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How important are grades in grad school?

  1. Jun 1, 2009 #1
    I am interested to know whether it is important for engineers to get good grades when pursuing a MEng in Engineering, ie a terminal degree with no further phD studies. Are academic grades as important as in college (when they played a significant part of grad school entry) for employers or will extracurricular projects/internships be more imporant?
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  3. Jun 1, 2009 #2

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    They are important for finishing grad school. When I was a student, two quarters with below a 3.0 (either for the quarter or overall), and you were shown the door.
  4. Jun 1, 2009 #3
    Same here. Your allowed one grade under a 3.0, after that your on academic probation. If your a TA or RA you would probably lose your assistantship as well.
  5. Jun 1, 2009 #4
    how about the difference between a 3.0 and 4.0? E.g will 3.0 with work/intern experience vs 4.0 less experience. Which is better?
  6. Jun 1, 2009 #5
    It depends. If you're shooting for a position in academia then the 4.0 with less experience is the way to go. If you want to work in industry then the 3.0 with experience is probably the better option. In my experience, employers don't really care so much about grades as they do about your work experience.
  7. Jun 1, 2009 #6
    I will say, however, that even "fresh" Ph.D. engineers that I knew (looking for jobs in industry) were asked about their GPA's if they did not put this on their CV/resume... so it must have been a factor, even if not the top factor.

    Note: It's best to get both strong work/research experience and have good grades... and it is possible. Don't make excuses for yourself one way or another -- that's a characteristic employers WON'T be looking for...
  8. Jun 1, 2009 #7
    Most professors tell me that grades aren't important, especially if you're going into academia (where they presumably care more about your research). Not sure I buy that though. Good grades tend to qualify you for random fellowships and other nifty things. And I'm sure that it never hurts a job offer to have good grades. Also, my school (like others' apparently) kicks you out if you go two consecutive semesters with less than a 3.0. Having said that, I think most people would agree that grades are less important than they were in undergrad.
  9. Jun 1, 2009 #8


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    This is true for 2.0 at most undergrad programs yet nobody tends to mention that as if by asking the OP's question your fishing to find out if you can get a 1.0.

    Grades in Undergrad >> Grades in Grad School

    A 3.2 in undergrad means you might have trouble getting into graduate school
    A 3.2 in grad means what , you wont get a job. This is besides the fact that graduate grades are inflated compared to undergrad grades.
  10. Jun 2, 2009 #9
    A GPA less than 3.0 results into leaving? What is actually the conversion between GPA and "class rank"? I always thought that A is only for the best 10 percent of students, while C+/B- is the average.
  11. Jun 2, 2009 #10
    If its that rigorous, why dont they just put the pass/fail mark at 3.0, with only a pass/fail?
  12. Jun 2, 2009 #11
    Can stellar MS grades make up for mediocre undergrad in the eyes of PhD programs?
  13. Jun 2, 2009 #12
    Some places they kick you out for less than a B+ average (3.33)
  14. Jun 2, 2009 #13


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    In grad school, since they're already starting with the cream of the crop, you need to get A or B to stay in the program. B is average for a grad student. If you get a C, that's viewed as failure. It's not grade inflation at that level...you really are expected to know your material at a very high level to remain in a program.
  15. Jun 2, 2009 #14


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    For Graduate School turn it upside down where 10 % get below B.
  16. Jun 3, 2009 #15
    +1. A high GPA tends to get you the "audience", then you can use your experience or projects to actually impress that audience.
  17. Jun 3, 2009 #16
    For the most part, "C's get degrees"
  18. Jun 3, 2009 #17


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  19. Jun 3, 2009 #18
    But they don't get PhD's
  20. Jun 3, 2009 #19
    I thought that the grades "A", "B", etc. were determined by the perfomance of students. In some cases you can get an "A", even if you only got 60% of the questions in an exam. In the European system you would get a 60% and barely pass the exam.
  21. Jun 3, 2009 #20
    I used to love the tools at my community college who used to say this. Yeah C's get degrees, but A's don't have to pay for theirs. :tongue2:
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