I am in the process of applying for PhD programs in the United States and am facing a dilemma regarding my GPA format. My current university uses a 20/20 grading scale, and I am unsure if I should convert this to the 4.0 scale commonly used in the US or if I should submit it in its original format.

Is it standard practice to convert a non-4.0 GPA to a 4.0 scale for US PhD applications?

Should any conversion be accompanied by an explanation or certification from my current university?

  • 3
    Look for instructions from the programs you apply to.
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Jan 6 at 16:01

1 Answer 1


If you are permitted to do so, I suggest that you submit the GPA as stated by your own university, giving the normal maximum as you have done here. US universities are good about knowing how to translate such things and in some cases might ask you for additional information.

But stating it as given avoids any possible charge of inflating.

Translations are, at best, approximate in any case, and very complicated in some situations. Let the university deal with it.

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    American universities subscribe to services that either convert a myriad of scoring systems to their own systems or give appropriate interpretations in English. They do this using a transcript or report from the university of origin. The applicant can add nothing by doing their own arithmetic. Commented Jan 6 at 18:21

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