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Asked by Rebecca on February 11, 2014

Would you ever be willing to make an exception on a GPA requirement for an internship? If so, for what reasons?

Answered by Megan, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, on February 12, 2014

At Cardinal Health, we have recommended GPA guidelines on all of our internship postings. Typically, we try to adhere to those guidelines, however, on occasion, we do make exceptions. The most common times when we have made those exceptions when one of the following things has taken place:

  • In addition to school a student is also trying to balance a full time job or many extra-curricular activities.
  • A student had a rough quarter due to unforeseen circumstances, but has received satisfactory marks since.

There may be additional times when we would consider someone with a lower than recommended GPA. Overall, GPA is a small piece of a big pie and we like to look at the entire picture when selecting internship participants.

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Answered by John, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on February 12, 2014

More often than not, companies will have a GPA requirement for their internships and full time positions. However, there are many different factors that go into making a decision in regards to offering an internship position, the GPA requirement being just one piece of it. My advice is to be prepared to answer why your GPA might be below the requirement if it comes up in an interview. Good luck!

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Answered by Elizabeth, Hiring Expert at HCA Healthcare, on February 17, 2014

Typically GPA exceptions are made only for individuals who come with high recommendations from an individual who is internal to the company, which is why networking is so important. If you spend time trying to make contacts/relationships in your industry of interest, then these individuals will be your best advocates, and be able to explain why you should be considered, despite not making the GPA cut-off.

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Answered by Eddie, Hiring Expert at American Express, on April 8, 2014

We generally use a GPA cut-off of 3.0 as an eligibility requirement. However, our internship hires typically are well above this minimum. For students at the lower range, we like to see a significant commitment outside of the classroom such as participating in collegiate level sports or working significant hours to help pay for classes. A candidate who is able to balance a job or sports team along with other commitments demonstrates leadership and teamwork skills that are critical in the workplace.

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Answered by Cory, Hiring Expert at Cigna, on December 8, 2016

Hi there- absolutely! GPA is usually just one of many requirements for an internship position. Some roles are definitely more strict on the GPA than others, and rightfully so, if you're dealing with a role where you need an exceptional level of certain skills. But in general, we're looking for a well rounded candidate that has many skills like past work experience/ internships, leadership, community involvement, etc. If you're worried about your GPA, try to highlight your other skills on your resume and applications to show all the good you have to offer. Good luck!

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