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Do STEM majors get a handicap on the GPA when applying to top schools?

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Do STEM majors get a handicap on the GPA when applying to top schools? [#permalink]

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New post 10 Oct 2016, 18:59
My question is: Do STEM majors get somewhat of a pass even if they have a slightly lower than average GPA? Specifically looking at top schools such as Harvard and Stanford

Given the average for HBS is 3.67 and the GSB is 3.73, how much below the average range do you think would not count as a negative for the applicant?

Lastly, in your experience which of the top 5-10 schools are most and least GPA focused?

Note - in this case, I'm talking about a 3.5-3.6 range GPA for an Electrical Engineering/Computer Engineering/Mechanical Engineering major

Thank you

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Do STEM majors get a handicap on the GPA when applying to top schools? [#permalink]

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New post 11 Oct 2016, 12:06
BigTuna wrote:
My question is: Do STEM majors get somewhat of a pass even if they have a slightly lower than average GPA? Specifically looking at top schools such as Harvard and Stanford
Great question BigTuna and I hear you! It doesn't seem fair - does it- that the history major's 3.7 is the same as the physics and math double major's 3.7...Having been on the adcom side for 15 years I can say that while we did not use a "handicap" system, certainly there were humans involved in the process and if someone was a nuclear engineer and had a 3.3 that was noted as a good gpa in a tough major. But that being said, this is where you are always still tagged to the number and if you could not hack the engineering program then you shouldn't have majored in engineering! Meaning that while there is recognition of the tough major, you are still evaluated on the GPA you have. For some people, English would be a tough major and for some others Math would be a tough major. The good news is that B schools like people with quant backgrounds because they know that they will be able to handle the curriculum. I would not overthink this too much- your GPA is what it is.... and what you control from this point forward is your GMAT score and also the quality of your application! So focus on that, and the better those 2 things are, the more forgiveness there is for any shortcomings in the GPA! Best wishes to you! Stratus Prep would love to help you with the application part- so for a free consult to learn more about that- please go to this link: https://stratusprep.com/free-consult/
Given the average for HBS is 3.67 and the GSB is 3.73, how much below the average range do you think would not count as a negative for the applicant?

Lastly, in your experience which of the top 5-10 schools are most and least GPA focused?So here's the deal... the top 5-10 programs get the candidates that have the best of everything... so they can be choosy on all measures. Some programs are trying to up their GMAT scores- see this P&Q article:http://poetsandquants.com/2016/03/29/average-gmat-scores-top-50-business-schools/ you can assume that if a school is prioritizing moving up on the GMAT that they might be more willing to take someone with a really high GMAT even if their gpa is lower. These 2 things work together- think about it from the school's perspecitive- you need to help them somewhere or else you hurt them. So if you can't over deliver on the GPA, try to over deliver on the GMAT. If you under deliver on both metrics, you are "expensive" to the school meaning that to keep their averages the same they have to admit someone else way over to cover your "sins" so to speak.... So keep this in mind. But obviously there are going to be some people that are so compelling with their work or some other activity that a school will take a hit for them.... but obviously they can't do that for everyone or their avg GMAT and GPA measures will fall and that will hurt them in the following years on the rankings.... It is a vicious cycle! Hope that provides some perspective!

Note - in this case, I'm talking about a 3.5-3.6 range GPA for an Electrical Engineering/Computer Engineering/Mechanical Engineering majorThat sounds like a great GPA for this major to me! I wouldn't worry about this at all.

Thank you

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Do STEM majors get a handicap on the GPA when applying to top schools?   [#permalink] 11 Oct 2016, 12:06
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Do STEM majors get a handicap on the GPA when applying to top schools?

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