Major GPA vs Core GPA for grad school?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by falcondan, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. falcondan

    falcondan New Member

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    My son is an engineering major with a 3.83 "Major GPA", but only a 3.4 Core GPA.
    I think I heard that in order to have the opportunity to attend graduate school right after graduating from USAFA, you will need to be in the top 10 percent. Does anyone know if that means the top 10 percent of your entire graduating class, or would it be the top 10 percent of your major? If it's the class, then he doesn't cut it, but if it's for engineering majors, he may have a better chance. Thank you for any insight.
     
  2. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA '17

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    It depends on his department and the needs of the Air Force. As far as I know, there are three ways to get to graduate school out of USAFA.

    1) Receive a nationally competitive scholarship/fellowship such as Rhodes (or Holaday for just USAFA), Truman, Marshall, Hertz, NST etc.
    2) Be sponsored by your academic department to go to a graduate school (usually AFIT - Air Force Institute of Technology) and then return later to serve for a few years on that department's faculty.
    3) Receive a slot (usually to AFIT) via AFPC (Air Force Personnel Center) because your particular career field needs people w/ graduate degrees (correct me if I'm wrong, but this could also happen a few years after school).

    Again, the necessary GPA really depends on which academic department your son falls under, but I can say that a 3.4 core probably won't make him competitive for the national scholarships/fellowships. Also, his chances could depend on the interest of his peers who are also in his major. Maybe someone ranked above him wants to be a pilot. Is unlikely that they would go to graduate school before pilot training unless they were able to get one of the national scholarships/fellowships. That means that everyone interested in grad school might be a little closer.

    It is my understanding that the Class of 2015 is not getting as many graduate school slots as previous years so it might be a little more competitive. Not much is know about the quota for 2016 or 2017.

    I'd recommend that he goes to his academic advisor, as they are really the best source of information (or at least should know how to get the information that he wants).
     
  3. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA '17

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    On a side note, I should really proofread my posts.
     
  4. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Generally the overall GPA is the important one. Some programs may also consider the major's GPA if that is the graduate degree as well.

    The AFIT sponsored grad school assignments, as AFrpaso mentions, are more department based. Each department has different requirements and chooses based on their own criteria - your son's GPA would be competitive and his department rank would play a larger role in selection. I don't think he would be picked up for any of the national fellowships or the MIT/Harvard/UofMaryland/RAND/Rice opportunities.
     

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