Should I take an extra class to raise my 3.57 GPA in college?

Hi All,

I am a super senior who has a 3.57 GPA in my last semester as an undergrad. I have a majority of A’s on my transcript, except for the beginning of my college career (when I took classes of things I didn’t like lol). I want to know how much my GPA will raise after taking 15 units (5 classes) this semester, assuming I will continue to get straight A’s this semester.

I have tried GPA calculators and they are wildly inaccurate. Last Spring, my GPA was a 3.52 and then in the Fall my GPA only went up to a 3.57. If I take an extra class is there a chance I can get a 3.7 GPA or will I inevitably be stuck at a 3.6 GPA? Why hasn’t my GPA gone up that much?

Should be a simple math problem to calculate a theoretical GPA based on number of graded credits completed, the GPA in those credits, the number of graded credits you are taking, and the GPA you theoretically may get in those credits.

But it should be obvious that if you are taking 15 credits now, but have taken 105 or more mostly or all graded credits so far, you may not be able to affect your overall GPA that much.

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Why do you need to raise your GPA…which would only be a small amount.

And consider…if you add an extra course, it might affect your overall grades your last term, and that would be worse.

I’m with @thumper1: why do you want to raise your GPA?

I want to have the best possible GPA for applying to grad school.

I have taken 5 classes for the last 2 years of my college career and maintained straight A’s so I am confident I can do well. :slight_smile:

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But how do I figure out this math problem? I have no clue how any of it works, nor am I a math major lol. What information do I need to synthesize from the units, grades, and my overall course history to be able to figure it out?

What subject, what degree and what schools?

Grad school applications are different than undergrad: they are interested in how qualified you are for their course. ECs will matter to the extent that they relate to your subject area.

Most grad programs will look at both your cumulative GPA and your subject GPA- and as long as you meet a threshold for the cGPA (and 3.5 usually will) the subject GPA is more important. So, what is your GPA in the subject that you want to study?

There are online calculators for calculating GPAs (search for gpacalculator- there’s a good one at .net).

I am an art history and journalism double major. My cumulative GPA is currently 3.57. My major GPA for art history and journalism are both 4.0 (I have never gotten below an A in all my major classes).

I want to go to grad school for art history. I will be applying to schools such as NYU, Pratt, Art Institute of Chicago, UC Davis, UCR, and possibly one or two Ivy Leagues (they are not a priority though).

Like I said before, GPA calculators online are wildly inaccurate for me (one predicted I would have a 3.7 by now but I don’t lol). Do you know of a math equation I could use?

This is a simple “average” calculation. You don’t need to be a math major to figure it out.

For each of your courses taken multiply the GPA earned by the number of credits for the course. Make sure to include your predicted score for the course you are considering taking. Add the total of each calculation and divide by the total number of credits. That would be your new cGPA. You can then compare that to the calculation not including the additional course.

I suspect you would find that without the extra course your GPA would move to a 3.62. With the additional course it would be 3.63. Not worth it.

MA or PhD? do you have a 2nd language?

Just looking at some quick numbers, if you get straight A’s this coming semester you’re going to end up with just over a 3.6 gpa whether you take 4 or 5 classes. You won’t be able to bring it up to a 3.7. That’s still a great gpa. Congratulations.

With some simple assumptions (15 units per semester, 7 semesters complete), a 4.0 in 15 units would net a 3.624. Adding a class and getting a 4.0 for 18 units would net a 3.633.

I doubt 0.009 points will make a significant difference to a grad school application…

OP asked: “Should I take an extra class to raise my 3.57 GPA in college ?”

The simple answer: Yes.

Your college GPA lasts a lifetime. If you are confident that you will earn all As, then do so since you are already comfortable taking 5 courses per term.

I don’t agree. Your undergrad college GPA might matter for your first job and interview in some fields. But really after that, your job experience is what will matter.

Plus. This student is planning an advanced degree. That GPA will be more important, in my opinion.

There is nothing to agree or disagree with as one’s college GPA does last a lifetime.

Your argument appears to be about the importance of one’s college GPA throughout one’s career. That is a different matter.

Ok…it lasts a lifetime but diminishes in importance. Agreed.

This student can take the extra course, and maybe they should if they are sure all A grades can be made. She might regret it later.

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Taking an extra course, even presuming the OP gets an A, is going to have a negligible impact on their GPA.

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Here is an example calculation. It does not use any math more advanced than what you may have learned in elementary school. But you must figure it out with the actual number of previous letter-graded credits you have, and how many actual letter-graded credits you can take now.

Suppose you have 105 letter-graded credits with a 3.57 GPA for 374.85 grade points. (You may have a different number of credits, and you may have fewer letter-graded credits if you took some as passed / not-passed.)

If you add 15 letter-graded credits of 4.0 GPA, or 60 grade points, you will have 434.85 (= 374.85 + 60) grade points. Dividing by 120 (= 105 + 15) gives a GPA of 3.624.

If you add 19 letter-graded credits of 4.0 GPA, or 76 grade points, you will have 450.85 (= 374.85 + 76) grade points. Dividing by 124 (= 105 + 19) gives a GPA of 3.636.

Strongly disagree that it is beyond very marginally meaningful. I could have done an extra credit assignment in 10th grade to move my B to an A. I chose not to and that B will be with me for life…

In 15 years of recruiting, 5 years as lead for a T20 school and on the national recruiting team of a large international firm, I never considered .009 GPA points to be meaningful and never had any discussions that anyone would consider it meaningful.

In a 30 year professional career, I was not asked once for a GPA after being hired out of school.

Beyond the pedantic point that it exists, do you actually believe it’s worth the extra time investment, at the cost of time spent on other courses, job searches, etc? Or is your absolute Yes purely based on transcript persistence?

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Perhaps the only place where a small GPA difference can matter is around a cut-off GPA, commonly 3.0, where employers interview college applicants with GPA at or above the cut-off GPA first. So 3.001 GPA may be a lot better than 2.999 GPA in this instance.

But employers are unlikely to have a cut-off GPA at 3.627 (or otherwise between the GPAs that you could get with or without an extra few credits of A grade). Maybe a small chance if the without and with GPAs could be 3.59x versus 3.60x, but even that is not likely since 3.0 appears to be the most common employer cut-off GPA.