Is your college GPA high enough to get accepted to graduate school and do you have a strong understanding of the GPA requirements for grad school?

In this article, shared by expert, Jack Tai, CEO of, learn what the GPA requirements for grad school are, and what factors will affect the grades that you need. 

Are your college grades good enough to gain acceptance into grad school?

The answer may be more complicated than you realize.

During the graduate school application process, your grades will be scrutinized, and admissions officers may even drill down to see how you performed in individual classes.

For example, MBA applicants may face additional scrutiny in how they performed in analytics classes. Applicants to medical school may face higher scrutiny over their grades in advanced biology classes.

Let’s review the average GPA requirements for grad school and what factors affect the grades that you need to get in college.

The Average GPA Needed on Grad School Applications

gpa requirements for grad school

Let’s start with the basics. Each graduate school will advertise its GPA cutoff for applicants.

Typically, college students should have a 3.0 GPA or higher for grad school. However, you may find a range from 2.5 to 3.5 for GPA criteria.

Minimum GPA Changes Based on Where You’re Applying

At more competitive schools, expect GPA requirements to be higher.

In fact, there’s a spread of nearly one full GPA point between the requirements at top 10 schools versus schools in the bottom 10.

In a GPA comparison of incoming law school students, there was an average GPA of 3.87 among students attending the top 10 schools.

For schools in the middle, the average GPA was 3.4, and at schools in the bottom 10, the average GPA was 2.95.

GPA Requirements for Grad School Change Based upon the Graduate Degree

Your GPA may be weighted differently in your grad school application based upon the program of study you’re pursuing.

For example, college GPA is most likely a very important criteria for medical school applications, and admissions officers frequently use your previous grades as an indicator of future success.

gpa requirements for grad school

On the other hand, MBA programs may place less weight on a student’s grades. Instead, admissions officers frequently look at a mix of qualifying factors, including leadership skills, accomplishments, and initiative.

Average GPA also Changes Based upon Your Undergrad Degree

The GPA requirements you need to get into grad school is also influenced by what you studied for your undergraduate degree.

For example, among incoming students attending medical school, science majors had an average GPA of 3.65, while non-science majors had an average GPA of 3.8.

Not only are your college grades considered, but also what college classes you earned those grades in.

You Can Still Get into Grad School with a Low GPA

A low GPA isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker for your grad school admissions. However, to gain acceptance, you may need to strategize a bit more.

If you have a low GPA, you can seek out grad schools that have lower grade requirements.

In your research, you’ll find that some schools have low GPA requirements or none at all. For example, Full Sail University requires a 2.5 GPA, and Grand Canyon University requires a 2.8.

In other cases, you may also be able to use your additional application materials to provide context to an admissions officer about why you have a lower GPA. Perhaps you had a death in the family or had a difficult time adjusting to college.

Your college GPA may have never fully recovered from one bad semester. Addressing this in an admissions essay can provide a helpful explanation to those who are reviewing your application.

How to Improve Your GPA to Help Your Grad School Applications

While in college, available online resources are effective at helping you get the grades you want.

For example, more than 90 percent of OneClass users have improved by at least one letter grade.

gpa requirements for grad school

On the OneClass platform, students can access shared lecture notes, study guides, textbook notes, and even previous exams.

Additionally, the Homework Help app offers on-demand access to tutoring.

Rather than struggling with a homework question that you don’t understand, a OneClass subject matter expert can provide a solution within 24 hours.

When using OneClass, you’ll have the information you need to be on top of what happens during lectures and better prepared for exams.

Jack Tai is the CEO and Co-founder of OneClass. Visit the site to find out more about how this online tool has helped 90% of users improve by a letter grade.

gpa requirements for grad school

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