College GPA Calculator to Calculate
All Aspects of Grade Point Average

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The College GPA Calculator on this page will calculate your current, cumulative, and target grade point average for any number of grading periods.

This free online grade point average calculator will help you to track your present GPA as well as set and meet goals for future grading periods (semesters or quarters).

Specifically, this calculator creates individual GPA calculators for any number of grading periods you choose -- each of which recalculates as you type the credit hours and select the letter grades for each class.

And unlike most grade point average calculators, this one even allows you to track your major GPA separately from your overall GPA.

Plus, the calculator also includes features for tracking and calculating your cumulative GPA, as well as a built-in feature that tells you how many credits you need at 4.0 -- and how many you need at your own realistic grade point average -- to raise your GPA to a desired level.

And if all that isn't enough, the calculator also includes ...

  • a feature for changing the quality point multipliers for each letter grade.
  • a feature for converting between semester hours and quarter hours.
  • a printer friendly report feature.

What is GPA?

GPA is an acronym for Grade Point Average, which is used to track your level of success for each grading period (semester or quarter), as well as for tracking your cumulative measure of success over the course of your college education.

Since your GPA is one of the first things potential employers look for in your college transcript, it's extremely important that you work hard to maintain a high GPA. This is especially true in the early days of your college education, because the more credit hours you accumulate at lower grades, the longer it will take to raise your GPA.

How to Calculate GPA for One Grading Period

In order to calculate your grade point average for one grading period, you first need to understand the key variables that make up the formula.

Credit hours: Each class you take will have a number of credit hours assigned to it, which are usually listed in your school's course catalog. Credit hours per class typically range between 1 and 5.

Quality credit hours: Credit hours earned for classes that are taken for a letter grade versus classes taken on a Pass/No-Pass basis.

Quality point multipliers: The number of points awarded for an earned letter grade (A = 4 points, B = 3 points, etc.). The quality point multipliers can vary slightly from school to school, which is why the calculator on this page allows you to edit the default multipliers to match those of your school.

Quality points: The product of the earned quality credit hours multiplied by the letter grade's corresponding quality point multiplier. For example, if you earn an A in a 4-credit-hour class, the quality points earned would be 16 (4 credit hours x multiplier of 4 for an A = 16).

So now that you understand the terms involved, here is the formula for calculating your grade point average:

GPA = Total quality points earned
Total quality credit hours earned

Here is a screen shot from the printer friendly results generated by the calculator on this page:

screen shot of gpa calculator results

Notice how the calculated points on each line are the product of the credit hours times the multiplier. The GPA is then figured by adding up the total points and dividing by the total quality credit hours.

How to Calculate Cumulative GPA

Your cumulative grade point average is calculated basically the same way you calculate GPA for a single grading period, except you will be using your total quality points to-date and total quality credit hours earned to-date.

Cumulative GPA = Total quality points earned to date
Total quality credit hours earned to date

How to Calculate Credits and Grades Needed to Raise GPA

To calculate what you need to do to raise your grade point average from your present average to a desired average, you can use one of two methods: the Straight A Method, or the Realistic Grade Method. I'll present the formulas for each separately.

The Straight A Method

This method calculates how many future credit hours you need to get straight "A"s (4.0) in to reach your target grade point average. The formula is as follows:

Straight A Credits = Cum. GPA Credits x (Target GPA - Cum. GPA)
4.0 - Target GPA

So if your cumulative grade point average is 2.5 after 60 credits, and you want to see how many future straight A credits you need to reach a target of 3.0, here is how you would calculate the needed credits:

Straight A Credits = 60 x (3.0 - 2.5)
4.0 - 3.0
 
Straight A Credits = 60 x (.5)
1.0
 
Straight A Credits = 30
1.0
 
Straight A Credits = 30

So using this method you would need to get straight "A"s in your next 30 quality credit hours in order to raise your grade point average from 2.5 to 3.0.

The Realistic Grade Method

If getting straight "A"s is beyond your time and/or abilities, this method calculates how many future credit hours you need to get at your personal, highest realistic grade point average in order to reach your target grade point average. The formula is as follows:

Realistic Credits = Cum. GPA Credits x (Target GPA - Cum. GPA)
Realistic GPA - Target GPA

So if your cumulative grade point average is 2.5 after 60 credits, and you believe the highest grade point average you could realistically achieve for future classes would be 3.5, here is how you would calculate how many 3.5 credits you need to reach a target of 3.0:

Realistic Credits = 60 x (3.0 - 2.5)
3.5 - 3.0
 
Realistic Credits = 60 x (.5)
0.5
 
Realistic Credits = 30
0.5
 
Realistic Credits = 60

So in order to raise your grade point average from 2.5 to 3.0 using a realistic future GPA of 3.5, you would need to average 3.5 in your next 60 quality credit hours.

How to Convert Between Semester Hours and Quarter Hours

If a portion of your earned credit hours are from a school that used different grading periods than your present school, then in order to calculate your cumulative grade point average you will need to convert the unlike credit hours to match the grading period of your present school.

Even though the calculator on this page has a built-in credit hour conversion tool, I will list the formulas used by the calculator in case you want to convert the hours manually.

Semester Hours = Quarter Hours x 1.5
Quarter Hours = Semester Hours x .667

With that, let's use the College GPA Calculator to calculate any combination of your present, cumulative, and target grade point average.

College GPA Calculator
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Instructions: Change the quality point multiplier scale if the default scale is different from the scale used by your school.

Next, select the grading period applicable to your school.

Next, if you would like to calculate your GPA for one or more grade periods (semesters or quarters), enter the number of grading periods and the maximum number of classes per grading period (allow enough lines to cover all grading periods).

Next, if you would like to calculate your cumulative GPA based on one or more additional grading periods, enter your cumulative quality credit hours and your cumulative GPA.

Next, if you would like to see how many credits and at what grade point you will need to raise your GPA, enter your target GPA and your expected future GPA.

Mouse over the blue question marks for a further explanation of each entry field. More in-depth explanations can be found in the glossary of terms located beneath the College GPA Calculator.

Important: Changing any of the fields appearing above the "Create Interactive GPA Calculator" button will clear the dynamic display below the button.

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Help Quality points (edit if different from your school):
Help Grade period:
Help Number of semesters to calculate GPA for (#):
Help Number of classes per semester (#):
Help Cumulative (Optional) Major Overall
Help Cumulative earned credit hours (#):
Help Cumulative quality hours (#):
Help Cumulative GPA (#):
Help Raise GPA (Optional) Major Overall
Help Target GPA (#):
Help Future GPA (#):
Help Conversion Tool: semester hours = quarter hours
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College GPA Calculator Glossary of Terms

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Quality points multipliers: If the quality points multiplier (A = 4.0, etc.) for any letter grade is different from those used by your school, change the multipliers here before moving on to the next line. Reseting the calculator will restore the default multipliers.

Grade period: Select the grading period (semesters or quarters) used by your school. Your selection will only affect the labels displayed in the calculator.

Number of grade periods to calculate GPA for: Enter the number of separate grading periods you would like to calculate a GPA for. The grade point average calculator will create a separate calculator for each grading period.

Number of classes per grade period: Enter the greatest number of classes you will take in any one grading period. The grade point average calculator will include this number of classes in each grading period calculator it creates.

Cumulative section: If you have an existing cumulative GPA and would like the calculator to readjust it as you calculate your GPA for one or more grading periods, enter your cumulative quality points and GPA in the applicable fields. Note that these fields are required in order for the calculator to calculate the credit hours and grades needed to raise your GPA (next section).

Cumulative earned credit hours: If your school lists earned and quality hours separately, enter the earned hours on this row. Note that earned hours are not necessary for calculating cumulative GPA.

Cumulative quality hours: If you want to have the calculator recalculate your cumulative GPA, enter your cumulative quality hours on this line. Only enter Major quality hours if you know your cumulative major GPA.

Cumulative GPA: If you entered cumulative quality hours on the previous line, enter the cumulative GPA on this line.

Raise GPA section: If you want the calculator to calculate how many credit hours and at what grade you will need to raise your GPA, enter your target and future GPA estimates in this section. Note that in order for this to work you will need to have entered your cumulative quality points and GPA in the section above this one.

Target GPA: If you would like the calculator to estimate how many credit hours and at what letter grade you will need to raise your GPA, enter a target GPA that is greater than your cumulative GPA. Only enter a Major target GPA if you know what your cumulative major GPA is.

Future GPA: Enter a future GPA that is greater than your cumulative GPA, and that you believe you can actually achieve. In other words, if your cumulative GPA is 2.5, and you wish to raise your GPA to 3.0, but you feel the best GPA you could earn for your future grading periods is 3.75, enter 3.75 as your future GPA.

Conversion Tool: If you have a mixture of credit hour types due to transferred credit hours, use this tool to convert the transferred hours to the type currently being used. To convert between semester hours and quarter hours, enter the known credit hours in the appropriate field and the known credit hours will be converted to the unknown credit hours. Note that the converted hours are rounded up to the nearest whole number.

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