I am wondering how graduate schools like Stanford, Berkeley, Caltech, and MIT evaluate the GPA?

Because you can boost your GPA by taking easy classes and in the application it only says enter your GPA. Do they consider classes students have taken? Do they consider whether course are challenging or not?

  • No It is not duplicate what I am asking is even from the same university you can take some very easy courses and boost your GPA, so straight A in basic and easy courses should be different than B in challenging courses. Now the question is how graduate schools take this into considerations?
    – user59419
    Sep 20, 2014 at 7:40
  • 2
    The A in GPA is average. Not only GPA but also the transcript you will need to put in the application. GPA is high means not only you get good grades when taking easy classes, but also you get good grades in challenging classes. The admission commitee knows where to look by reading the transcript.
    – Nobody
    Sep 20, 2014 at 8:36

1 Answer 1


As a filter.

The main purpose of asking for GPA in grad school admissions is to quickly weed out people (like me) who have actually low GPAs. Nobody is admitted to top PhD programs solely on the basis of their GPA, or even primarily on the basis of their GPA. Other factors, including which classes you took, are more important.

If you have a high GPA, but no evidence of research potential, you will not be admitted.

  • It is a good answer but lets consider this scenario. You will take a challenging and important courses for your major and of course they are hard so you might end up with 3.2 GPA but somebody else takes some easy GE courses and some other easy courses before applying so his GPA might be 3.5. Now my question is how graduate schools look at these two numbers since there is no rule stating what courses you should have at the time of applying.
    – user59419
    Sep 20, 2014 at 18:20
  • In my experience, neither of those students is likely to get in, without other seriously compelling evidence.
    – JeffE
    Sep 21, 2014 at 17:52

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