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GPA for Transfers - Cumulative or Current School Only?


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Hey all,

When assessing my chances, do I (and MPP programs) analyze my GPA as a cumulative product or only from my current school?

For the record:

Los Ageles Pierce College ---> transfer to USC (Fight On!)

Cumulative GPA: 3.5

USC GPA: 3.2


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On my cv, I used my cumulative gpa. However, in analyzing my competitiveness for programs, I conservatively used my current school's gpa. That way, I'd be pleasantly surprised by programs that considered both, but not disappointed by programs that considered only my current school gpa. If I were you, I would look at both types of schools (i.e., those that where a 3.5 is competitive and those where a 3.2 is competitive).

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Thanks Quant. Sounds like a good approach. Although the more I look, the more it seems that in comparison to work experience and GRE (both of which I've been told are in the good to excellent category), GPA holds significantly less weight for policy programs like MPP and MPA, even at super high echelon programs like Columbia, Cornell, USC, etc.

Additionally, during Fall 2011 semester, my mom's disabilities came to an apex and I tanked that semester and didn't go to school the next to support my sister and I - hence the 3.1 USC GPA . I have As and Bs in every other class outside that semester. Came back strong this semester with 4 As and a B/C. All upper division Philosophy and Econ. Yes this explanation will be in all of my applications. And from what I hear, these specialized programs actually take things of that nature into account.

Kind of odd, still trying to figure that one out but I won't complain if that is indeed the case. lol

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