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  • jjsodo
  • Newgookin

    • 3

    • June 05, 2013, 07:32:12 am
    • United States of America
I am interested in teaching ESL in Korea.  I am curious if there is a minimum college GPA that schools will accept?

Thanks!!!


  • Ley_Druid
  • The Legend

    • 2468

    • February 17, 2011, 08:36:33 am
    • Shinan-Gun, Jeollanam-Do, South Korea
Re: Is there a minimum college GPA required to teach ESL in Korea?
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2013, 03:17:07 pm »
Depends on the program you want. EPIK generally says 2.5GPA on a 4.0 scale is needed. SMOE, Seoul's public schools require 2.7, but you generally need a 3.0 for that. Everything else generally doesn't care. Hagwons, with the exception of the expensive Gangnam ones, will never ask.


  • Mezoti97
  • The Legend

    • 2665

    • April 14, 2011, 03:02:50 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Is there a minimum college GPA required to teach ESL in Korea?
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2013, 03:25:18 pm »
Depends on the program you want. EPIK generally says 2.5GPA on a 4.0 scale is needed. SMOE, Seoul's public schools require 2.7, but you generally need a 3.0 for that. Everything else generally doesn't care. Hagwons, with the exception of the expensive Gangnam ones, will never ask.

Interesting -- I wan't aware of the GPA thing. I know people who got hired through EPIK with lower GPAs than that, although that was some years ago. Perhaps they've raised the GPA hiring standards since then. 
« Last Edit: August 07, 2013, 03:42:10 pm by Mezoti97 »


Re: Is there a minimum college GPA required to teach ESL in Korea?
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2013, 09:05:40 pm »
What are people doing in college to get below a 2.5? Seriously? Unless you had some sort of serious family or health problem.


  • a87
  • Super Waygook

    • 330

    • July 21, 2013, 12:31:10 am
Re: Is there a minimum college GPA required to teach ESL in Korea?
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2013, 09:57:28 pm »
What are people doing in college to get below a 2.5? Seriously? Unless you had some sort of serious family or health problem.

No kidding. In my major I couldn't have even graduated with a 2.5 gpa.
Take that apologists!


  • chuck2657
  • Expert Waygook

    • 677

    • September 11, 2012, 02:29:12 pm
Re: Is there a minimum college GPA required to teach ESL in Korea?
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2013, 08:27:58 am »
What are people doing in college to get below a 2.5? Seriously? Unless you had some sort of serious family or health problem.

Generally speaking, a 2.5 in engineering or CS (or the hard sciences) is probably equal to a 3.5 in most liberal art degrees/education.  The class average in most of my math and CS courses was roughly a 2.0.  Out of 30 people, there were maybe 2 As in my calc and discrete math courses.  A third to half the people in lib ed courses received As.  On average, the math courses were filled with much brighter people.  The average in lib ed and education courses was probably a 3.3+. 

A B is still "good" in some subjects and colleges, instead of the new average.  In part, this also varies a lot due to school.  Many private colleges (top tier colleges are largely excluded) simply don't want to give Ds and Fs ot 40% of the class because of political pressure.  Still, there's somewhere between a .5 and .75 difference in GPA between easy subjects and difficult ones.  Still, the "real" difference is much larger, since so many undergrads are forced to switch to an easier degree in the first two years.  Retention rates among public university for difficult subjects can be as low as 25-33%.  So those 2.5s at the bottom were originally in the top half.

In any case, a 2.5 gpa in physics or engineering is usually more impressive than a 3.0 in a foreign language or education.  9/10 times the 2.5 has greater academic ability.

That or the OP decided to say screw it and not show up for a semester.  That will do a number on your GPA :P.


  • popeye2u
  • Expert Waygook

    • 877

    • April 05, 2011, 09:45:37 am
    • S of N. Korea
Re: Is there a minimum college GPA required to teach ESL in Korea?
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2013, 08:30:39 am »
They dont care!
Illegally Screwed By Employers in Korea:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1628928127347749/


  • Ley_Druid
  • The Legend

    • 2468

    • February 17, 2011, 08:36:33 am
    • Shinan-Gun, Jeollanam-Do, South Korea
Re: Is there a minimum college GPA required to teach ESL in Korea?
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2013, 09:36:07 am »
What are people doing in college to get below a 2.5? Seriously? Unless you had some sort of serious family or health problem.

Some of us had two of one and one of the other.  :wink:


  • philby1985
  • Expert Waygook

    • 662

    • March 05, 2013, 09:10:49 am
    • Daejeon
Re: Is there a minimum college GPA required to teach ESL in Korea?
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2013, 10:14:45 am »
What is the top number in the GPA scale you are discussing? In Australia a 2.5 would be utterly pathetic. Anything less than a 4 is considered a fail (scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being the highest).


  • chuck2657
  • Expert Waygook

    • 677

    • September 11, 2012, 02:29:12 pm
Re: Is there a minimum college GPA required to teach ESL in Korea?
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2013, 02:03:25 pm »
What is the top number in the GPA scale you are discussing? In Australia a 2.5 would be utterly pathetic. Anything less than a 4 is considered a fail (scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being the highest).

The US is out of a 4.0 scale.

Theoretically, a 2.0 is average in the US.  At a few universities and programs, this is actually the case - courses will be weighted so the average GPA is a 2.0, and people within the course will work fairly hard to earn a C - a 2.0.  There will be a bell shaped curve of about half of the class receiving (2.0)Cs, 15%+ receiving (3.0)Bs and (1.0)Ds, and 5-10% receiving (4.0)As and (0.0)Fs.

In practice, American universities have experienced massive grade inflation over the last 50 years.  In part this is because education is supposed to be more accessible, and some colleges put pressure on professors not to fail 30% of the class.  Universities who place a large emphasis on professor reviews are especially prone; a bad prof who gives all As will typically be reviewed better than one who gives a C average.  Furthermore, many private colleges are conscious to keep up their enrollment.  You don't keep students by giving them Ds and Fs, you keep them by giving them As and Bs.

So it's out of a scale of 4.0.  What that number actually says about your coursework and what you've learned, however, varies quite drastically depending on your school and subject.


  • Mezoti97
  • The Legend

    • 2665

    • April 14, 2011, 03:02:50 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Is there a minimum college GPA required to teach ESL in Korea?
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2013, 02:18:35 pm »
4.0 is the maximum GPA used most frequently in North America, although my high school did not use the 4.0 scale for calculating its GPA. I didn't experience the 4.0 GPA scale until I was in university.


Re: Is there a minimum college GPA required to teach ESL in Korea?
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2013, 02:21:26 pm »
Does anyone here have an acquaintance that went to one of those colleges where they didn't give any grades at all? Just pass / fail and then a written evaluation by a professor?


  • BloosCorn
  • Veteran

    • 197

    • August 31, 2012, 08:04:13 am
    • Yecheon, South Korea
Re: Is there a minimum college GPA required to teach ESL in Korea?
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2013, 10:27:36 pm »
If your department is worth it's weight in salt, a 3.5 should be an absolutely fantastic grade even at a liberal arts school.


  • Frozencat99
  • The Legend

    • 2096

    • October 09, 2011, 04:31:36 pm
    more
Re: Is there a minimum college GPA required to teach ESL in Korea?
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2013, 12:23:59 am »
It's almost horrifying that the GPA requirements here are so low. I somehow doubt a significant number of math and engineering students are applying for EFL jobs (as well as the validity of 2.5 being a decent grade for them). I have no idea what you could be doing wrong to get that low of a GPA in university, save for a health or family crisis.
Beware the Homosexual Industrial Complex -- http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-june-17-2013/left-behind

You can leave your heterophobia behind.


  • money55
  • Super Waygook

    • 277

    • July 05, 2011, 02:12:38 pm
    • south korea
Re: Is there a minimum college GPA required to teach ESL in Korea?
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2013, 05:24:24 am »
A 2.5 is a C+ and it's not that bad actually.  It's 75- 79 percent

My university had grade deflation because the former SGA  wanted to be more competitive.


One of my professors once said he doesn't believe in giving A's.  (he was eventually removed from that class after enough students complained). 

While they're grade inflation problems there's also lovely people like my former professor.

There are others who only give 3 test. One E can jeopardize your grade.  There are a lot of variables.

one of my professors liked not teaching so the person came 2 months out of the semester.  Always late and the classes were cancelled.  Everyone got a passing grade so no one really cared.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2013, 05:43:18 am by money55 »


  • Ley_Druid
  • The Legend

    • 2468

    • February 17, 2011, 08:36:33 am
    • Shinan-Gun, Jeollanam-Do, South Korea
Re: Is there a minimum college GPA required to teach ESL in Korea?
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2013, 07:37:39 am »
It's almost horrifying that the GPA requirements here are so low. I somehow doubt a significant number of math and engineering students are applying for EFL jobs (as well as the validity of 2.5 being a decent grade for them). I have no idea what you could be doing wrong to get that low of a GPA in university, save for a health or family crisis.

Why should GPA matter when it comes to teaching Korean children English as an "assistant?" It isn't like these jobs are competitive. Most jobs just require a degree and a pulse.


Re: Is there a minimum college GPA required to teach ESL in Korea?
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2013, 10:29:36 am »
It's almost horrifying that the GPA requirements here are so low. I somehow doubt a significant number of math and engineering students are applying for EFL jobs (as well as the validity of 2.5 being a decent grade for them). I have no idea what you could be doing wrong to get that low of a GPA in university, save for a health or family crisis.

Why should GPA matter when it comes to teaching Korean children English as an "assistant?" It isn't like these jobs are competitive. Most jobs just require a degree and a pulse.

Korea: Image over substance.


  • Ley_Druid
  • The Legend

    • 2468

    • February 17, 2011, 08:36:33 am
    • Shinan-Gun, Jeollanam-Do, South Korea
Re: Is there a minimum college GPA required to teach ESL in Korea?
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2013, 10:37:25 am »
It's almost horrifying that the GPA requirements here are so low. I somehow doubt a significant number of math and engineering students are applying for EFL jobs (as well as the validity of 2.5 being a decent grade for them). I have no idea what you could be doing wrong to get that low of a GPA in university, save for a health or family crisis.

Why should GPA matter when it comes to teaching Korean children English as an "assistant?" It isn't like these jobs are competitive. Most jobs just require a degree and a pulse.

Korea: Image over substance.

Possibly, but the reality is that there are more jobs for native English speakers than realistic applicants. There is more demand than supply.


  • Frozencat99
  • The Legend

    • 2096

    • October 09, 2011, 04:31:36 pm
    more
Re: Is there a minimum college GPA required to teach ESL in Korea?
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2013, 02:42:02 pm »
It's almost horrifying that the GPA requirements here are so low. I somehow doubt a significant number of math and engineering students are applying for EFL jobs (as well as the validity of 2.5 being a decent grade for them). I have no idea what you could be doing wrong to get that low of a GPA in university, save for a health or family crisis.

Why should GPA matter when it comes to teaching Korean children English as an "assistant?" It isn't like these jobs are competitive. Most jobs just require a degree and a pulse.

Well, that depends. Does Korea want EPIK to work or does Korea want EPIK to look like it works? That answer seems to have already been given.
Beware the Homosexual Industrial Complex -- http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-june-17-2013/left-behind

You can leave your heterophobia behind.


  • zminus2
  • Adventurer

    • 53

    • February 21, 2013, 12:29:35 pm
Re: Is there a minimum college GPA required to teach ESL in Korea?
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2013, 03:22:07 pm »
I am interested in teaching ESL in Korea.  I am curious if there is a minimum college GPA that schools will accept?

Thanks!!!

Based on some of the boneheads I've met here.... no.

Also, I had a 2.92 GPA (out of 4.0) with a BFA (that's a fine arts degree) because the easy answer is I was a slacker but the real reason is I was possibly in the wrong major, I had family issues, health issues, personal issues galore. But I graduated (and it was a pretty good school and a pretty new/decent major), worked in my field for the last ten years, took a couple other courses over the years (in psych -- so relevant to teaching), got accepted by EPIK, and I think my kids are actually learning stuff from me. I even had some Fs on my transcript and EPIK let me in. I think when you're this far out from university, what matters more is your resume and your recommendations. I doubt they even looked that hard at my transcript or GPA. It's all in the essay and interview.

I do know that with each new year, they up the requirements and it gets more competitive... but I gotta say, yikes. There are some real winners here teaching the future generations of Korea. You probably don't have to worry about GPA. Just don't be a complete failure and expect great things.