Do American schools convert Canadian grades?

<p>Hey all,</p>

<p>I am currently an undergrad at Mcmaster university in Canada and want to apply for the MA programme. The minimum requirement is (77%-B+) 3.3 gpa in both last 5 courses and 6 courses related to field. In my last 5.5 courses I have an average of about 78.8% so I am ok in that regard. I am thining of doing the MA in the U.S. though.</p>

<p>Now I have read some posts on here arguing that Canadian schools must be easier because a 77=b+, 80=A-,85-A, 90=A+. They complain that it must be easier to get a B+ or an A because the marks are low. This is faulty logic and I can assure you it is not so easy. My School (and I imagine all major universities) doesn't give out many A's, never mind A+...it simply doesn't happen. The highest grade I have ever recieved is 81% in 2 courses. The marking here is just difficult! I have written many essays where the professor's comments were along the lines of... "well researched, weall written, great job" yet I got an 77%. One of the smartest guys I have studied with, who bypassed MA and went straight to PHd finished school with an 85% average. Moreover, the course averages at my school ar quite low. It is not uncommon for the average to be C+ or B. I am in the highest level of undergraduate courses designed for pre-masters students and the course average is something like 74%.</p>

<p>I was thinking of applying to U.S. schools but know we have different marking schemes. My girlfriend is American and goes to Michigan State. We compare marks occasionally and I have noticed that my 77% is not a B+ there but a C+ while my B+ letter grade equals to 86-89%. My girlfriend just finished her schooling with a 3.8 gpa but she will be the first to say I am better than her academically. She looks over my papers and is shocked by the amount of research, thought and referencing and says it is like reading a schollarly article. The longest paper she has written is like 10 pages where I have written 3 or 4 over 20 and one that was 30 pages. </p>

<p>Now if we both applied to the same graduate school in the U.S. she would have an advantage over me with a 3.8 gpa compared to my 3.3 eventhough the marking system is obviously tougher here? Do the American schools take this into consideration? Would they look at my 77% and lower my grade letter to C or would they take my B+ and raise my % to 87+? </p>

<p>thanks everyone</p>

<p>As a graduate of a Canadian undergrad institution myself, I sympathize with your situation. However, the gap between the grading schemes at US and Canadian institutions isn't quite as large as you're making it out to be. For example, it defies common sense that a typical 3.3 student at McMaster would be a 3.8 student at Michigan State; if this were true, Canadian students would never get into US graduate programs!</p>

<p>US graduate schools receive applications from many countries outside the US, and so they generally know how to adjust for school strength and grading scale. If you think that your GPA may be misleadingly low, you might try to find out your "class rank" (in relation to other students in your program) and put that in your personal statement or CV.</p>

<p>According to [url=<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_grading_in_Canada%5DWikipedia%5B/url"&gt;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_grading_in_Canada]Wikipedia[/url&lt;/a&gt;] grading scales aren't as uniform through Canada as they are in the states. Most applications require YOU to convert your GPA to to the 4-point scale GPA. Arguing that coursework is just "more difficult" and grading is "harsher" isn't really going to cut it to explain a 3.3 on the converted scale. Certainly, if they are familiar, they'll see that a 3.3 at a good rigorous school is better than a 4.0 at a Mickey Mouse institution, but realistically that is for them to decide.</p>