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Overall GPA or department GPA?

  1. Dec 12, 2005 #1
    Which GPA is looked at in graduate admissions - your overall GPA or your GPA for classes within your major. I ask because I have done well in all my Physics and Math classes, but for my "other" courses I take Chinese, which, try as I might, I can get no better than a B in. It's a tough language to start learning from scratch. The first two years are 5 credit classes and this has tended to bring down my overall GPA, so I would hate to be penalized for trying something completely new.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 12, 2005 #2


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    You simply discuss how you tried something new in your application.

    I think that's all you can do, but I doubt you'd really can penalized. Not a lot anyways.
  4. Dec 12, 2005 #3
    Thanks, that's kind of what I figured. Just wanted some reassurance that it wasn't a dumb thing to be doing - considering there are some people in the class who take it only as a GPA booster. I don't usually care about my GPA but I know it is important and a bad GPA certainly won't help.
  5. Dec 12, 2005 #4


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    For graduate school, your major-GPA is probably more important than your cumulative-GPA. In your application, present both GPAs...especially if your major-GPA is higher.

    In addition, I would think that your junior-senior-major-GPA is more important than your fresh-soph-major-GPA.
  6. Dec 13, 2005 #5
    When I was applying for grad school, they asked for my GPA during my last two years in school. At that point, you are probably mostly in your physics and math classes, so even if you are only getting B's in Chinese, your GPA should be fine. Classes you took your first couple years of school won't even matter.
  7. Dec 13, 2005 #6


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    I've been told repeatedly that graduate schools emphasize your major GPA.
  8. Dec 13, 2005 #7
    A relief!

    To hear that grad schools only look at last two years of college is such a relief. I was also concerned about my gpa. During my fresh and soph years, I got mostly B+'s, some B's and a few A's for my humanities classes (i.e history, women's studies).
  9. Dec 13, 2005 #8


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    Well they dont exclusively look at the major classes...
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