Engineering is a popular subject in most universities, perhaps because it offers excellent job prospects. However, after getting your engineering degree, you need to score an excellent GPA to get a good job. So, what is a good GPA for engineering?
To decide what a good GPA in engineering is, you should first consider the maximum GPA in the engineering course you’re taking. If the maximum GPA is 5.0, a GPA of 3.8 or above will be considered good. Meanwhile, if the maximum GPA is 4.0, a GPA of 3.0 or above is considered good.
This article examines the GPA you should aim for depending on the type of engineering you’re studying. It also considers ways to improve your GPA and other ways to stand out when applying for an engineering job.
How an Engineering GPA Is Calculated
To understand the GPA and why it’s essential, you should think about how it’s calculated. To know how your engineering GPA is calculated, you should have an understanding of:
- The credits you’ve taken. Look at your course structure to see how many credits the subjects you’ve taken add up to.
- The point values of grades. Each grade, such as an A or B, will have specific point values. For instance, an A may be worth 4 points while a B is worth 3 points.
- Your final grades. Once you complete a semester or your course, you will be given grades for each subject. These grades are typically an average of all the grades you’ve received on assignments, tests, and other assessments in the subject or unit.
To calculate your GPA, your university will add together all the point values of the grade you’ve received and divide it. This provides you, your university, and any other interested parties an overview of how you performed in university.
That’s why it’s essential to make sure you’re doing your best in all assessments and units.
While this is a general way that GPA is calculated, you should talk to your college advisor or administrative team to see any variations in your university’s approach. For instance, some universities may vary the point value they assign to particular grades while others assign additional credits to different subjects.
A Good GPA In Engineering Depends On the Major
Depending on the course and the college you’re in, a GPA between 3.0-3.8 may be considered good. In addition, what is considered a good GPA may vary depending on the type of engineering you’re studying.
This section considers good GPAs to achieve in different types of engineering. It works on the assumption that the maximum GPA you can earn is 4.0, so adjust these averages if your course has a maximum GPA of 5.0.
Good GPA for Chemical Engineering
In Chemical Engineering, a GPA of 3.5 and above is considered good. Meanwhile, an average GPA would be 3.0. To be considered a candidate for the best graduate schools, you should have a GPA above 3.5.
Good GPA for Electrical Engineering
Electrical Engineering is considered one of the most challenging engineering majors. So, a GPA of 3.0 is considered a good GPA if you are studying Electrical Engineering. A GPA over 3.5 is considered excellent.
Good GPA for Civil Engineering
Civil Engineering is another difficult engineering major. If you are studying a major in civil engineering, a GPA between 2.9-3.0 will be considered good. If you have a GPA above 3.0 in civil engineering, it is considered a high GPA.
Good GPA for Software Engineering
Software Engineering is one of the most popular types of engineering. Because there are so many people studying software engineering, you may have to aim for a higher GPA compared to other subjects.
A GPA of 3.5 and above will help you stand out both in university and when you apply for jobs.
How To Improve Your GPA in Engineering
To improve your GPA in engineering, you should make sure you are getting good grades on every assessment in each unit you’re studying.
This may seem like a tall order. However, there are several ways you can make sure you perform well consistently, including joining a study group, going to classes regularly, getting tutoring, and doing extra credit work.
Join a Study Group
Study groups are helpful for any subject but particularly helpful for engineering students. Study groups with fellow students from your engineering class are great because:
- They can help you understand complex topics. Each student has a different way of explaining the same concept. It is likely that, in a study group, you will find a peer that will present the concept you’re exploring in a way you connect with.
- Creates a collaborative learning environment. As you learn subjects together, you and your peers will collaborate on different problems. Educational theorists such as Lev Vygotsky have found that students learn better when in a group setting.
- They allow for resource sharing. Each student has their unique resource bank, class notes, and access to online learning platforms or video tutorials. If you’re in a study group, you can use the resources that your peers share with you to build on your knowledge.
Go to Classes
Some universities and courses make attending lectures and classes optional. As long as students submit assignments and take and pass exams, they can complete their course.
However, if you need to improve your GPA, you should attend your classes and lectures.
Professors often share additional information in lectures. They also have time for questions and answers and discussions. These will go a long way in deepening your understanding of the topic, which will help you improve your marks in assessments.
Get Extra Tutoring
If attending classes and joining a study group doesn’t help improve your grade, you may need to look at one on one tutoring. A tutor will help address any specific concerns or any areas you find challenging.
In the digital age, there are several places you can find a tutor:
- Online learning courses: You can find tutors on online learning platforms like Chegg and Course Hero. For a nominal subscription cost, you can get help from online tutors.
- Advanced students: Look at your university notice board for senior students offering their tutoring services. They will have engaged with course material recently and will also be able to offer insights into your professor’s grading styles.
- Professors: Some professors may offer after-hours tutoring. This will be helpful as you can ask them to elaborate on specific concepts that you don’t understand. If your professor doesn’t tutor, they may recommend getting extra help from a teacher’s assistant.
Do Extra Credit Work or Assignments
Many professors offer students the chance to do extra credit work, which gives students a chance to raise their grades and improve their GPAs. Extra credit work is often not in typical assessment form and may allow you the flexibility you need to perform better.
Extra credit work may include:
- Group presentations
- Research reviews
- Opinion pieces
What Employers Look At On Job Applications
Most students aim for a high GPA to help with their job prospects once they graduate. You should realize that potential employers won’t only look at your GPA when considering you for a job.
They will also look at your CV or resume, the internships you’ve done, and research papers you’ve written, the reputation of your university, and the recommendations you’ve got.
Your CV (Resume) and Cover Letter
A CV (resume) and cover letter are perhaps the most important part of your job application. Don’t just submit a blanket CV to all the companies you’re applying to. Make sure you tailor each submission to match the company you’re applying for.
Here are some tips to make your CV and cover letter stand out:
- Focus on any specific technical accomplishments. If you have done any specific technical work within your engineering field, highlight this in your cover letter and your resume.
- Quantify your experience and work. Try to calculate the amount of time you have spent working on a particular project and the impact it has made. This will show that you have a technical mindset and help people better understand your accomplishments.
Even if you have a high GPA, most companies will require you to submit a few recommendations along with your job application.
Here are the kinds of recommendations that will support your job applications:
- Academic recommendation: These are typically recommendations from your professor highlighting your academic skills. It helps if this recommendation is made by a professor who is recognized as an expert in the engineering field and focuses on particular concepts and theories that you have a good command over.
- Personal recommendation: These can be from personal acquaintances and reflect your traits and motivations that may help you bring value to a company. Strong personal recommendations may include references to character traits like perseverance, honesty, dedication, and resourcefulness.
- Skill-based recommendation: You may receive a skill-based recommendation after doing an internship in the field you’re applying for. These focus on how well you have performed in a particular role and specific skills.
Try to get at least two to three high-quality recommendations and use relevant ones for the position you’re applying for.
Even if you don’t have a skill-based recommendation, showing that you have done an internship in the field you’re applying for can count for a lot in your job application.
When looking for internships, try to apply to renowned firms in the field of engineering you’re studying. Talk to your professors and keep an eye on university placements to find prestigious internships.
If you are a Master’s or Ph.D. candidate, you have likely written a few research papers informed by literature reviews and experiments.
Highlighting these research papers will help you stand out as a candidate. It is even more helpful if these research papers have been peer-reviewed and been published in a recognized journal.
Even if you haven’t received the highest GPA, simply graduating from particular universities will help you stand out. Studying in a university specializing in teaching engineering or a robust engineering department will improve your employability.
Let’s take a look at some of the top engineering universities in the US.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
MIT has a special school of engineering which has both undergraduate and post-graduate courses.
It offers degrees in various engineering subjects, including:
- Chemical Engineering
- Aeronautical Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
It has plenty of systems that allow students to enter the job market, including the Office of Engineering Outreach Programs and the Women’s Technology Program.
The Stanford University School of Engineering is one of the best universities in the USA for engineering.
It focuses on:
- Chemical Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Computer Science
- Electrical Engineering
It offers plenty of degree and research opportunities, and its faculty has some of the most recognized names in different fields of engineering.
University of California – Berkeley
The Berkeley Engineering School was established over 150 years ago and is considered one of the top three engineering schools in the world.
It offers a wide range of programs for undergraduates, graduates, and students looking for executive education. With a robust international program, it allows professors and students to collaborate with leading engineers from across the world.
It has a wide range of engineering subjects, including:
- Nuclear Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering is renowned for its research into a range of engineering subjects.
These include research into:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Artificial Intelligence
- Energy and the environment
Professors and Ph.D. candidates conduct this research, but the school also offers strong undergraduate and graduate programs. It also offers multidisciplinary and international programs which help you build on your understanding of varied engineering concepts.
Getting a degree from any of these universities will help you stand out as a candidate.
If you want to get a good GPA in engineering, you should aim to get at least above 3.0. However, you should check your college’s grading scale is, because if the top GPA is 5.0, you need a GPA of at least 3.8 or above to stand out. There are several ways you can improve your grades and, subsequently, your GPA, such as attending lectures and tutoring.
However, remember that there are other ways you can stand out to prospective employers. Remember to present yourself as a well-rounded candidate.