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Canadian GPA vs US GPA

winston.lwinston.l Posts: 5Registered User New Member
edited August 2009 in Graduate School
does anyone here know how a canadian student's gpa is looked at by an american university? I see that a lot of people who shared their profile from different college application sites had gpas like 3.9s and 4s, and this grade is almost impossible in our school (university of toronto). I heard a lot of people say that US colleges have different grading scales/different class averages. Does anyone know how canadian gpas are converted?

I have a 3.75 gpa from university of toronto and i am considering programs like economics/doctoral programs in business schools.
Post edited by winston.l on

Replies to: Canadian GPA vs US GPA

  • sarbruissarbruis Posts: 290Registered User Junior Member
    I don't know the answer to your question, but a 3.9+ is rather uncommon and represents the top 2-5% of a university in many cases (a 4.0 is probably top 1% or better). My school (a pretty good state school) has a university-wide average of around a 3.0-3.1.
  • winston.lwinston.l Posts: 5Registered User New Member
    u see, in canadian universities (not just u of t), the class average is typically c+ (or 2.4), whereas the class average of u.s. colleges tend to be much higher. In addition, we do not get 4.33 for A+ (i know some schools in the states give 4.33s but dont know how many schools do that).
  • winston.lwinston.l Posts: 5Registered User New Member
    also, is dean's list a worthwhile-mentioning award or is the something that grad schools assume their applicants would have?
  • hammer1986hammer1986 Posts: 10Registered User New Member
    Dean's list is nothing major since it requires only 3.2 in most colleges that I know off. But it can still be listed but won't affect much in application process, they just care about gpa. Most schools that I know off do not have A+=4.33, Cornell is only school that I know which does that, (most do not). MIT has gpa out of 5.0 instead of 4.0. With regards to the US/ Canada gpa discrepancy, usually they adjust based on the school you are from, and since U of T is pretty well known they would know how to adjust it. How big they adjust I would not know, but since grad schools care about rankings they may be very picky with gpa's. Research and LOR's should be very good along with gre/gmat if you want good shot of getting into a top school.
  • sarbruissarbruis Posts: 290Registered User Junior Member
    Yeah, a C+ is a pretty low average here. I expect that many Canadians have been applying to US schools for ages, so US schools will be aware of GPA standards in Canada. If you're anxious about it e-mail admissions at your prospective schools. In any event a 3.75 is a very respectable GPA and I really doubt it alone with keep you out of any schools here. It's probably pretty average for top PhD programs.

    Dean's list is worth mentioning. It probably doesn't matter, but it's not going to be detrimental for sure. At my school, dean's list is 3.5 in the semester, I think, so it's a nice accomplishment. And we don't have A+ marks, either, unfortunately.
  • MasterMoeMasterMoe Posts: 238Registered User Junior Member
    Nice to see a fellow UofTer here!

    Yeah a P.I. in my previous lab told me that it is common knowledge among American schools that Canadian schools have heavily deflated grades--UofT in particular.

    Don't assume that American schools are ignorant of this because they aren't.

    Really only worry about things you can control. Canadians have always had success applying to US schools--especially in comparison to other international students.

    In any event a 3.75 is a high GPA no matter what school you come from. From UofT, it speaks volumes. But GPA isn't everything.
  • safetypin00safetypin00 Posts: 351Registered User Member
    "Canadians have always had success applying to US schools--especially in comparison to other international students."

    Oh yeah. Do you have evidence?
  • sefagosefago Posts: 1,707Registered User Senior Member
    There is no need for evidence though, its simple common sense-also check the number of canadians at most school
  • StrangeLightStrangeLight Posts: 279Registered User Junior Member
    grad schools will scale your canadian GPA up. i attended UBC and was able to find a conversion table on their website for changing UBC's grades into the american GPA format. this may vary by institution, but the admissions officers at most grad schools will have an international grades specialist whose entire job is to convert grades for international students. they will know that a B in canada is the equivalent of a high A in the US.

    the only part it really starts to hurt is when you get an A+ in canada. you can't really be given an A++. some grad schools will give you a 4.33 for that and others will not.

    when i had done a straight conversion of my canadian grades to a US GPA, i had a 3.4 overall and 3.7 in my major. when i converted it using the chart my own institution provided, i had a 3.7 overall and 4.0 major.

    most schools you contact with this question will simply say "we have someone who converts the grades for us." you won't be able to elicit many more details than that unless you are excessively charming. but don't worry. overall, the schools know that canadian schools grade harder.
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