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General question about GPA from a UK student

  1. Jan 16, 2010 #1

    I'm looking at the U.S for grad school and I've been reading talk about grade point average's, more specifically that around 3.0 is not considered particularly great.

    I assume that a 3.0 GPA means a 75% average, over here 75% is decent A grade. A GPA of 3.5 (which i've read is good) would be ~88%, which is fantastic!

    I'm just curious about what the difference is and why people need to score so much higher in the states? is it because you guys are allowed to take all sorts of (potentially easier) courses along with your major?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 16, 2010 #2


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    It's not simple to convert from UK grade to US grades. You could look at it the other way around: over here, a first class degree (70% average) is the highest degree you can get, so should correspond to an A in the US, or a GPA of 4.0.

    The fact is that it is way easier (or maybe one should say "more common") to obtain 100% grades in the US than it is in the UK. It's all to do with normalisation of grades.
  4. Jan 16, 2010 #3
    I see! Thank you very much!

    I am filling in my application for an REU in the US at the moment and was going to put down 3.0 for my GPA because my average mark is 75%. I'm glad I didn't!
  5. Jan 16, 2010 #4
    Just to give you a heads up, the REU program is through the US government, and consequently most (if not all) of the programs require US citizenship or permanent resident status. Not to discourage you, but look closely at the requirements of any REU programs you're applying to.
  6. Jan 16, 2010 #5
    Thanks for the heads up!

    I have found one lone position at a single university for an international student. I'm not going to say where though because I don't want any more competition! haha
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