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I'm currently applying for Ph.D programs (applications are due in mid December, my semester ends in early December, and I am applying for the Fall semester) and I am asked to list my GPA. I currently have a 4.0 GPA, but that might change in between the end of my semester and the due date for applications. My question is, should I list my GPA as 4.0 on my applications and let the school know if this changes? Should I list it as a 4.0 and not let them know, even if I end up with a B or two this semester (this feels unethical to me)? Should I just wait to submit my application after I've gotten my grades for this semester? I would like to avoid doing anything unethical or dishonest that would involve the admissions committee believing I have a GPA that I no longer have, as I understand they might not even look at my application until next year, and at that point, I may not even have the GPA that I said I had.

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Submit your current GPA. Don't do anything else unless required by the school.

No one thinks you're going to know your final GPA now. Schools wants your current GPA to get an idea of what sort of student you are and will make their decision based upon that.

That said, a school may require future transcripts to ensure you haven't bombed all your classes and that you've actually graduated. Any acceptance you get will be dependent upon you graduating. Some schools might also only accept you pending your final grades. As long as your GPA doesn't drop too much (or you don't have a good excuse if it does), you're in the clear.

If you're still concerned you should contact the schools' admission departments, tell them you're still awaiting your semester grades and ask them if your current GPA is fine.

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This kind of overlap happens all the time. The usual approach would be to write something along the lines of "GPA 4.0 (last term pending)".

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