Cumulative GPA vs Major GPA

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How much does having a lower total gpa hurt you in the graduate school application process? For example, my overall gpa is a 3.7 but I've been getting all A's in my math/physics classes so my major gpa is a 4.0
 

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  • #2
Vanadium 50
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How much does having a lower total gpa hurt you in the graduate school application process?
Six.

Major GPA says something about how much physics you know.
Non-major GPA says something about what else you know. It also says something about how hard you will work at something that is not immediately what you are interested in.
 
  • #3
symbolipoint
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Six.

Major GPA says something about how much physics you know.
Non-major GPA says something about what else you know. It also says something about how hard you will work at something that is not immediately what you are interested in.
Great! Do the graduate programs look into the differences in more detail? Grades are for three or more/so categories: Major Field, Courses in support of or in association for a chosen major field, and then General Education courses. Might not be so important but thought the finer question be good to know.
 
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Do you mean "what will they think of that C in Art History"? Depends on who's on the committee. There certainly isn't some sort of universal formula.
 
  • #5
Dr. Courtney
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Different committee members value things differently.

I'd never tell a student, "Don't worry about a 3.7 as long as all the Bs and Cs are in non major courses."

Odds are good in a lot of cases a 3.7 cumulative GPA instead of a 4.0 GPA will lower the tier of grad schools to which one is admitted (other factors being equal).
 

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