported averages. They have averages for GRE scores though.

    EDIT: I looked at more schools and some of them have GPA, I guess it just depends on whether the schools give them that info or not. Pretty sure you have to subscribe to get it though.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017
  5. Dec 24, 2006 #4
    hmm it might be that some schools put alot of weight into what school the gpa came from, so it may be that listing an average gpa wouldn't be that helpful.
  6. Dec 24, 2006 #5


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    Different departments give different weightage to GPAs. Data on average GPAs is hard to come by, and may not be entirely useful. My advice: if you've got publications already, then you've got the "research experience" column of your application more than sufficiently filled. You should now concentrate on making sure you maintain a "respectable" GPA. Besides your GPA, there's references and GRE scores to worry about.

    You typically get good reference letters from profs whose courses you've aced, and research advisors. It seems like you may have got the second category covered, so again, put more effort into coursework.

    If you can provide specifics of your GPA and research experience (with citations of publications) we may be able to provide more specific guidance.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2006
  7. Dec 24, 2006 #6
    Thanks a lot for the comments, particularly Gokul43201.

    I am only a freshman right now, so I still have plenty of time. Thanks for the advice though.
  8. Dec 24, 2006 #7
    how'd you manage to get all that experience in your freshman year?
  9. Dec 25, 2006 #8
    I got an internship over summer going into my senior year of high school. I did research junior and senior year on my own. I got out to a conference early senior year. I met some people who offered me a summer job for the following summer. I made collaborations while working on my own in high school. I met the professor at my current university at the conference I went to when I was in high school. So I had a job coming into my freshmen year.... Have been doing research in a lab since then... Got an REU for next summer due to my resume...
  10. Dec 25, 2006 #9

    Chris Hillman

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    Worried about GPA?

    GPA is probably not very important, but the admissions committee will of course expect strong grades (superlative, if from a less competitive school) in the subject area of their graduate program. In addition, they will probably want to see excellent subject GREs, a well written essay and other rough indications suggesting general intelligence. Lack in any of these can be trumped by a particularly impressive recommendation from a respected researcher in the field or an impressive prior accomplishment in the field.

    In any given year, it can be unpredictably hard or easy to get into a particular program, so you should apply to more than one. Many have observed that the quality of the incoming graduate class tends to vary wildly from year to year in most departments. I'd also recommend visiting a department you are seriously interested, if at all possible, since this gives you a chance to meet faculty who (if they are impressed) may put in a word on your behalf with the admissions committee.

    Did you say whether or not you are applying to an American program, and if so whether or not you are an American citizen? If so, note that 9/11 resulted in ill-considered changes which are generally considered to have degraded graduate education is science/math in the U.S. Basically, it seems that currently it may be harder to get into an American program if you are not an American citizen, and easier (maybe too easy) if you are. Less competition is not a good thing in the long run for anyone (including the graduate students themselves).
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2006
  11. Dec 29, 2006 #10
    Well I am American, going to UCLA, and will probably stay in American for grad school.
  12. Dec 29, 2006 #11

    Chris Hillman

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    Hi, alex,

    Well, UCLA would probably be regarded as fairly competitive for engineering majors. Assuming that you are applying to a leading program, since I take it you were concerned that your overall GPA or subject GRE might look "low", hopefully you did very well in some advanced courses and have at least one impressive recommendation from a well-known researcher who can compare your ability positively to your peers at UCLA (or something else which would tend to put you ahead of the pack).
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