GPA Calculation

Grades of D

Students often ask if a grade of D is passing or not. A letter grade of D is normally considered passing. However, it is strongly recommended that students retake D's in math, science, and engineering courses right away. In most cases, you can have the D or F grade removed from your GPA by repeating the course. If you take a course on a Pass/No-credit basis (where the grade will not count in the gpa), a grade of D will become No-Credit and therefore will not be considered as a passing grade. 

There is no maximum or minimum number of times you can get a D grade at Rutgers. But, if you earn several poor grades and your overall GPA, or major GPA drop below a 2.0, you will be put on Probation (at the very minimum). Also, a student cannot graduate with a cumulative GPA or major GPA below 2.0.

If you get a D in any course, you can choose to retake the course. If you do not retake it and move on in the sequence of courses (ex. you get a D in calc 2 then move on to take calc 3), you cannot repeat the D for Grade Replacement. See Repeated Course/E-credit for more information. If you get a C in any course, you are not allowed to retake it for a grade. If you attempt to do this, the new grade will be removed from the gpa and credit totals.

Raising the GPA

Students are allowed to take courses outside of the Engineering curriculum. These courses are not part of the degree requirements but will be included in the overall GPA calculation. Certain students may do this in attempts to raise their overall GPA.

  • Students may take a course that they have not taken before.
  • Students may not retake courses that in which they received a C or better.
  • Students may also not take courses if they have already taken an equivalent course (with grade of C or better). For example, if the student has taken 220:200, s/he may not then take 220:102 or 220:103.

Graduating with Honors:  In order to graduate with honors, high honors, or highest honors, your final cumulative gpa must be 3.200, 3.400, or 3.650 - respectively.

Calculating the GPA

You can calculate your gpa by using the Weighted Average method in mathematics. Each Grade corresponds to a numeric value (these are the weights):     
A : 4      B+ :  3.5      B : 3      C+ : 2.5      C : 2      D : 1      F : 0

List your courses with grades credits, and points. Multiply the Grade value by the number of credits (= Points). Do this for all courses and add these numbers together. Finally, divide the total Points by the total number of credits. This is your GPA.


  Grade    Grade Value    Credits    Gr x Cr = Pts
Physics    B        3      2          6.0
Calculus    B        3     4        12.0
Chemistry    C            2     3          6.0
Matlab    C+      2.5     3         7.5
Intro Psych    D       1     3         3.0
         ---         ---
    Total: 15cr      34.5pts

GPA = 34.5pts/15cr = 2.300   

Scenario: If this student plans to repeat Intro to Psych next semester to have the D removed from the gpa , with a total of 14cr, what semester gpa is needed to bring the cumulative gpa up to a 3.0?

Answer: By repeating the 3cr course in which a D was received, we will be removing 3 gpa points from numerator and 3cr from denominator. We will also be adding in 14cr new in the denominator, and an unkown Point value in the numerator. With a target gpa on the right side of the equation, we now have one unknown, allowing us to solve... 

(34.5pts - 3pts + Xpts) / (15cr - 3cr + 14cr) = 3.0 target CGPA

Solving for Xpts => 46.5pts

Semester gpa needed = Xpts/#cr= 46.5pts/14cr => 3.321.

If the student repeats Psych and earns a 3.321 semester gpa in 14cr, the new cumulative gpa will reach 3.0.

You can also find the total points and credits on the bottom of your transcript. You can use these values to predict what is the gpa needed for various reasons, to reach 3.0 (or other value), to get off of probation, etc.


Click here for a more in depth GPA calculation example.

Major Average Vs Cumulative Average

The cumulative average is calculated by including ALL courses with the exception of E-prefixed or Pass/No Credit courses. The major average is calculated by a select list of courses. Each major has a specific list of courses that are a part of the major average. All Engineering courses (except 440:127 and 440:221) are included in the major average. Major average courses are denoted by an "M" prefix on the unofficial academic transcript. The major average is used internally only.  B100 uses this average to ensure that all students graduate with at least a 2.0 major average and a 2.0 cumulative average.  Official academic transcripts that are ordered from the Registrar do NOT contain "M" prefixes.

To calculate your major average, perform a weighted average (see example in the previous section) of all courses with the M prefix.