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Freshman Advising

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Calculating GPA

Knowing how to calculate your GPA will help you to plan for your academic progress and better assess realistic academic goals to help you get there. 

Information Needed

To calculate your GPA, you will need two pieces of information: quality points earned and credit hours attempted.

Quality Points Earned

Each letter grade equals a certain number of quality points, such as A=4 points, B+=3.3 points, B=3 points, etc.  You multiply the number of quality points for the letter grade by the number of credit hours for the course; for example, if you earned a B in a three credit hour course, you would earn 9 quality points (3.00 quality points x 3 credit hours) for that course.  The list of letter grades and quality points are:

Grade

Per Credit Hour

A

4

A-

3.7

B+

3.3

B

3

B-

2.7

C+

2.3

C

2

C-

1.7

D+

1.3

D

1

D-

0.7

F

0

Credit Hours Attempted

If you have a WP, WF, or W, do not include these courses in your GPA calculations, because you do not earn quality points or credit hours when you withdraw from a course.

If you have repeated a class with “repeat forgive” or taken a course and earned a CR, NC, I, NP, this makes calculating your GPA more complicated. If you have any of these grades on your transcript, consult with an academic advisor to learn how this impacts your GPA.

Setting GPA Goals

After calculating your semester, cumulative, or major GPA, you may set goals to improve your academic success.  Utilize the Raising Your GPA Calculator, which can help you calculate how you can raise your GPA based on your predictions.

It’s also important to know the GPA cut-offs for President’s List, Dean’s List, probation, and suspension at JMU as you set GPA goals.

Semester GPA

Calculate your semester GPA by dividing the number of quality points you have earned by the total number of credit hours you have attempted for that semester (you must count the credit hours for the courses that you failed).

Total Quality Points Earned for Specific Semester

Credit Hours Attempted for Specific Semester

Semester GPA Calculator: Calculates Semester GPA for the grades you predict for this semester.

Cumulative GPA

Calculate your cumulative GPA by dividing the number of total quality points you have earned for all your semesters by the total number of credit hours you have attempted in all your semesters (even those courses you have failed).  As a freshman in your first semester, your semester GPA and cumulative GPA will be the same.

Total Quality Points Earned at JMU

Credit Hours Attempted at JMU

Cumulative GPA Calculator: Calculates how the grades you project for this semester will affect your Cumulative GPA.

Major GPA

Calculate your major GPA by dividing the number of total quality points you have earned for all the class you have taken that were required for your major by the total number of credit hours you have attempted for these classes (even those courses you have failed).

Total Quality Points Earned at for Courses Required for Your Major

Credit Hours Attempted for Courses Required Your Major

Sample GPA Calculations


Course

Grade

Quality Points for letter grade

Credit Hours

QP for course

GWRTC 103

B+

3.3

3

9.9

GCOM 121

C-

1.7

3

5.1

MATH 235

A

4

4

16

GARTH 205

C

2

3

6

GPSYC 101

B-

2.7

3

8.1

Total

 

 

16

45.1

45.1÷16 = 2.818   Semester GPA     Good Standing


Course

Grade

Quality Points for letter grade

Credit Hours

QP for course

GWRTC 103

C

2

3

6

GCOM 121

C-

1.7

3

5.1

MATH 235

C

2

4

8

GARTH 205

C

2

3

6

GPSYC 101

C

2

3

6

Total

 

 

16

31.1

31.1÷16 = 1.943     Semester GPA     Academic Probation


Course

Grade

Quality Points for letter grade

Credit Hours

QP for course

GWRTC 103

B

3

3

9

GCOM 121

A

4

3

12

MATH 235

B

3

4

12

GARTH 205

A

4

3

12

GPSYC 101

A

4

3

12

Total

 

 

16

57

57÷16 = 3.562   Semester GPA    Dean’s List


When in doubt, it is always a good idea to double-check your calculations with your academic advisor to make sure that they are accurate.

Ethical GPA Practices

When calculating your GPA for your resume, or applications for jobs, internships, or graduate programs, make sure that you follow these guidelines:

  • Use your current cumulative GPA including all semesters in your calculations, accurate to the 2nd decimal point (example: 2.98).
    • New transfer or graduate students: Use your cumulative GPA from previous institution. Replace with JMU GPA upon completion of first semester.
    • First year students: Use "0.00" as your cumulative GPA. Replace with JMU GPA upon completion of first semester.
  • NEVER round your GPA up.
  • Do not combine your GPA from other institutions with your JMU GPA.
  • Do not use your semester GPA instead of your cumulative GPA. If you use your major or minor GPA, make sure that it is clearly labeled as such.
  • Make sure that you update your GPA on resumes, applications, and your Recruit-A-Duke academic profile at the end of each semester so that it will be up to date.