I read an article recently showing research data of the average graduating GPAs for various majors. It was a discussion piece about whether or not humanities majors were more likely to have higher GPAs given the increased opportunity for professors to be subjective in grading. (Very interesting piece.)

However, I would like to know more than just the average of GPAs. For example, the percentile you would be in if you had x GPA in y major.

Does such data exist?

  • 3
    My impression is that this last statistic could vary widely over different schools. Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 22:59
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    Since it's a very interesting piece, could you please put a reference to it? ;-) Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 23:01
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    Note that you can't necessarily directly compare grading standards across majors by looking at GPA, because students self-select into majors based partially on things like how hard they want to work in college.
    – ff524
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 23:49

1 Answer 1


This data is available for the United States as part of the NCES Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B). You can create a free account, then run some basic data analysis on their data using their PowerStats tool. (You could definitely use it to compute what "percentile would you be in if you had x GPA in y major" - I just tried it for myself. I was apparently a 95.1st percentile student as an undergrad :))

Here's a table I just made there of 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, and 90th percentile GPA by major:

GPA by major

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