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Thread: inquiry regarding undergrad GPA & undergrad reputation

  1. #1
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    inquiry regarding undergrad GPA & undergrad reputation

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    Hello,

    I had a quick question about how the undergrad reputation along with under GPA plays a role in the admission process.

    I come from a top 20-25 private university in the US, and this person who graduated from my school was admitted to Penn State Econ PhD with a high 3.3 undergrad GPA (with research experience being just two UG thesis, which is relatively low compared to the GPAs I have seen so far on this forum with similar profile. Normally, how likely is that someone with 3.3 GPA gets into Penn State? I've been concerned with my GPA so far, and I believe that my final GPA upon graduation will be around high 3.6 or a 3.7, which is also low compared to GPAs of a lot of good applicants here. I don't know if my school is necessarily known as a "hard" school to the admission committees, but I was wondering if the reputation/difficulty of your school actually plays a role in the admissions process. (Note that my school does not have greek honor system like summa cum laude, etc., they just assign us a "university honor" if our final GPA is >3.5. Also, I've been in several honor societies even with not-so-great GPA in my school.)

    If anyone has any idea, could they share?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: inquiry regarding undergrad GPA & undergrad reputation

    Difficulty of coursework matters more than GPA, and recommendation letters matter more than coursework in general. A 3.3-3.7 GPA, at a private university, is still very low relative to econ PhD applicants. Don't presume your acquaintance's experience is the norm.

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    Re: inquiry regarding undergrad GPA & undergrad reputation

    Thanks for your input! Of course, I wouldn't assume that this person's experience is the norm, which is what I have also perceived in this forum.

    I was just wondering - does anyone else have any other thoughts? Curious.

  4. #4
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    Re: inquiry regarding undergrad GPA & undergrad reputation

    Could be anecdotal. Obviously 2 people with same GPA and all else equal except school, the "better" school candidate will win out

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    Re: inquiry regarding undergrad GPA & undergrad reputation

    Quote Originally Posted by chateauheart View Post
    Difficulty of coursework matters more than GPA, and recommendation letters matter more than coursework in general. A 3.3-3.7 GPA, at a private university, is still very low relative to econ PhD applicants.
    Agreed. Plus, it matters what classes you did relatively better or poorly in. i.e. low grades in core math classes are not good.

    My best advice is, if you aren't getting into a top program, is to focus on the match between a program and your interests.

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