I recently finished my PhD and am currently applying for several positions both within academia and in industry. Some companies I'm looking at have standardized job portal where you can leave your info and do a "general application" (e.g. IBM).

In the education section they ask for GPA for each entry, including PhD which appears to be a mandatory field. Here's the problem none of our grad courses are graded, you pass or fail. Thus no GPA. I tried to write N/A, but that wasn't accepted by the system.

Anyone with experience on how to deal with this situation?

  • Did they say GPA for what degree? PhD or Bachelors? – scaaahu Nov 6 '15 at 11:29
  • If it is just GPA, you can write your Bachelors\Masters GPA. I doubt you will get any GPA for courses taken during PhD courses. – Dexter Nov 6 '15 at 13:46
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    I would contact the employer and ask what they want. I would not try to guess, or take advice from anyone not with the company. If you guess wrong, they might think you lied on the application, which could cost you the job. – Nate Eldredge Nov 6 '15 at 14:00
  • As long as you include an explanation somewhere in your application, it's okay to fudge your answer to that question, to accommodate the rigid web form. – aparente001 Nov 7 '15 at 2:11

As noted in the comments, the first thing to do is to contact the company HR department.

If you don't get a rapid response, however, then I would recommend filling in the form with as obvious a nonsense number as it will let you (e.g., -1, 9000), or if it won't let you do that, then fill in whatever it thinks is a perfect GPA (you passed all your classes, right?). Then explain the form problem and your true situation in text. The best place to do this is, in order of preference:

  1. A free-text "Comments" or "Other Information" field on the application form, since that will typically be seen at the same time a person is seeing the GPA.
  2. Your cover letter
  3. Your resume

Note, however, that you are not very likely to get a positive response in any case from this type of completely generic application form, since it is likely getting filled to the brim with pseudo-spam from a vast number of recent graduates worldwide. HR departments often put such a "catch-all" form out in order to satisfy formal requirements, rather than because they expect to actually do much hiring in this manner.

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