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Im an international applicant to mid-career IR/MPA-programs, and just had my foreign bachelor (polsci major) "translated" to a US equivalent. According to WES my US GPA is 3.45, and 3.5 for some graduate courses. (B+?) This seem very low, as I was about top 15-20pst at my university.

Would love some help in explaining what a 3.45 GPA amounts to, especially for chances at mid-career programs at the top schools.

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It varies somewhat from institution to institution, but my undergrad GPA scale worked like this:

A 4.0

A- 3.7

B+ 3.3

B 3.0

B- 2.7

C+ 2.3

C 2.0

C- 1.7

and so on.

It looks like your average grade was somewhere between an A- and a B+. Hope this helps.

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I'll also add that at a great many US schools, 3.45 would probably be in the top 15-20% (3.5 being the Cum Laude breakpoint most places), and possibly even higher than that.

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Yeah, a 3.45-3.5 sounds about right for that percentile.

It depends on the quality of the programs you're applying to, but as a general guideline, the GPA is only a hurdle to bad applications and a non-factor in good ones. A 3.5 should be good enough for them to continue looking at your profile. It just means that you might be at a slight disadvantage if you apply to, say, Harvard. But it's nothing that can't be overcome by strong research/experience/writing sample/sop/recommendation.

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