Be wary of any source that tells you there is one automatic answer to this question. It's complicated and depends on many factors.
The answer depends on your GPA, the career field you are pursuing, and the other qualifications in your background. There is no one set cut-off number.
In technical fields, employers tend to place high importance on GPA, they want to know it, and they are going to ask for it eventually. That's just a fact of life. In fields in which employers care about GPA, if you leave your GPA off, you risk employers assuming that it is very low. (If you have a 2.7 and leave it off, do you want an employer to guess that you have a 2.1?) In some career fields, GPA is not as important a factor in employers' decisions.
In some fields, a 3.0 may be considered strong; in others, it may be considered less-than-strong. Know your industry. [There is a department at Virginia Tech that advises its students to leave off the GPA if it is under 3.4; that is based on expectations in the industry those graduates enter. That is NOT applicable to all fields!]
For graduate students, there is often an assumption that your undergraduate GPA must have been strong for you to be admitted to graduate school, and once in graduate school, strong academic performance is simply expected.
If you are uncertain about including your GPA, seek Career and Professional Development advising for recommendations based on your individual circumstances. (Also see other GPA-related questions below.)
By the time you are a junior or senior, you've generally established an in-major GPA. Many students have a higher in-major GPA than overall GPA; if so, that might be helpful to show — it lets the employer know your area of strength.
If you want to work in a career field related to your major, and your in-major GPA is lower than your overall, and is not strong, the lower in-major GPA is probably not something you want to advertise.
If your overall GPA is very low and your major GPA is very strong, you could leave off your overall GPA and just include your major GPA. If your overall is moderate and your in-major is high, you might choose to list both.
There is not a magic formula; this is a judgment call. You need to know the standards and expectations in the career field or graduate programs you are pursuing.
Again, if you're unsure about what to include, you're welcome to seek advising from us in Career and Professional Development for recommendations based on your circumstances.
If you don't know your in-major GPA:
Login into Hokie SPA
- Degree Menu ["Grades Menu" includes "GPA Calculators" but that doesn't provide your in-major GPA.]
- Select proper degree menu
- Application for Degree
- Degree Audit Report Menu
- Request a Degree Audit Report [DARS] [select "List All Requirements"]
- Open the DARS report, scroll down to In-Major GPA requirement; open that; shows your current in-major GPA and courses included in that calculation.
Note other options and the contact link for the University Registrar if you have questions about your DARS.
There's not one number that's a magic cut-off point — the answer depends on several factors. Students sometimes hear that a GPA under 3.0 should be left off your resume. [There is a major at Virginia Tech in which the faculty have good reason to advise students that a 3.4 GPA or higher is expected. If you're in that major, you'll know it.]
The real answer will depend on several things.
- What are the expectations in your career field and industry?
- Are you seeking work in a career field in which GPA is/isn't important?
- How competitive is the career field you plan to enter?
- What other credentials are in your background?
- Did you work during school to pay for your education?
- Did you hold leadership positions in school or community organizations?
- Do you have experience related to your career goals?
- Did you start out in a difficult major that hurt your GPA and then raise your grades significantly after changing into your current major?
If you are unsure about including your overall GPA, your major GPA, or both, seek advising from us in Career and Professional Development; we'll discuss your individual situation and help you make a decision that is right for you.