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Filling in an application

  1. Dec 28, 2012 #1
    In physics, I know what is a total average. But the question is what is a Major average??
    Does it include Physics courses only? Or with some Maths courses?
    Thanks in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 28, 2012 #2
    My school calculates major average based only on the courses in our major. In applying for summer programs, I have put that as my major GPA, so in your case, I believe it should be just physics courses. If it is different from this, then I will be happy. I'm just a junior though, so I have no experience with grad school apps yet. I would wait for someone with definite knowledge to answer before filling it in. Best of luck!!!
  4. Dec 28, 2012 #3
    Thank you dear, I will wait to get an assured reply.
  5. Dec 28, 2012 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    In the USA, the "major average" usually includes all the courses that are required for the student's major (as opposed to general-education courses that all students must take, or general elective courses that are not part of the major). A physics major normally requires some math courses (calculus, differential equations, etc.) and perhaps some chemistry or computer science or whatever. Those courses would be included in the "major average".
  6. Dec 28, 2012 #5
    Thank you
  7. Dec 28, 2012 #6
    Now I'm curious..

    My major GPA will be listed on my transcript as calculated just from my major's courses. Other courses are required for my major, including some math, chemistry, and physics courses. If I include these, my major GPA would be higher. Should I list my major GPA as it is listed on my transcript, or should I calculate it how it seems everyone else does?
  8. Dec 28, 2012 #7
    I am lost. As a physics major, I study physics, maths, chemistry, computer science.
    As our friend above mentioned that all of these must be included.
    So practically this will be my total score.
    Some people told me it is only your physics courses, I really don't know..
  9. Dec 28, 2012 #8
    Null_, what do you study? Are you an undergrad?
  10. Dec 28, 2012 #9


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    Staff: Mentor

    You must not be from the USA. :wink:

    In the USA, we distinguish between "major GPA" and "total or overall GPA" in bachelor's degree programs because they usually include many courses outside the major field, which are often called "general education" or "distribution" courses. At the college where I work, a physics major takes physics, math, chemistry and computer science courses as part of the major. He or she also takes English, history, religion, social sciences, music/art, etc. as part of the general education requirements.

    Most other countries' universities don't do this. For them, there is no distinction between "major GPA" and "overall GPA." Graduate-school admissions people in the USA know about this, so I wouldn't worry about it. Simply put down your overall GPA if that's the only GPA your academic transcript shows.
  11. Dec 28, 2012 #10
    Oh okay, I see. Thanks for the clarification
  12. Dec 28, 2012 #11


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    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    Ask your Physics department.

    One might believe that the major average is the average of only your major subject courses (your Physics courses); the belief may be incorrect.
  13. Dec 28, 2012 #12
    I'm an undergrad in chemical engineering in the US.
  14. Dec 29, 2012 #13
    Ok, will check. Null_, you do too.
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