Real Answers from Real Pilots

4 year degree GPA

Hi, I am planning on starting ATP after I graduate, currently a sophomore in electrical engineering. I understand that the major airlines desire a 4 year degree, how big does GPA play a role in this though. I am hovering around a 3.1 and am realistically looking at graduating with about a 3.0. Is this going to show any red flags to the majors or should I be fine considering all other factors included PIC, total hours, etc.

Luke,

Majors want a 4yr degree and a respectable GPA but generally look at the whole picture. I’d really be more concerned with doing well in your flight training. You haven’t started and trust me a few checkride busts will hurt you more than a weak GPA. That said getting to a Major can be very competitive and you obviously want to do as well as you can. You’re a sophomore which begs the question why not work hard and build your GPA rather than ask will I be ok if I just continue being just ok?

Adam

Luke,

I think a 3.0 will be fine for the majors, but I sure wouldn’t let it slip below that. I believe that when I interviewed at Continental, 3.0 was the minimum that they would accept.

Chris

1 Like

Luke,

As I said the Majors look at the whole picture. I’m not aware of any min acceptable GPA but honestly as someone who’s participating in hiring at both the Regional and Major level I find your question disconcerting. Flying for a Major airline is the pinnacle of this industry and not everyone achieves it. FYI, airline training is “rather difficult” too, will you resign yourself that excellence is out of your abilities there too? I strongly recommend if you get to an airline you don’t ask “what the cutoff range” is.

Adam

1 Like

I have a question that may pertain to the older of us who are now sweating. I finished in 2009 with a gpa in the high 2s. (2.7 I think but Cs get degrees) In all honesty I was a poor student my first two years and turned it around but there was only so much that could be done. Since then I got more serious and was even able to get admitted to law school, didn’t go but that’s a story for another day. As such should I reconsider my plans of trying to get into training and the airlines? I has always been explained to me that the further out you go the less these things tend to matter. Additionally I would like to aim for one of the regionals that has a flow through program, would that influence the decisions and gpa standards? I honestly never thought about my college gpa being a factor in this at all, I just understood a degree was mandatory for the majors.

Thank you,
Carl Hines

Carl,

To be honest, I really don’t know how much the GPA matters, although like I said above, 3.0 was the minimum for Continental. With a 2.7, you will need to be ready to do some serious explaining about how you have grown up, changed your ways, etc.

With one of the flow through airlines, the GPA should not be a factor at all.

Chris

Carl,

As you said the further you get away from school the less these things factor in BUT as I said above, it’s really more of a total package deal. If you’ve got a poor GPA AND bust a few checkrides AND have a few speeding tickets than it all matters. I was actually speaking with Chris earlier and while we welcome the “return of the flow-thru”, we’ve also seen them disappear as quickly as they came. This industry can be very volatile and while things are (and are predicted to remain) great, should something change you want to have options rather than hedging your entire future on a flow-thru.

Btw, if the question of GPAs ever does come up in an interview I’d leave out the “Cs get degrees” part.

Adam