Average GPA for top graduate schools

Average GPA for top graduate schools

A good undergraduate GPA, without a doubt, is an important component of graduate admissions process. It measures how well you performed during your undergraduate years and hence it’s looked upon as an indicator of your motivation, hard work, interest and future success by prospective schools.

In some fields like law and medicine, graduate admissions heavily rely on the test score and undergraduate GPA whereas in other fields, it may not be the top deciding factor.

We’ve already covered average GPA for top medical schools and average GPA for top law schools in earlier articles.

Here, we’d focus on GPA for MS (Master of Science) programs.

MS in the US – What’s a good GPA for graduate school

Depending upon the field or specialisation you chose and the reputation of the college or university you apply to, the GPA required to get in would vary.

If you’re planning to apply to the elite top tier programs or the Ivy League programs, you’d need to have a competitive GPA of 3.5 or above whereas for other schools, with a GPA between 3.0 and 3.5, you’d still have a good chance of getting in.

For example, to apply for MS in computer science, at prestigious universities like Columbia, Stanford, UCLA, a GPA of at least 3.5 is required. The program website usually has the minimum GPA requirement mentioned, so make it a point to check this before applying.

Average GPA for top MS programs

The average GPA of those admitted at a particular school varies depending upon the specialisation or major taken.

For example, at the University of Texas at Austin graduate school, the average GPA of admitted applicants varies from 3.70 for aerospace engineering, 3.88 for chemical engineering, 3.66 for petroleum engineering with the average being 3.73 across various streams.

Here’s a list of some of the universities and schools offering MS programs in the US and the average GPA for each

University / School / Program Average GPA of admitted applicants
1. Stanford Engineering 3.87
2. Harvard School of Engineering (MS & PhD) 3.8
3. Columbia Business School – MS in Marketing Science 3.85
4. UCLA – Computer Science 3.6
5. Rutgers – Computer Science (Master’s & PhD) 3.62
6. University of Washington – Mechanical Engineering 3.62
7. Indiana University – Kelley School of Business,

MS in Information Systems

8. University of Buffalo – Department of Computer Science and Engineering 3.5
9. New York University (NYU) – MS in Data Science 3.69
10. Duke University – The Graduate School – Computer Science 3.6
11. USC Marshall School of Business – MS in Marketing 3.47
12. Texas McCombs – MS Finance 3.49
13. ASU – W.P. Carey School of Business – MS in Business Analytics 3.42
14. MIT Sloan – Master of Finance 3.76


Admission requirements for MS in the US


Admission prerequisites

  • Most of the programs require sixteen years of education.
  • Some of them may have some specific undergraduate course requirement, for example, at Georgia State University, for MS in Computer Science, a baccalaureate degree in computer science or equivalent is a prerequisite while those with non-computer-science degrees are also eligible to apply though they may need to complete some foundation courses.
  • Some programs may have some previous work experience requirement.


Application requirements

Read more here:
Masters Degree / MS in USA eligibility and basic requirements

MS in US – Applying with low GPA

Starting your application research early would ensure that you’re familiar with the school requirements so that you have enough time to put in a strong application. Apply early when you have a greater chance of being accepted.

In case your GPA is lower, you can take additional courses. Work hard on all the aspects of your application. Let your application highlight why you’re keen to attend a particular school and how the school is the right fit for you.

Try getting feedback from someone who may be familiar with the process. A high test score, extracurricular involvement and good work experience, well-written Statement of Purpose (SOP), good quality recommendations from the right persons will go a long way in making a big difference to your application.
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