How low is low?

<p>Hey, while looking at some stats on USNews Grad School (Engineering) site I found that a mean GPA of admitted students is nearly 3.6 for almost every TOP 20 school. Really high, isn't it?</p>

<p>1) Are these stats trustable?
2) How low is a low gpa? I mean, an undergrad 3.2 GPA how is considered in Engineering degrees? No chance for TOP 20?
(Let's assume other factors like GRE, publi and so are on the same level of an "ideal" 3.6 candidate)</p>



<li><p>Yes, in general. You have to have a high GPA to get into graduate school period, and an even higher one to get into top 20 schools. A 3.6 GPA just means that people hover around that, though, so there are people with lower and people with higher GPAs. You also have to remember that some people go back to school after working as engineers or in research labs, at which point their UGPA becomes less relevant - so a person may have a 3.2 but worked at a top firm or in a great research lab and then applied to grad school with a really tight application other than that GPA.</p></li>
<li><p>That depends on the program and on the rest of your credentials. Some programs have cut-offs and they won't look at your GPA below a certain point, others will work with you if you have an otherwise outstanding application. There's no algorithm for getting into graduate school, it just depends on your application. The best thing for you to do is apply to places at which you are a great fit and improve the rest of your credentials - you can't change your undergraduate GPA but you can do other things to make yourself stand out. Focus on those.</p></li>