Verification: Grade Point Average (GPA) Calculations

REQUIREMENTS

  • CASPA WILL NOT CALCULATE YOUR GPA UNTIL YOUR APPLICATION HAS A STATUS OF “COMPLETE.” Please see the “Completing the Application” section of our instructions for details.
  • IT MAY TAKE UP TO FOUR WEEKS FROM YOUR COMPLETE DATE FOR YOUR APPLICATION TO BE VERIFIED. Average turnaround time is about two weeks. Applications are verified in chronological order by Complete Date. You may contact customer service to determine your complete date and what complete date we are currently verifying.
WHY DOES CASPA CALCULATE A GPA?

By inputting your coursework into the CASPA application, you standardize the format and content of your transcripts.  Transcripts vary widely in what type of hours credits are worth, the numeric values of grades, and course subjects. CASPA calculates a standard set of GPAs based upon your coursework, making sure your grade values, credit values, and course subjects are consistent with all other CASPA applicants. As a result, your PA programs may compare your course subjects, credit values, and grade values on a level field with all other applicants who are seeking admission to their program.

HOW YOUR GPA IS CALCULATED

CASPA uses the information which you have entered in the coursework section of your application to calculate several tables of GPAs in multiple categories for each applicant. Each category is calculated by adding up the total number of quality points in that category (your credits multiplied by the numeric value of your grade) and dividing this number by the total credits you attempted to earn in this same category. ALL CASPA GPAs ARE CALCULATED IN SEMESTER HOURS. The result of these calculations is several different types of GPAs.

CLICK THE LINKS BELOW TO REVIEW CASPA GPA TYPES:

COLLEGE YEAR-LEVEL GPAs and SCIENCE VS. NON-SCIENCE:

CASPA breaks down your GPA by school year, and also divides your GPA into science, non-science, and overall categories.

YEAR-LEVELS:

These GPAs indicate the school level which you categorized your courses under on your application. For example, if you marked three terms at two different schools as “freshman,” than all courses under those terms factor into the “Freshman” GPA. Please note that the “Total” row includes freshman – senior work, the “Cumulative Undergrad” row indicates freshman – post-baccalaureate work, and the “Overall” row includes freshman – doctorate degree level work.

Year-Level GPAs Chart
Category Science Non-Science Total
Credits Quality
Points
GPA Credits Quality
Points
GPA Credits Quality
Points
GPA
Freshman 18.0 42.6 2.37 15.0 40.5 2.70 33.0 83.1 2.52
Sophomore 18.0 49.8 2.77 6.0 9.9 1.65 24.0 59.7 2.49
Junior 18.0 60.9 3.38 15.0 50.7 3.38 33.0 111.6 3.38
Senior 30.0 84.6 2.82 0.0 0.0 0.00 30.0 84.6 2.82
Total 84.0 237.9 2.83 36.0 101.1 2.81 120.0 339.0 2.82
Post Baccalaureate 3.0 12.0 4.00 11.0 44.0 4.00 14.0 56.0 4.00
Cum. Undergrad 87.0 249.9 2.87 47.0 145.1 3.09 134.0 395.0 2.95
Graduate 30.0 110.7 3.69 3.0 12.0 4.00 33.0 122.7 3.72
Doctorate 0.0 0.0 0.00 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.00
Overall 117.0 360.6 3.08 50.0 157.1 3.14 167.0 517.7 3.10
SCIENCE VS. NON-SCIENCE

CASPA also divides your GPA earned at each year level into Science, Non-Science, and Total (science and non-science) sections. Looking at the chart above, this applicant’s overall science GPA is 3.08, overall non-science is a 3.14, and overall total GPA is 3.10.

SCIENCE GPA: is calculated based on these Course Subject GPA categories: Biology/Zoology, Inorganic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics, and Other Science.

NON-SCIENCE GPA: is calculated based on these Course Subject GPA categories: English, Math, Social/Behavioral Science, and Other Non-Science.

COURSE SUBJECT CATEGORY GPAs:

CASPA breaks down your GPA by course subject, regardless of your college level. These subjects are determined by the “CASPA course subjects” you selected for each course on your application. Please note that during the verification process, CASPA staff will change the subject category for any courses which they determine were not categorized correctly.

Course Subject GPAs
Course Graded
Credits
QP GPA Credits
< 2.0
Credits
P/CR/AP
Total
Credits
Biology/Zoology 84.0 270.0 3.21 3.0 0.0 84.0
Inorganic Chemistry 6.0 15.0 2.50 0.0 0.0 6.0
Organic Chemistry 6.0 18.0 3.00 0.0 0.0 6.0
Biochemistry 12.0 31.8 2.65 0.0 0.0 12.0
Physics 6.0 13.8 2.30 0.0 0.0 6.0
BCP Totals 114.0 348.6 3.06 3.0 0.0 114.0
Other Science 3.0 12.0 4.00 0.0 0.0 3.0
Math 15.0 40.8 2.72 3.0 0.0 15.0
English 12.0 43.8 3.65 0.0 0.0 12.0
Behavioral Science 15.0 45.6 3.04 0.0 0.0 15.0
Other Non-Science 8.0 26.9 3.36 0.0 0.0 8.0
Total 167.0 517.7 3.10 6.0 0.0 167.0
 COURSE SUBJECTS:

If you have any questions about what course subjects factor into which GPA Course Subject Category, please see the CASPA Course Subjects page.

 BCP GPA: is calculated based on these Course Subject GPA categories: Biology/Zoology, Inorganic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Physics.

NON-GRADED CREDIT GPAs

CASPA also records earned credit for which you did not receive an actual letter grade, and therefore it cannot be included in your GPA. “Advanced Placement” lists credits you earned if you passed a college board AP exam in high school. The “Pass” section lists credit for classes in which you earned a “Pass,” “Satisfactory,” or “Credit.” The “Fail” section lists credits in which you earned a “Non-Pass” rather than an F letter grade.

 

 

 
Advanced Placement 12.0
Pass 3.0
Fail 0.0

 

WHY IS MY GPA DIFFERENT THAN THE ONE ON MY TRANSCRIPTS?

Because CASPA standardizes grades across all colleges, it is not unusual for there to be a discrepancy in GPAs between what your schools calculate and what CASPA calculates. Common reasons for this include:

  • CASPA does not recognize individual school’s forgiveness, academic renewal, or grade replacement policies in regards to repeated courses. All grades which you earned for repeated courses will factor into your CASPA GPA.
  • CASPA’s numeric scale for letter grades may be different than the one used at your home institution. Please note that a grade of “WF” or “Withdrawn Failing” is calculated into the CASPA system as an “F.” You can view the numeric charts below.
  • CASPA calculates all GPAs in semester hours. If any of your courses were completed in quarter hours, CASPA converts these to semester hours on your GPA charts. The conversion ratio is 1.0 quarter hour = 0.667 semester hours.
  • CASPA breaks down your GPA by college level, not by college. Therefore if you attended multiple schools with terms labeled as “freshman,” “sophomore, etc, CASPA will combine all of these classes into your freshman or sophomore GPA.

CASPA GRADE CONVERSION CHARTS:

U.S. CONVERSIONS:

 

Letter Grade: CASPA Conversion: Numeric Grade: CASPA Conversion: Percentage Grade: CASPA Conversion:
A+
A
4.0
A
100-90
A
A
A
3.7
A-
89-80
B
 A-
A-
3.5
AB
79-70
C
AB
AB
3.3
B+
69-60
D
B+
B+
3.0
B
59 and Below
F
B
B
2.7
B-
NOTE REGARDING NUMERIC GRADES BETWEEN NUMBERS ON THE CHART:

If the number is closer to one grade than another, you must choose the closest grade. For example, if you have a 3.8, a 3.8 is closer to a 3.7 (A-) than a 4.0 (A), so you must input the A-.

If the number falls exactly between two values, you may round up to the higher grade. For example, if you have a 3.4, that is exactly between a 3.5 (AB) and 3.3 (B+) so you may round up to the AB.”

B-
B-
2.5
BC
BC
 BC
2.3
C+
C+
C+
2.0
C
C
 C
1.7
C-
 C-
C-
1.5
CD
 CD
CD
1.3
D+
 D+
 D+
1.0
D
D
D
0.7
D-
 D-
 D-
0.0
F
F
F
WF
F

CANADIAN CONVERSIONS:

 

Letter Grade:
CASPA Conversion:
Numeric Grade:
CASPA Conversion:
Percentage Grade:
CASPA Conversion:
A+
A+
4.0
A
90-100
A+
A
A
3.7
A-
80-89
A
A-
A-
3.5
AB
70-79
B
AB
AB
3.3
A-
60-69
C
B+
B+
3.0
B
50-59
D
B
B
2.7
B-
0-49
F
B-
B-
2.5
BC
NOTE REGARDING NUMERIC GRADES BETWEEN NUMBERS ON THE CHART:

If the number is closer to one grade than another, you must choose the closest grade. For example, if you have a 3.8, a 3.8 is closer to a 3.7 (A-) than a 4.0 (A), so you must input the A-.

If the number falls exactly between two values, you may round up to the higher grade. For example, if you have a 3.4, that is exactly between a 3.5 (AB) and 3.3 (B+) so you may round up to the AB.”

BC
BC
2.3
C+
C+
C+
2.0
C
C
C
1.7
C-
C-
C-
1.5
CD
CD
CD
1.3
D+
D+
D+
1.0
D
D
D
0.7
D-
D-
D-
Less Than 0.7
F
E
F
F
F
WF
F

DISPUTING YOUR COURSE SUBJECTS

If you disagree with a course subject decision, please note that CASPA may only base its course subject assignments on the course title and the department prefix listed on your official transcript. If the title or prefix do not indicate the subject you would like, understand that we can NOT accept additional documentation in order to prove this course had different content than that indicated by the title and prefix. Letters , course descriptions, unofficial transcripts, etc. will not allow you to have a course subject changed.

UNDERSTAND: AS INSTRUCTED BY PAEA, CASPA IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO CONSIDER ANY OUTSIDE INFORMATION WHEN CONSIDERING A COURSE SUBJECT.

 

 

CORRECTING INCORRECT COURSE SUBJECTS

The only time a course subject will be changed by CASPA is if this subject is incorrect based on the title and prefix. For example, if your course is titled “Inorganic Chemistry I” and it was incorrectly verified as “Organic Chemistry,” please send us an email at caspainfo@caspaonline.org with the subject line “Course Subject Correction” and we can have verification make this correction.

DISPUTING CORRECT COURSE SUBJECTS

If the course subject is correct by CASPA standards, but you feel that you can provide a course description which indicates a very different subject, you have the option of asking CASPA to post the course description, along with your REQUESTED course subject, in an admissions note to your PA programs on your CASPA application.

IMPORTANT: the dispute process is for courses which have questionable or vague titles ONLY. The PA programs helped to create the CASPA Course Subject list and they will NOT consider descriptions of courses which clearly fall under this list (i.e. Medical Terminology is considered an English course by PA programs). Any requests to dispute a clearly defined course on the CASPA list will be denied.

  • Email us at caspainfo@caspaonline.org, with the subject line “Course Subject Dispute.”
  • Indicate the course, what you believe the course SHOULD be categorized as, and copy/paste the official course description from your course catalog which supports your argument into the email body. Please provide the link to the description’s source in ADDITION to the description’s text. Do NOT simply link us to a course catalog or description, as we will not hunt this information down for you.
  • CASPA will review both your request and the description. IF we feel that the description supports a valid argument for your requested course subject, we will post your request to your admissions officers for their review at their discretion. CASPA will NOT change your course subject, nor will we update your GPA calculation.
  • If your course description does NOT support your argued subject OR if you attempt to dispute a course clearly marked on our course subject list (see warning below) CASPA will deny your request for an admissions comment to be posted. If you still wish to dispute your subject at this point, you should do so with your PA programs directly.

DISPUTING YOUR GPA CALCULATION

Understand that GPAs are automatically calculated using the data that is inputted into the coursework section of the application, and most often are correct. On the rare occasion that they are not, it is most often because something has been labeled incorrectly in the coursework section. Before disputing a GPA calculation, it is the applicant’s responsibility to understand the following:

  • How GPAs work mathematically. A common error applicants make is to add their GPA from each of their four years of undergraduate study and then divide by 4, which they erroneously believe is their overall undergraduate GPA. In fact, this is their AVERAGE GPA, which is very different from an Overall GPA. Review all of the instructions and examples on this page to ensure your math is correct.
  • How CASPA GPAs work specifically. This includes the notes above on common reasons they are different from the GPA on your transcripts. CASPA GPAs are not and should not be those found on your transcripts.
  • How CASPA can and can NOT help you in regards to your GPA. CASPA cannot assist you if you are unhappy because your GPA is “wrong.” It is impossible for us to determine what the issue might be if you simply believe it is incorrect. In order for us to either help find what may be causing an error or help you understand why a certain number is correct, we require more specific information.

If you believe your GPA is incorrect, the first step is to choose an area that you believe is incorrect (i.e. Post-Bac Science GPA) and attempt to calculate the correct GPA yourself. Instructions for how to do so are below.

ONLY after you have attempted to calculate the GPA on your own should you CONTACT CASPA BY E-MAIL ONLY with a specific set of calculations for a certain portion of your GPA which you believe is erroneous and we will review and explain the discrepancy. Email caspainfo@caspaonline.org with the subject line “Verification: GPA Inquiry” and include a description of the issue and the calculations you have made.

UNDERSTAND: GIVEN THE TIME AND ATTENTION NECESSARY TO REVIEW A GPA DISCREPANCY, CASPA WILL NOT ACCEPT GPA REVIEW REQUESTS BY PHONE. Any applicants who call customer service requesting a GPA recalculation will be instructed to resubmit their request via e-mail.

CLICK HERE FOR SIMPLE INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO CALCULATE A GPA:

GPAs are calculated by taking the credit hours for each course and multiplying them by the CASPA numeric value of your grade to determine your quality points. The total quality points are then divided by the total number of credits to determine your GPA.

Course Transcript
Grade
Transcript
Credits
Attempted
Transcript
CASPA
(Converted)
Grade
Calculation Quality
Points
TOTAL 16 32
MATH 1100 A 3 4.0 = 4 × 3 12
ENGL 1310 B 3 3.0 = 3 × 3 9
GEOL 1610 C 4 2.0 = 2 × 4 8
PHED 1000 D 3 1.0 = 1 × 3 3
PSCI 1040 F 3 0.0 = 0 × 3 0

GPA Calculation
32 (Quality Points) by 16 (Credit Hours Attempted) = 2.00 (GPA)

MY GPA HAS BEEN CALCULATED. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Once your GPA has been calculated, your status should read as “Verified” and you will receive an automated e-mail notification. Look over your GPA in your Application PDF and read through how we calculate the GPA should you have any questions. Please note that “Verified” is the final application status which will be assigned to your CASPA application. For more detailed information on how your application will be provided to your PA programs by CASPA, please see the “How PA Programs Receive Your Application” section of our Instructions and FAQ.

COMMON QUESTIONS:

Q: Do I have to calculate my own GPA?

A: No. CASPA calculates your GPA during the processing of your application.

Q: Will I receive my GPA calculation before I e-submit my application?

A: NO. CASPA WILL NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, CALCULATE YOUR GPA UNLESS YOUR APPLICATION HAS ALREADY BEEN E-SUBMITTED.

Q: How can I view my GPA calculation?

A: Once your GPA is calculated, it will appear on your full Application PDF. This can be accessed in the “Program Status” section.

Q: What types of courses ARE NOT included in my GPA at all?

A: Any course in which a grade of withdrawal (passing), pass/no-pass, audit, incomplete, exempted or not yet enrolled is indicated will not be included in the GPAs.

Q: Why does CASPA include my repeated courses in my GPA?

A: CASPA must standardize applicant information throughout the country, and therefore does not recognize individual school or state academic “forgiveness” policies in regards to repeated courses, as each college treats these situations differently. Some schools average the two grades together, others factor in the higher grade, some take the second grade even if it’s lower than the first, and others do not recognize repeated courses at all. Therefore, CASPA must factor both grades into your CASPA GPA. Once your application arrives at the schools you are applying to, they may or may not recalculate your GPA depending upon their individual policies

 



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