How important is the GPA 1 graduate school
It depends, but what I've seen so far (w.r.t. Computer Science PhD perspective) is a bit different from other opinions in this post.
I'm doing my PhD in the US (at a mediocre school) and most of my cohorts (not most, actually all) have a very decent GPA (like 3.9+ of 4.0)) even some of them have perfect 4.0 / 4.0 and some few publish pretty good research.
Additionally, most of my faculty members at my school have similar credentials (good grade, good research background, and most of them are from top-notch schools like UMD, UPenn, UMich, VTech) - although my school ranks 60th in the nation + (according to US News in the CS specialization).
Doctoral students in my department who have completed summer internships in large companies such as Google, IBM and Microsoft are also given a good GPA. Even some of them have no publication at all !! even after working as PhD students for more than 2 years. You will be surprised that one of them is currently doing an internship at Google with no research. He has been a PhD student for 2.5 years !! Also, if you come from a good school it will be a lot easier.
So, as I see, the situation in the US is completely different. Here Pedigree> GPA> Publications.
I used to be the odd one, I had a decent publication record (published 4 conference papers during my Masters degree (from a top school outside of the US) and 2 more in my first year of PhD here)), but I got myself with a low Grade (3.2+) resigned, compared to others it is actually a "bad" one. Additionally, the venues where I published my research are considered to be quite decent in my field (two of the venues are in the top 20 lists in Microsoft Search Ranking, Even I Have a Best Student In The US) At least for me it is a great challenge to maintain both the research work and the regular course load.
This situation forced me to focus more on grades and practice problems from sites like Careercup in order to get a job in the industry - that's what others do here, and it's a totally disappointing and frustrating experience for me.
I had to cut my research time as much as possible and now I had to do minimal work to keep my manager's "threshold of happiness" up. It's harder to get an academic job here than it is in industry - unless you're a "rock star" researcher - and that's the reality. Being a mediocre researcher (like me) from a mediocre school doesn't count for much in either industry or science.
Last but not least, I am an international student who is deceived by the so-called "Land of Opportunities" deception.
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