What is a GPA/CPA? How do I calculate mine?
You may have wondered how all your grades blend together to produce one numerical summary of your academic progress. After all, there must be a way to insure that a four credit class counts more in your overall “grade” than a one credit class. The secret is to weight each grade by credit hours of that class.
The grade point average (GPA) for a term, or cumulative point average (CPA) for your entire college career, is a measure of your progress toward your degree. You must have a 2.0 (the value of a “C”) or greater average in order to graduate. A high GPA puts you on the Dean’s list, and a low GPA can get you into Probation, Jeopardy or worse.
The CPA is calculated by dividing something called CPA honor points (located on your transcript) by all the credits you have taken for a grade. Pass/Fail classes (and transferred classes) are not included here. It is important that you understand these calculations in order to fully understand the impact of repeating a class, or taking classes elsewhere.
We calculate honor points for each class by doing the following:
- Number of credits (per class)(1, 2, 3 or 4) multiplied by your grade = CPA Honor points
To get your GPA (for the term) or CPA (for all your classes)
1. Calculate honor points for each class (see above)
2. Add all honor points together, and add all credits together
3. Divide the honor points for term (or total career) by the credits for the term
(or CPA total credits).
You will get a number between 0.0 (fail everything) and 4.0 (getting “A”s in everything!).
Example class: credits: grade: honor point total
- BIO 121: Concepts in Biology: 4 credits: BC (2.5): 10 HP
- ENG 101: Composition: 4 credits: B (3.0): 12 HP
- SPN 111: Spanish: 4 credits: AB (3.5): 14 HP
- SOA 101: Principles of Soc: 4 credits: C (2.0): 8HP
- Preterm: Some title: 1 credit: A (4.0): 4 HP
- Total credits = 17, Total HPs = 48
- Your GPA= HP/credits = 48/17 = 2.82
Your turn! Use this example to:
- Estimate your midterm GPA or your final GPA for any term
- Study your transcript and understand your CPA
- Strategize how to improve your CPA (see the entry on Improving your CPA)