D Grades and Calculating GPA

Grades of D

Students often ask if a grade of D is passing or not. A grade of D IS normally considered passing. There is no instance where a student should ask a professor for an F over a D. You do not have to retake a course in which you received a D, but you can if you want to. There are some circumstances where you can have a D or F grade removed from your gpa.

If you take a course on a Pass/Nocredit basis (where the grade will not count in the gpa), a grade of D is NOT passing. Also, if you get a D (in an eligible course), you may choose to retake it and apply for Grade Replacement (aka Repeated Course/E-credit, where the original D/F grade is removed from the gpa).

There is no max/min # of times you can get a D. But, if you earn several poor grades and your semester gpa, 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 wish. If you 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.
  • Students may not go backwards in a sequential set of courses. For example, a student has completed Calc 4 and wants to retake Calc 1 or 2.

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

Each Grade corresponds to a point value:     
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/point value by the number of credits. Do this for all courses and add these numbers together. Finally, divide this result by the total number of credits. This is your GPA.


  Grade Point Value Credits Points x Credit
Physics B 3 3 9.0
Physics lab C+ 2.5 1 2.5
Calculus A 4 4 16.0
Chemistry C 2 3 6.0
Expos B+ 3.5 3 10.5
      --- ---
    Total: 14 44

GPA = 44/14 = 3.14   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 wieghted average (see example in the previous section) of all courses with the M prefix.