Is a 3.3 GPA Good for Graduate School? [2021 Guide]

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Is a 3.3 GPA good for graduate school? If you are considering a graduate degree, you may be wondering what GPA score you need to get in.

Good GPA for Graduate School

What do most schools require? And what’s the lowest GPA you can have to be accepted? Not all schools require the same GPA, so it’s beneficial to do some research before applying.

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You can look at a school’s minimum GPA requirement, what kind of admissions process they have, and what other requirements are important to them.

Is a 3.3 GPA Good for Graduate School?

GPA Good for Graduate School

It is possible to get into grad school with a 3.3 GPA. Schools look at your GPA as an indicator of how well you can handle grad school. Earning a good GPA in college can help demonstrate that you can work hard and likely handle the workload of a graduate program.

Your GPA can also demonstrate your motivation to pursue your chosen field. Your GPA, or grade point average, is an average of all the grades for your undergraduate courses. Schools calculate your GPA by translating your grades into the numerical representation of that grade. For example, an A might be a 4.0, an A- a 3.7, and a B+ a 3.3.

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Typical GPAs range anywhere from 0.0 to 4.0. Some schools require a cumulative GPA of all your courses, and others just want to see the GPA of your major courses.

What Is a 3.3 GPA?

A 3.3 GPA is considered a B. It is somewhere between a B and a B+. Not only do B’s get degrees, but they can also help you get into grad school.

B’s are considered above average on most academic scales. The majority of colleges accept a GPA of 3.3. It can be a competitive GPA.

What’s the Average College GPA?

Average College GPA

Some students may wonder how to get into grad school with a 2.5 GPA. The average GPA needed to qualify for most graduate programs is somewhere between 2.5 and 3.5. A GPA of 3.0 is the most common minimum GPA required.

It really does depend on the college and the program you are applying to. Some colleges require higher GPAs than others. These are generally highly completive or prestigious schools, but there are grad schools with low GPA requirements as well.

Different programs can require different GPAs as well. Law and medicine, for instance, typically require a higher GPA than most other programs.

Factors that Determine a Good GPA for Graduate Programs

Whether or not your GPA is considered good can depend on the competitiveness of the program you are applying to, the type of degree you are seeking, and the field you are entering.

Competitiveness

GPA Factors for Graduate Programs

Many popular, competitive schools and programs have higher GPA requirements to help them rank students.

Since they cannot possibly accept everybody, they need some way to determine who has the best chance of success. So, how competitive a school is can impact the minimum GPA required for admissions. Likewise, if you are applying to a less popular school, the GPA requirement will often be lower.

Most grad schools require a minimum GPA of 3.0, but less competitive schools may only require a minimum GPA of 2.0. On the other hand, more prestigious schools typically require a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Master’s or Doctorate

Master’s or Doctorate programs

The program you are pursuing can also impact the minimum GPA required. Master’s programs typically accept lower GPAs than doctorate programs. This is often because doctorate programs expect more of you as a student.

Most doctorate programs require a GPA of 3.3 to 3.5. Doctorate programs generally take more than just your GPA into consideration, though. They also consider the courses you have taken that apply to your degree, your statement of intent, and any GRE or GMAT scores you have.

Field of Study

The field you are going into can also play a significant role. Some fields, such as law or medicine, are more difficult or more prestigious than others, requiring a higher GPA.

Popularity of a field counts too. Computer science isn’t necessarily considered prestigious, but it is a very popular field, so the minimum GPA for acceptance can be higher.

What Is a Good GPA for Grad School?

GPA for Grad School

What kind of GPA you will need for grad school depends on what kind of program you are applying to. The programs with the highest GPA requirements are med school and law.

  • Medical Schools. The top medical schools usually require a GPA of 3.8 or higher. Many med programs will also take your science GPA into consideration, though. This is the GPA of all your science courses. Performing well in these classes can help increase your GPA and set you up for better success on your MCAT.
  • Law Schools. Many law schools require a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Top law schools require a GPA of 3.8 or higher. Law schools also require the LSAT. In some cases, a good LSAT score can balance out a lower GPA.
  • Other Graduate Programs. The most common GPA required for graduate programs is 3.0. Most programs, though, accept a minimum GPA anywhere between 2.5 and 3.5. Before beginning your admissions process, you can research the school you are considering to know what the expected GPA is.

Schools often publish statistics about their incoming class, and they might share the GPAs of their incoming students.

If your cumulative GPA in your major courses is weak, your admissions application may be denied, even if your overall GPA is strong. Graduate schools often look at your major classes as an indicator of how successful you will be in the program.

Your GPA is just one of many things grad schools will look at, though. Schools also consider GRE or GMAT scores, portfolios, work experience, and research or publications. They also consider any special honors you may have received, such as graduating with cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude.

Does College GPA Matter in Graduate School Admissions?

GPA in Graduate School Admissions

Your college GPA does matter in graduate school admissions. Your grade point average can help demonstrate how capable you are academically. It may also indicate how much you value your education. Sometimes your GPA will be used to determine class rankings.

If your GPA is low, you may need to find other ways to show that you are a qualified applicant for grad school. Standardized testing scores like the GRE or GMAT are one option. Doing well on a standardized test may overshadow a lower GPA.

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You can also pursue another undergraduate major to raise your GPA. If you take more classes, you have another chance to increase your grade point average. GPAs are important, but most schools also consider other admissions factors when accepting students into grad school.

How to Get Accepted to Graduate School with a 3.3 GPA

Get Accepted to Graduate School

Most schools require a minimum GPA of 3.0, but a GPA of 3.3 alone will not guarantee admissions. Your GPA is just one part of your admissions package.

Here are some additional steps you can take to help make your admissions package stand out above the rest:

  • Score well on the GRE or GMAT. Most schools consider both your GPA and other standardized testing scores. These tests are not always required for admissions, but good scores may help demonstrate your qualifications for a grad program.
  • Gain work experience. Hands-on learning and internships are required for many programs. Your previous work experience may demonstrate the skills that your program is looking for. It could be beneficial to highlight your work experience on your resume and to submit a letter of reference from your boss.
  • Focus on your letter of purpose and goal statement. You can really try to sell yourself in these two documents. Why is grad school important to you? What is your career goal? What do you plan on achieving in grad school, and how is this going to help your career?
  • Reach out to faculty staff and introduce yourself. You can gain a better understanding of what is required during the admissions process by talking to staff. Plus, they get to know you and can associate a face with your application.
  • Submit references or letters of recommendation. These letters are taken into serious consideration, so you may want to seek references from those who will speak very highly of you. You might ask for references from your undergraduate professors or your employer.
  • Showcase any awards and competitions. Earning awards or attending conferences can show that you’re an active member in your field. You can highlight these on your resume or curriculum vitae (CV).

Everything in your admissions package, including your GPA, is considered your track record. When seeking acceptance to graduate school, it’s strategic to focus on the entire package, not just the GPA.

Typical Grad School Admissions Requirements

Typical Grad School Admissions Requirements

Each school can have different admissions requirements, so it’s helpful to research what is needed in the application process for your prospective grad school. You can even contact their admissions office to verify what is needed before submitting your application.

Graduate schools generally ask for the following:

  • Official transcripts
  • GRE or GMAT scores (only some schools require them)
  • Letters of recommendations
  • Personal statement of purpose
  • Work resume or CV

Many grad programs no longer require GRE or GMAT scores, so it can help to check with your school before applying.

What Is a GPA?

What Is a GPA

Your GPA, or grade point average, is the average of all your grades. It indicates how well you performed in your undergraduate program.

To determine your GPA, the school takes your letter grades and turns them into a numerical value on a 4.0 scale:

  • A: 3.7 to 4.0
  • B: 2.7 to 3.3
  • C: 1.7 to 2.3

A 3.3 GPA, for example, represents an overall B average of all your undergraduate courses. It means you carried a B average all throughout your undergraduate program.

Is a 3.2 GPA Good for Grad School?

GPA Good for Grad School

A 3.2 GPA would be considered a B average, which is above average. Most schools accept a minimum GPA of 2.5 to 3.5.

You can check with your program’s specific GPA requirements before applying. Many schools accept a 3.2, but others prefer a higher GPA. You can also focus on your entire admissions process. While a 3.2 GPA might get you into grad school, you stand a better chance of being accepted if the rest of your application stands out as well.

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It helps to have strong standardized testing scores, solid letters of recommendation, and confidence that you can handle the coursework. However, there are graduate programs that don’t require letters of recommendation.

Is a 3.4 GPA Good in Grad School?

A 3.4 GPA is well above the minimum requirement of 2.5 that’s needed for some programs and the typical 3.0 minimum that’s standard for most programs. If the rest of your admissions package speaks to your qualifications, a 3.4 GPA can help you gain admittance into grad school.

If you are applying to a prestigious or highly competitive school, though, they may have higher GPA requirements. Popular programs may require higher GPAs as well. For the majority of grad programs, a 3.4 GPA is well above average.

Are There Scholarships for Low GPAs?

Scholarships for Low GPAs

There are scholarships available for qualifying students with lower GPAs. Many scholarships do not even consider your GPA. Instead, they might ask for a personal essay, answers to a questionnaire or quiz, or a video essay.

Some scholarship programs require nothing but an entry application, and they randomly draw a student to award the scholarship to. You can search for these scholarships online, with employers, and with private or public organizations on the local or national level.

What’s the Difference Between a Weighted vs. Unweighted GPA?

When we think about a GPA, we generally think of the unweighted GPA, which uses the typical 4.0 scale.

A weighted GPA, on the other hand, takes into consideration the difficulty of the coursework. So, more challenging courses can be worth more than a 4.0 with a weighted GPA scale.

Unweighted GPA Weighted GPA
  • 4.0 scale
  • Class difficulty not considered
  • Highest GPA you can have is a 4.0
  • 5.0 scale
  • Weighs honors classes and difficult classes higher than regular classes
  • Possible to have a GPA higher than 4.0

With an unweighted GPA, you do not earn additional GPA points for completing more challenging courses.

Getting Your Masters Degree Online

Getting Your Masters Degree Online

If you are considering grad school, you might want to start your search by looking for schools that will accept a GPA in your range.

The typical minimum GPA requirement for a master’s degree program is in the 2.5 to 3.5 range. Your GPA is not the only deciding factor, though. Grad programs tend to look at the entire admissions package, so it’s strategic to focus on your application as a whole.

You can start the next step in your educational journey today by exploring online masters programs from accredited universities.

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Shannon Lambert
WRITTEN BY
Shannon Lambert
Shannon has a Bachelor of Science in Social Work, from Bemidji State University, along with a minor in both Psychology and Sociology. Shannon loves motivating and empowering people to dream big and go after what they want in life.