GPA of international students.

ssapple
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:35 pm

GPA of international students.

Postby ssapple » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:21 pm

Hi,

The gpa's in some European countries are much lower than the american universities because the professors give lower grades. for example, in my university it is almost impossible to have a final GPA > 3.5 and generally if it is >3.0 you are considered as very successful. Are the admission committee members of US graduate schools aware of this situation?

schwiss
Posts: 108
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:49 am

Re: GPA of international students.

Postby schwiss » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:47 pm

ssapple wrote:Hi,

The gpa's in some European countries are much lower than the american universities because the professors give lower grades. for example, in my university it is almost impossible to have a final GPA > 3.5 and generally if it is >3.0 you are considered as very successful. Are the admission committee members of US graduate schools aware of this situation?


I have been assured that they do know the scoring guidelines of various countries.

However, I really doubt this. Unless there is some real scary secret network of academic information sharing, there is no chance they are going to know how the students in Andorra, for example, are graded. Is every university with an Andorran applicant going to call some random professor in Andorra to ask for the grading principles? I guess they can know the grading scales, but not average grades*, percentiles, or other actually important things.

In addition, as in the US, there can be much variability in the scores of different institutions in the same country. Unless you come from a well-known country (e.g. UK, maybe Germany and some others) or your university has good connections to the universities you are applying to (in which case the professors can easily get the information even if they do not already have it), your best bet is to ask a recommendation writer to explain the situation. Of course, for most universities, it's a bit late to do that now...

* Case example: Last spring I asked the registrar if they knew the average GPA of my university. Although they must have the capability of calculating it, it seems that they have not (or they were lying, which I doubt). I guess it would take approximately three minutes to write a piece of script to do that, so I can totally understand why they have not done it.

User avatar
zxcv
Posts: 402
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:08 pm

Re: GPA of international students.

Postby zxcv » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:21 pm

Admissions committees might be aware, but I wouldn't count on it. This would be a perfect thing for one of your professors to include in a letter of recommendation, so I recommend asking one of them to include a brief note on your grading system.

ssapple
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:35 pm

Re: GPA of international students.

Postby ssapple » Fri Dec 17, 2010 7:50 pm

zxcv wrote:Admissions committees might be aware, but I wouldn't count on it. This would be a perfect thing for one of your professors to include in a letter of recommendation, so I recommend asking one of them to include a brief note on your grading system.


unfortunately i didn't tell any of my recommendation about this situation and i dont think they mentioned this in their letters. now i am worried about it. would it be nonsense if I mail and tell the departments I am applying about i now?

note: i am from turkey.

admissionprof
Posts: 364
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: GPA of international students.

Postby admissionprof » Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:09 pm

ssapple wrote:
zxcv wrote:Admissions committees might be aware, but I wouldn't count on it. This would be a perfect thing for one of your professors to include in a letter of recommendation, so I recommend asking one of them to include a brief note on your grading system.


unfortunately i didn't tell any of my recommendation about this situation and i dont think they mentioned this in their letters. now i am worried about it. would it be nonsense if I mail and tell the departments I am applying about i now?

note: i am from turkey.



Turkey is a special case. Our admissions committee is very well aware that a C in Turkey (often a "CC") is not a bad grade, and the average grades are very, very low. So in that case, we wouldn't need any explanation. But that's only our committee, I'm not sure about others. I wouldn't send a mail to the departments, but you might ask one of your recommenders to send a brief follow-up note. It doesn't sound like whining if it comes from your professor.

User avatar
satyad18
Posts: 229
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:17 am

Re: GPA of international students.

Postby satyad18 » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:12 pm

@admissionprof: How about Indian universities? From where I come from, I got only around 62% marks as we don't have any grading system and I think this converts to a really bad GPA/grade. How do admissions committee review this?

schwiss
Posts: 108
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:49 am

Re: GPA of international students.

Postby schwiss » Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:23 am

satyad18 wrote:@admissionprof: How about Indian universities? From where I come from, I got only around 62% marks as we don't have any grading system and I think this converts to a really bad GPA/grade. How do admissions committee review this?


Although I'm not (an) admissionprof, I'd guess most programs receive a large amount of Indian applicants, and are able to compare them to other applicants and the students previously accepted. Of course, that doesn't help if there is a large variance between different Indian universities.

admissionprof
Posts: 364
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: GPA of international students.

Postby admissionprof » Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:56 am

schwiss wrote:
satyad18 wrote:@admissionprof: How about Indian universities? From where I come from, I got only around 62% marks as we don't have any grading system and I think this converts to a really bad GPA/grade. How do admissions committee review this?


Although I'm not (an) admissionprof, I'd guess most programs receive a large amount of Indian applicants, and are able to compare them to other applicants and the students previously accepted. Of course, that doesn't help if there is a large variance between different Indian universities.


We know about Indian schools (although not as well). If we aren't sure, we can ask (most places have some indian grad students and/or faculty). It does help if one of your letter writers normalizes things.

michael
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:21 am

Re: GPA of international students.

Postby michael » Sat Dec 18, 2010 1:51 pm

I think that people who have done well in university exams that are worried that admissions committees may not understand how well they have done from looking at transcripts should find out their rank, and state it (e.g. finished 4th out of 54 physics students over a four year degree). This should help admissions committees to understand a little better.

If your school dont usually publish a rankings - find out who has access to all the marks, and pester them to work it out (I had to do this).

User avatar
mrrsnhtl
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:27 pm

Re: GPA of international students.

Postby mrrsnhtl » Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:10 pm

I'm applying for Fall '12 from Turkey, too. I consider; if the faculty of your school have some ties to US, grade issues are taken care of in most of the cases. Of course if the admission committee does not know anything about your school it would be appropriate for you or your recommender to mention it. Advisors should encourage you to apply to the schools to which your schools have some connections.

In my case, some considerable number of schools in US are aware that 3.0 GPA from Bogazici University means an honors degree (3.5 is high honors). I think it is kinda similar for schools like METU, Sabanci etc..Right now, my GPA is ~2.9 (though my junior GPA is higher), so I have asked my recommender to mention about this.

CarlBrannen
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 11:34 pm

Re: GPA of international students.

Postby CarlBrannen » Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:25 pm

Richwest wrote:Of course, they aware of such **** SPAM **** a situation.. but you should understand that anycase students are chosen by the higher final GPA.




Return to “Special Concerns for International Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest