I have hit a wall. I will receive a D in a math course (my major), C- but doubtful. D is passing according to university. It would drop my gpa from 3.6 to 3.3. Two more courses after this to take, so a lower gpa might follow. Does gpa matter when applying for jobs in the math/science field? Let me say, I am not going to grad school, I am an older return student, so being a single mom, I would like to wrap this Bachelor's in Math up. Will keeping a D negatively impact job prospects in any way, or having the degree is the only thing that matters?

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    Questions primarily about undergraduate studies are out of scope here. Questions about employer preferences are doubly so, since people answering questions here are mostly graduate students and professors who don't know well what non-academic jobs demand. That being said, if you don't do better in those other last math classes, as a potential employer looking at your transcript, I would worry that, while you can stay on task, pay attention to details, and follow complicated directions, you might not have the creative thinking and ability to solve novel problems some jobs require. – Alexander Woo Feb 16 '19 at 5:01
  • Many corporate employers have minimum GPA requirements at numbers like 3.0, 3.25, 3.5, etc. This D could knock you out of consideration for some positions. On the other hand, having to stick around for an extra semester will probably cost you a lot of tuition and lost salary. – Brian Borchers Feb 16 '19 at 5:33

Take the D and move on. It is just one course.


This question is highly dependent on personal circumstance (which type of job you plan to pursue, other skills you have that employers might want, how competitive the job market is, which university your degree is from, etc.), but based on the information given I would say it is better to just take the D is most circumstances. The completion of a degree in itself indicates to employers that you had the tenacity to stick with a program for an extended amount of time and is overall (usually) one of the most important factors in getting a job that does not require additional schooling.

Many employers do not check transcripts and are instead looking for other skills. If your schooling has prepared you enough in other ways, one bad mark is not likely to be a make or break when it comes to job hunting. However, I think the best thing would be to consider the specific job you are hoping to get after graduation and decide from there.

  • Thank you! I have been working with same employer for 12 years, but I would really love to work for NOAA or another place with similar missions. I don't think my sisters (both have been in their professions for many years now) have ever looked at their gpa after graduation, let alone remember it. I am just a bit blindsided and hurt by my inability to solve novel problems like @Alexander Woo mentioned in comment above. I will carry on and move on, dropping will not help at this point. Thank you again. – PattyWatty27 Feb 16 '19 at 19:01
  • +1 In particular, I think if you are considered a "senior" applicant (i.e., with relevant work experience), no company will care AT ALL about your grades. If you are considered a "straight-from-school" applicant, some employers might care about your transcript, but others will not. Anecdotally, when I interview candidates for my (small US-based R&D) employer, I do not check grades at all, though some applicants for very junior positions might volunteer relevant coursework and grades. – cag51 Feb 16 '19 at 22:55

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