Although it is generally believed that grades in one's PhD program are deemed as unimportant (so I am not asking whether grades are important for PhD students or not), I still see many PhD students include their GPA in their CV and I guess there might be a reason for them to do so.

I wonder if any company in industry or postdoc admission committee in academia need to look at the transcripts of job applicants (PhD students).

  • 2
    Yes, yes I do. And so does my management. Perhaps sadly, but it is true. If you are barely scraping by on the coursework that will be a problem.
    – Jon Custer
    Oct 27, 2018 at 2:53
  • Yes. It tells us your potential and gives us a better overall picture of you. Oct 27, 2018 at 3:08
  • 3
    When I applied for postdocs and faculty positions (mostly in the US), no one asked for my transcript and I didn't include a GPA or anything in my application materials. I take that to be a clear indicator that no one cares. It may be different for non-academic positions.
    – Thomas
    Oct 27, 2018 at 7:06

3 Answers 3


I wonder if any company in industry or postdoc admission committee in academia need to look at the transcripts of job applicants (PhD students).

There are 200 million companies globally, so the only possible answer is that some will and some won't. As discussed here, it usually does not make sense to use it for purposes other than internally tracking the students' progress. But as discussed elsewhere, people do this anyway.

If you're asking whether there are any possible reasons for doing so, I can imagine the following:

  • To verify that they have the degree in question [though you don't need a transcript for this]
  • To see what kind of courses they took and what they already know [though this discounts whatever they learned in research, which is the whole point of a PhD]
  • To see if they failed classes or had to repeat classes [also not a good predictor for research]
  • To compare applicants against one another [but impossible to normalize]

Note also that in some countries, PhDs have no coursework and so there is no transcript to look at.


Industry generally doesn't care after your first job (at your first job, school is the only thing to go on). People put their GPA because they think it looks good. It certainly can and does impress people, but always looks a tad boastful and silly (but don't be too dissuaded if you have a great GPA, because this is a scenario where you need to sell yourself and boast). Schools often can't even easily access the transcripts of people who graduated more than 15 years ago; they only rarely get requested.

Like everyone else, industry does care that your degree is real, but that is often done via a separate verification process that is easier and separate from transcripts. Many will take an official transcript as proof (and many others will take an unofficial one).

Postdocs are a different story. In academia the transcript is obviously much more valued for rating people. Though it's often completely up the the prof doing the hiring. At the official school level, they are mainly interested in verifying your degree in order to give a postdoc title.

By the way, probably the biggest reason GPA's at the doctoral level are ignored is essentially grade inflation. At research schools, many grad classes just give everyone an "A" for showing up. Or even difficult classes will curve everyone to only "A"'s and "B"'s. Because even a mediocre GPA at the grad level can lead to dismissal. Doctoral students are assessed in other ways instead.


In academic mathematics in the U.S., I don't think anyone cares about Ph.D. GPA, even apart from the fact that it is most often meaningless, since in advanced grad courses it hardly makes sense to "assign grades".

Rather, for postdocs, what matters is publication record and letters of recommendation, and to some extent one's research and teaching statements.

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