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I'm an undergraduate student in the U.S. writing my resume for grad school applications. I'm pursuing double degrees (will have two diplomas) in physics and mathematics (both in Bachelor of Science), with a minor in philosophy. I'm really confused about how I can show the education on my resume? Should I list my GPA for each major in the degrees, or just show the overall cumulative GPA? Here's what I'm planning to do:

[University Name],[College of Natural Science][Education date]
B.S. in Physics [Physics GPA] + B.S. in Mathematics [Math GPA][University location]
Minor in Philosophy
Overall GPA:[overall GPA][Honors:...]

Does that look professional? (Philosophy is not in the college of natural science) Any suggestions about how I can improve this section? I don't know if it's okay to list 3 GPAs at the same time. Thanks for the help :)

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  • If you truly have double degrees, then probably the minor is attached to one of the degrees? Nov 2 '21 at 15:59
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    Of course academia varies, but at least at my alma mater, two BSes are double majors, not double degrees. Nov 2 '21 at 16:02
  • @Azor Ahai -him- Thanks for the comment! I have double degrees, so I'm kinda confused how can I distinguish double degrees and double majors on resume:)
    – IGY
    Nov 2 '21 at 16:12
  • Does your school give you a GPA for each degree and an overall GPA? Nov 2 '21 at 16:13
  • @Azor Ahai -him- The school gives me an overall GPA with all courses I've taken. I could include my major GPAs in math and physics, but I don't feel like it is the GPA for each degree
    – IGY
    Nov 2 '21 at 16:14
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My suggestion is that if the university awards two separate degrees (something like two diplomas), then list them separately. Otherwise just say you have a double major. But make sure you are correct in your interpretation.

If your university gives you a separate GPA for each degree, then you can list them as stated on transcripts, but otherwise, avoid interpretations on your own and list a single GPA if that is what they do.

The places you apply to (and committee members individually) have access to your transcript and can make their own interpretations. For a lot of purposes this is better in any case, since grades in some courses are more important than in others, especially in US where there are lots of courses outside the major(s) than are included.

In general, don't try to make interpretations of official documents lest someone disagrees with how you state it. Let the official record stand for itself.

If the minor in Philosophy is associated with only one of the degrees, make that association clear, otherwise just do what the university does. And note that a philosophy minor (I have one also) is not that important for doctoral study in either math or physics unless you intend to specialize in the philosophy of one of those fields. (Good for writing answers here, I've found.)

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  • Thanks so much, that really helps! However, I wonder how can I include my minor on the resume? (It's not associated with either degree) Also, I only have access to my overall GPA, maybe I could add that to the end of my education section?
    – IGY
    Nov 2 '21 at 20:20
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    You don't really need the GPA at all if transcripts are sent. Just list the minor separately as in your post. If you list GPA at all, just say Overall GPA x.y, or whatever. But assure that it matches the transcript at the time you send it. (Sometimes the GPA doesn't include the last semester(s) depending on when application is made. The records office can supply you with an official number if necessary. Maybe even "Overall GPA (7 semesters) ..." to be as clear as possible. But the transcript will speak for itself.
    – Buffy
    Nov 2 '21 at 20:33
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I think you are overthinking this. There is no one 'professional' style that is the right way. The way you suggest it seems fine, but you can take a look at other resumes as well, a lot of researchers have them on their personal web page.

I'd suggest something like this:

Bachelor of Physics - University of SomewhereLandCity - 1/1/2021
GPA: X.Y
Bachelor of Mathematics - University of SomewhereLandCity - 1/1/2021
GPA X.Y2

Double bachelor with minor in Philosophy.

I wouldn't list the combined GPA, you have separate GPA's for both degrees. An average of those wouldn't seem very beneficial to me.

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  • Actually, in the US, one has only a single GPA for all courses taken, in majors and otherwise. The transcript of courses will show individual grades and one can informally extract a "GPA" for major courses only. But even that is a bit nebulous since, to get a BS/BA in math you are probably required to take some science courses - usually physics. So some courses are counted toward both majors. At my undergrad university, even philosophy was required of a math major. And, you don't get two degrees. You get one degree with a dual major. I'd be interested to learn of any exceptions in US.
    – Buffy
    Nov 2 '21 at 13:20
  • Ah I didn't know. In Europe you actually get two degrees as far as I know. I think I missed the part in the question where OP mentioned the US.
    – Jeroen
    Nov 2 '21 at 13:25
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    Normally the institution you apply to will extract all such needed information from the transcript anyway, so it is actually a bit moot.
    – Buffy
    Nov 2 '21 at 13:30
  • @Buffy My alma mater awards double majors and double degrees, although the latter is pretty rare. At that school at least, you could not double major in degrees that were different (e.g. two BSes become a double major, but a BS and a BEng would be a double degree). Nov 2 '21 at 16:01
  • I don't know if the GPAs are separate though. Nov 2 '21 at 16:02
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An alternative: Do not bother writing your GPA on a resume at all, or report just a major GPA for the subject of the graduate courses to which you're applying (e.g. report a math GPA if you're applying for math grad school).

Nobody will find this unusual, as your applications will include a transcript. Perhaps some search committee members will inspect a few of your grades in specific courses on your transcript. But otherwise, your precise numerical GPA simply isn't going to be a factor that distinguishes you from other applicants.

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  • Sounds great, thank you!
    – IGY
    Nov 2 '21 at 20:21

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