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Undergrad major GPA comparsion

edited October 2014 in General 98 karma
How does adcom view a 3.0 in chemistry or physics versus a 3.5 or 4.0 in Com/English/Business? The grades would be coming from a T30 undergraduate institution with a T10/T5 science program. Thanks.


  • fifthendingfifthending Alum Member
    edited October 2014 154 karma
    I was kind of wondering the same thing. I'm getting a b.s. in Biology and realistically, I'll end with 3.5-3.7 GPA at best (at the University of Minnesota) so I'm wondering how they might weigh that compared to say, an English degree with a 4.0 GPA.
  • cole.w.murdochcole.w.murdoch Alum Member
    228 karma
    From what I've heard from schools here in Ontario, they weigh them all equally. I'm not sure if that translates to schools in the states but I wouldn't think the major drastically changes their perception of your grades.
  • LSATislandLSATisland Free Trial Inactive Sage
    1878 karma
    I can't speak to all Ontario schools, but I think the major and undergraduate institution does affect some of their evaluation. In the US, the GPA number might be more important since major and undergraduate institution is not part of the US News report. It obviously depends on each school, but it also allows for slight suspicion of US school declaring that they give importance to majors and undergraduate institutions.
  • _FIDELIO__FIDELIO_ Alum Member
    edited October 2014 98 karma
    @fifthending I prob should have majored in something else, but was already waste deep and decided not to look back. I'm thinking anything in Chem/Phys/Bio above a 3.0 is fine if you get 160+ on the LSAT. Keep in mind the LSAT is 2/3 of the app in itself. Also I've looked at major by admission and like 10% or less are hard science majors. At my school the average Chem major GPA is a 2.85 and nobody in the last 40 years or so has ever had a 4.0 GPA (:P). In fact you can rank first in class major with anything above 3.5+, that's just how difficult it is. I hope they realize this, which it sounds like they will, upon deciding on my app. The USNEWS report rankings that came out this week said my undergrad was a T30. I did some monumental research my senior year and since graduating two years ago have started a successful small business which should really help with comparing my app to others.
  • LeoFiro8LeoFiro8 Alum Member
    244 karma
    It just may be the other way around, as in weighting Eng/poli sci majors lighter than Bio/phys. Just because more people have trouble with math and science it doesn't mean the English classes are any easier and for this case ( law school) more relevant and worthy. Yes Bio/math majors like many of my friends go through a lot more work and is harder to maintain a high GPA but what good does a hard working Bio major have for lawschool? nothing a great English major student doesn't have if the English major is not offering even more with his/her strength in reading comprehension, analytical reasoning and things necessary to become a good lawyer. Why would they say " oh yeah Bio/math majors went through so much hard work to maintain this GPA as opposed to this philosophy major student, Let's consider their lower GPA higher than that student with "easier" major. Doesn't make sense.
  • _FIDELIO__FIDELIO_ Alum Member
    edited October 2014 98 karma
    @LeoFiro8 What you look at is the average GPA as a whole for that particular major at that university. Traditionally Eng./Philo. majors GPA is MUCH higher than a science majors GPA. Much, much higher. It also sends off red flags when people take Eng./Philo. class as electives, make A's in all of them then are average in their major/science courses. I don't mean to belittle you if that's your major because either way I AM fine. In my case "The proof is in the pudding" meaning I took 6 English courses and made A's in all of them. In my science/major courses I have A's, B's and C's. I think that speaks for itself. Besides I'm looking to go into ENVIRONMENTAL LAW/ EPA compliance so at a certain point my degree will come in handy.
  • danballinger5danballinger5 Alum Member
    198 karma
    All law schools create an index score composed of your LSAT score and GPA. They all use a slightly different formula, but are all fairly similar. This is the actual score that they look at when comparing applicants. If your index score is above a certain threshold, you're in - unless you write some atrocious personal statement or something like that. Likewise, if your index score is below a certain threshold, your out. Differences in major and individual classes only matter when comparing students with similar index scores among the in between group.

    The lower the GPA, the higher the LSAT score needed to rescue the index score. In the end, it's the numbers within the class profiles (median LSAT/GPA) that weigh heaviest on a law schools potential rankings, and they aren't going to fuck around with that too much. If you think your GPA does not accurately represent your potential, you really need to add an addendum to your application explaining why.
  • _FIDELIO__FIDELIO_ Alum Member
    98 karma
    What about the college itself? How would an undergrad at Cal Berkley compare to Pheonix Online or University of Hogwarts? Would the 4.0's be the same? I take it by your reasoning they would?
  • jdawg113jdawg113 Alum Inactive ⭐
    2654 karma
    I would think it depends on the school. I kinda think that in general for acceptance, that 4.0 and say 170 LSAT will get both you(say from Berkley) and Joe Smo from UoH accepted... then comes scholarship $$$$$.... whose going to get more? Probably you. From what I understand they do look curriculum when looking at the GPA and it does play a role. From what I remember from a forum an admissions rep said LSAC actually has a system that rates the school's difficulty or something that schools can take into account. So yeah I think it could benefit you going to a better college when it comes to $, however in terms of acceptance idk how much thought gets put into which school the GPA is from (that doesn't mean it plays no role in acceptance of course)
  • goegoe10goegoe10 Alum Member
    56 karma
    Your academic summary report on LSAC lists the mean GPA at your college and your percentile rank. This gives some indication of how difficult your school is and where you stand. Still, the major thing is a bit of mystery to me.
  • fifthendingfifthending Alum Member
    154 karma
    @_FIDELIO_ I totally get where you're coming from - the intensity of the work is just not comparable but on the bright side, the law school admissions office at the University of Minnesota did tell me that on average, students in the hard sciences (the few that apply to law school) scored better on the LSAT across the board because, as you'll know as a science major, analytical reasoning and reading comprehension is something of a requirement in the science field. Anyways, I do hope they'll take that into consideration as well, and I think it's really cool that you've started a small business - that should definitely give you an advantage. Good luck!
  • marleybabymarleybaby Alum Member
    194 karma
    Heck if I had gone to the university of hogwarts I wouldn't need to be a lawyer. I'd just walk up to the ministry of magic and say... Head Auror is here.
  • ENTJENTJ Alum Inactive ⭐
    3658 karma
    It all depends on the criterion of the law school(s) that you'll be applying to. My best advice is for you to intensively research the particular law school that you hope to gain admissions to. Also, it would be prudent to check out law school fairs and actually have a chance to talk to admission representatives of those particular law schools. I did that some time ago and found it incredibly helpful. There's another one coming up in the Bay Area and I may go to that one as well.
  • danballinger5danballinger5 Alum Member
    198 karma
    Nontraditional degree schools are a different animal unto themselves. I went to law school with a guy who had graduated from one of those universities that do not hand out grades, only lengthy evaluations of a students' performance. Instead of transcripts, his admissions package was like a short novel. Where you did your undergrad, and what your major were may make a slight difference, but your LSAT score, GPA, and personal statement are still what really count. I still say it is best to contact prospective schools and ask them about their individual admissions criteria. The numbers from the incoming class profile at any school has always been the yardstick to measure one's chances by.

    This is from the LSAC site:
    Admission Index
    Some law schools use a formula to combine an LSAT score and UGPA into a single index number. A list of mathematical formulas enabling you to calculate your admission index for each law school to which you apply is available in your account. Note that not all law schools use index formulas, and those that do use them do not necessarily use them in the same way.

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