I'm a first-year medical student within the United States considering a move to Australia. I am not looking at a "study abroad" or "foreign exchange student" type program. A direct move and goal to be a citizen, living there indefinitely.

As of now, my academic marks (GPA) aren't the best they can be and I am concerned that they will follow me towards Australia if I decide to move there.

If I transfer between the two countries is my United States GPA considered or used by an Australian university? If so, how?

  • Hope somebody can answer about your specific case, but in general different countries have different grading systems and don't follow a strict standard such as the US GPA. This means that in general each institution has their own admissibility criteria and grades are usually less significant. – Erwan Mar 25 '19 at 0:45
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    Also obviously I don't know anything about your specific case, but in general obtaining citizenship can take years. – Erwan Mar 25 '19 at 0:48
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    You should probably start by worrying just about the path for transferring rather than what it will do to your GPA. Transferring schools is not necessarily straightforward, especially between countries and especially when you are no longer an undergraduate student. – Bryan Krause Mar 25 '19 at 1:16

While every university is different, it might play a part of the admissions process, but after that, probably not, no. It’s likely that you won’t even receive credit for the units that you’ve done directly; instead, you’d ask for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and they’ll look at the units you’ve done and compare them to the units you’d need to do for your new degree, then give you non-graded passes for the units in your degree that they felt were roughly equivalent in content and teaching level.

Additionally, most Australian universities mark on a seven-point grade scale, ranging from 1 (Low Fail) to 4 (Pass) to 7 (High Distinction), which wouldn’t be directly comparable to the American 4-point system.

Source: I’m an Australian who transferred between two different universities and degrees during his undergraduate, and is currently doing postgraduate study. This is just my personal experience; I’m open to being corrected by someone with experience working in a university’s admissions office.

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    I think Australian "Units" are American "Credits." – Anonymous Physicist Mar 25 '19 at 5:51

My undergraduate university (in Australia, part of the Group of 8) considers two marks; a GPA (out of 4.0) and a Weighted Average Mark (out of 100%). At my school it is very likely your GPA will be simply be converted 1:1 and considered.

All of the schools I know of consider both the GPA and WAM, but sometimes the GPA is out of 5 or 7 depending on the school. This may not be the case for the university you are applying for.

I should mention that I am assuming you are applying as a transfer student or for a postgraduate programme; I do not know how high school grades are considered in Australia.

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    OP already specified that they are a 1st year medical student. In the US, that means they have completed a 4 year bachelor program already. – Bryan Krause Mar 25 '19 at 4:27

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