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What is a good GPA for a graduate student?

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Usually, the minimum is no worse than a 3.0.

However, the average for incoming PhD cohorts vary. It usually hovers around ~3.5 and above.  

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Just as a reminder, this thread is from 2013. It's not that it can't be a relevant topic for discussion, but the OP is most definitely no longer around. 

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On 4/26/2013 at 8:06 AM, Roquentin said:

It's easy to exaggerate the importance of grades in grad school - they're important during the application process, but when you finish your PhD and hit the job market, hiring committees won't spend much (i.e. any) time with 'em. Keep 'em consistent, keep 'em high enough to meet the requirements of your funding and your department, and keep 'em high enough to remain competitive for extra funding opportunities. By the time you're a PhD student, coursework should be a snap. Get decent grades, get your coursework out of the way, and start in on the stuff that actually matters (research, teaching, comps).

What sort of grades would you need for extra funding opportunities? 

I know my coursework will be hard for me as I'm coming from outside the field, so I'm hoping to work to clear the hurdle (70%) with enough of a comfortable margin. Is it beneficial to push harder than this? It will take time directly away from my thesis. 

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4 hours ago, lemma said:

What sort of grades would you need for extra funding opportunities? 

Again, you're responding to someone from almost 5 years ago who is no longer around to answer questions. 

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1 hour ago, Eigen said:

Again, you're responding to someone from almost 5 years ago who is no longer around to answer questions. 

True, but I also think @lemma was posting their own question in this thread. 

FWIW, I think a 70% at the graduate level is kind of low but, that might just be me.

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On 2/1/2013 at 11:40 AM, risingsun11801 said:

It depends on the subject. In my biomedical science program, we have been told research is far more important than grades. Less than a 3.0 will get you on probation, but there's no reason to strive for much higher than 3.0.

I agree with this. I just shoot to keep mine > 3.0. I hear some grad students bragging about their GPA and since GPA really doesn't matter that much, besides being above the minimum requirements, it just makes them look like they don't have their priorities in order.

The exception would be for master's students who are planning on going to a phd program when they finish, your GPA matters.

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On 1/1/2018 at 4:41 AM, rising_star said:

True, but I also think @lemma was posting their own question in this thread. 

FWIW, I think a 70% at the graduate level is kind of low but, that might just be me.

Yeah, I was posting here to reduce clutter given it was pretty similar. 

70% here is the cutoff for second class honors, so the same theoretically as a 3.0 in the US. I don't regard it as the same, having an American undergraduate degree, but in the eyes of my university that's what it signifies. 

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So I am encountering this thread at the right time, where already in my first semester I am concerned.

Research is already going well (first author papers out, more in the queue- epidemiology is the field), but I get the sinking feeling like I will have a mix of Bs and As with one class maybe as low as a B-

Is this going to screw me for fellowship apps, tenure track comms etc. down the line?

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In your first semester, I would worry most about maintaining the minimum required GPA for funding and to stay off probation or getting dismissed (this is often a 3.0). If you're a PhD student heading toward tenure-track professor positions, research productivity (and teaching evals, recommendations, etc.) will usually be much more important down the road. Perhaps Fellowships may have a GPA range, but you should be able to look into that now by searching for a few and seeing what their requirements are. 

In my program, a B- is considered failing without the professor technically failing you, although it can tank your GPA below the minimum threshold. In other words, getting a C in any one class gets you probation in my program regardless of overall GPA, whereas a B- does not, but if it drags your GPA below 3.0 because your other grades aren't high enough, you're on probation anyway. Your program should have a handbook that details this for you.

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