When you take the GRE, you get the percentile score. Do US universities publish such distributional data about how to interpret their grades? Can it be requested specifically?

I ask because if you are charged with evaluating applicants, it would be helpful to know how they performed compared to their peers during their bachelor or master's degree. For example, in the UK first honors is around top 9% of the cohort.

  • 4
    You want to compare percentile scores taken on samples of students from different institutions and disciplines? That's going to be... problematic. Commented Jan 2, 2015 at 0:05
  • 1
    The answer to any question of the form "Do US universities...?" is Some do, some don't. Every university is different.
    – JeffE
    Commented Jan 2, 2015 at 15:52

2 Answers 2


The US has no organized system of class rank comparisons. Some individual universities (or departments within a university) may track this, but at the university level the educational approaches are so diverse, even for different options within a single department, that direct rank comparison would make little sense in any case. It is for this reason that a number of high ranked universities (MIT being one example) explicitly refuse to create such ranking comparisons.


My university does not publish cohort rankings. It does award some degrees "with distinction" but these like other awards are given by departments on the basis of nomination by faculty, and not by grades.

Remember that you only get grades for coursework, which is a tiny part of your graduate experience.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .