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Major GPA vs Cumulative GPA?

  1. Oct 7, 2013 #1
    So today I found out that I am not good at my electives.

    Do employers care more about cumulative GPA or my major GPA?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 7, 2013 #2
    From what I've been told, it hurts, but not as much as bad grades in major. So a guy with a 4.0 is going to have an edge over you, even if you have the same major gpa, but it's a small edge.

    Also it depends on the elective. If it's French poetry, getting a B might not raise an eyebrow like a B in Applied Partial Differential equations or C++ programming or what have you will.
  4. Oct 7, 2013 #3
    Electives: literature, politics, and geography.

    Discipline: computer engineering

    Thanks for the heads-up.
  5. Oct 7, 2013 #4
    As long as you're not failing them people probably won't give a rats behind, but please don't get C's in easy classes, if that's what you're doing. You'll seriously regret it later.
  6. Oct 7, 2013 #5


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    Don't pick subjects where the "right answers" are a matter of personal opinion (e.g. literature and politics). Or if you do pick subjects like that, figure out what opinions your lecturer wants you to have, and don't waste time thinking for yourself!
  7. Oct 8, 2013 #6


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    As an engineer I must say that the technical courses matters the most (engineering classes, math physics, etc.). But if your elective grades are bad enough then it can certainly hurt you. Also, we do need engineers that can actually write a reasonable document and give a reasonable presentation to a customer, so doing reasonably well in writing / communication type classes can be important, depending upon the employer and the kind of position you are seeking.

  8. Oct 10, 2013 #7
    I'll second what jasonRF wrote. If you can't communicate well as an engineer, your technical prowess will hardly matter.
  9. Oct 10, 2013 #8


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    Not true. In many humanities courses, you need to think for yourself, sometimes have an opinion, and discuss it well in writing. The course grade depends on all of it. You can have an unexpected opinion; just be able to discuss it intelligently. This is not a matter of disagreeing with the professor, but one of seeing meaning that maybe the professor did not see.
  10. Oct 11, 2013 #9


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    There is a general problem with this line of questioning; as a result, the responses will be entirely subjective.

    A humanities professor may or may not like original opinions or different points of view, an employer may or may not care about cumulative GPA’s, an employer may or may not care about major GPA’s.

    Just do your best.
  11. Oct 14, 2013 #10
    When i graduated couple years back and was looking for a job no one really asked me what my GPA was. If it is on a low side say under 3.0 just don't put it on your resume.

    This is no excuse to do bad in school though :) For some employers, GPA is the first thing they look at and some others don't really bother with it as long as they like you. Presentation of your self to the employers goes a long way...

    So it really depends who your apply with, i really don't think there is one correct answer for your question
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