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Confused about graduate school grading - December 10th 2015, 03:37 AM

I am starting grad school and am very confused about the grading. I have always heard the same seemingly contradictory thing said in almost the same sentence , " a C is failure, even a B- can get you a warning.....but in grad school , grades aren't important". I also hear that the C is the lowest you can get. So is the grading scale usually "80 or below is a C"? I can still get a C with a 0 percent average? Or is it that everyone is so qualified that nobody will get below a C?

Also why is everyone saying that nobody cares about grades in grad school- If a B- can get you a stern talking to - it sounds like grades matter a hell of a lot; much more than undergrad where many people consider B a good grade. I'm very confused about why this is said - if schools consider anything less than an "A" as poor performance/barely passing.
   
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Re: Confused about graduate school grading - December 10th 2015, 05:35 PM

Yeah, it's confusing. At my institution, yes, a C is failing. But it's hard to get a C if you're a graduate student because you wouldn't go to graduate school if you weren't going to take it seriously and get your best grades, you know? I think less than 10% of my large Biostats class is getting under a B. If you're in graduate school, spending all of that time and money, you just...don't. Hahaha. There are also curves too. So that can help in the classes that people typically flop in.

On the "grades don't matter," that is true as well because the most important part of graduate school (particularly master's level) is 1) learning skills needed for your career and 2) networking. The grades will come along with doing those things, but unlike undergrad where a lot of times you just bullshit for the grade to get out with the degree, you shouldn't be wasting your time in graduate school if you don't want to learn those skills and network with the people teaching.

So yes. The grading is strict but doesn't matter because graduate school doesn't make sense. The end. Hahaha


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Re: Confused about graduate school grading - December 10th 2015, 05:46 PM

I have never heard that grades aren't important in grad school, but here's the thing: Programs can dismiss you for both academic (usually 7 or more credits of C or lower), and non-academic (poor fit for the chosen profession despite passing grades.) That's what happened to me despite my 3.7. So, they matter a lot, but they don't in the sense that high grades won't necessarily save you from dismissal if there are other issues. Also, once you're in the field all that will matter is that you passed. I guess you could also argue that since everyone tends to fall into the same grade range, they don't tell you much about your ability compared to others.

Yes, a C is considered "failing", and any grades in the B range will probably have them voicing "concerns." It is possible to get a D or F, but the letter grade matters less at that point than the fact that you got below the C cut off.

In any given class, most people pass, a few may end up with a high C, or they will withdraw if they think they will do worse than that to save their GPA.


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