Maintaining a good GPA in college is very important if you intend to continue your academics further. Graduate schools look at your GPA before anything else and if you don’t get a GPA that is up to their standards, then your chances of getting admitted are very slim. We will see is 3.7 a good GPA for graduate school or not in this article
A 3.7 is a pretty strong GPA for graduate school. Getting a 3.7 means that you almost consistently got A’s during college. In fact, for most graduate schools, any GPA above a 3.5 is considered to be a ‘good’ GPA so by getting a 3.7 you’re likely well over the line. However, the strength of a 3.7 GPA might decrease depending on what school you’re trying to get into. This is because some Ivy League schools and other top colleges have higher benchmarks and for them a 3.7 might be on the lower end of that spectrum. Even though GPA is very important when it comes to getting into graduate schools, most colleges also look for other things such as work experience and reference before admitting you. The importance attached to your GPA will also vary depending on if the program you’re applying to is more or less competitive – if it’s a more competitive program then a higher GPA is more important. That’s why you shouldn’t just fixate on your GPA and try to create a profile that is varied and not only based on academic achievement. In order to make yourself an attractive candidate for grad schools, you should curate a profile that shows you as a consistently hardworking student.
GPA Standards for Different Schools
Here’s a rundown of some of the average GPAs for some of the top schools in the country, categorised by type of program.
- Graduate Law Programs
Graduate programs for law have some of the highest GPA requirements. In Yale University’s law program for graduate students, the median GPA among students is 3.94. In such a competitive environment, a 3.7 GPA would likely not be good enough to get you automatically admitted into this graduate school. Other examples include New York University’s 3.79 median GPA across students – while this is lower than Yale’s, it still proves that to get into the top graduate schools in the country for law, you probably need to have an excellent GPA.
- Graduate Business Programs
Business schools have a significantly lower GPA average among students for graduate programs in comparison to law programs. An example of this is how Yale University has an average GPA of 3.65 among students. Other colleges like Stanford University have higher GPA averages – 3.8 – but these are definitely lower than law programs. Some really prestigious universities like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) even have average GPAs of 3.54 among students. In the case of business graduate school, it appears that getting a 3.7 GPA makes you quite a strong candidate for admission.
- Graduate Medical Programs
There is a lot of variance in medical school GPA averages but it’s generally agreed upon that these schools are relatively tougher to get into. While colleges like Harvard Medical School have an average GPA of 3.92 among students, other schools like the University of Washington have an average GPA of 3.67. If you get a 3.7, then you’re probably among the lower end of the spectrum in terms of attractive candidates for admission for a top tier medical school.
- Other Graduate Programs
There isn’t a lot of hard data on less science-oriented subjects and the common GPAs for students in these programs. However, it is generally agreed upon that a GPA greater than 3.75 is preferable if you want to get into a top school. Getting a 3.7 should still make you a pretty viable candidate though, especially if you have strong extra curriculars and other valuable experience relevant to your area of study.
What Else do Graduate Schools Look at?
- Work Experience
Graduate schools want students who have relevant experience in the field that they’re looking to study in. If you don’t have the greatest of GPAs, a lot of work experience in the form of positions that demonstrate your knowledge and initiative will really improve your attractiveness as a candidate for admission.
- Personal Statement
Graduate programs are searching for students with unique stories, students who have overcome adversity, and students who are confident about their identities and abilities. If you have a poor GPA, your personal essay is the perfect opportunity for you to explain why this happened and let the school know of all the struggles you have faced and conquered. An inspiring and thought-provoking personal statement might just be the key to your admission.
If you have some impressive contacts, now is definitely the time to use them. Graduate schools appreciate references from credible sources and having a respected person’s stamp of approval will surely help your case. Approach professors you had in college or your employer and ask them to write a letter for you.
A resume is a unique opportunity for you to highlight all your strengths while downplaying all your weaknesses. So, if you have a poor GPA, you can just not mention it in your resume and instead talk about your impressive work experience or some of your other skills. A resume will offer you the chance to control your own narrative and present the best picture of yourself possible.
In the case of most schools, a 3.7 GPA is pretty excellent and will probably be an asset in terms of getting you admitted. However, some of the top ranking schools in the country expect more from their students and for them, a 3.7 might not be enough. The GPA requirements for a school vary on what type of program you’re applying for.
However, even though GPA is important, there are still a lot of other factors that improve your chances of getting into a great grad school. Your work experience, your extra-curriculars, your ability to write a compelling application all affect your attractiveness as a potential candidate for admission. If you’re weak in terms of GPA, you can counter this by showing hard work, consistency, and dedication in other areas.
Is a 3.2 a good GPA for grad school?
In most cases, a GPA above a 3.5 is considered to be ideal for getting into a great graduate program. However, if you have a lot of relevant work experience and a great application, you might get lucky and still be considered with a 3.2.
Is GPA the most important thing for getting into grad school?
GPA is definitely one of the most important things for getting into grad school. However, even though its really important, you should also have an impressive resume, relevant work experience, and solid references to boost your chances of admission.
Do grad schools have GPAs as well?
Yes, just like college graduate schools also use GPAs.