Advising Center

Learn UMass Lowell's Point System

To determine your grade point average (GPA) and academic standing, UMass Lowell uses a point system in which each letter grade has a numerical value. The letter grades and their numerical values are as follows.

A = 4.0 B+ = 3.3 C+ = 2.3 D+ = 1.3
A- = 3.7 B = 3.0 C+ = 2.3 D = 1.0
  B- = 2.7 C- = 1.7 F = 0.0

Formula for calculating the GPA

Your GPA is obtained by dividing the total number of quality points by the total number of quality hours (for example: 45 quality points divided by 15 quality hours equals a grade point average of 3.0).

Quality Points

Quality points are determined by multiplying the number of course credits by the numerical value of the assigned grade. For example, a three-credit course completed with a grade of B- would carry 8.1 quality points (three credits multiplied by a 2.7 numerical grade equals 8.1 quality points for that course).

Quality Hours

Quality hours are the number of credit hours that have been assigned a letter grade even if the grade is F. Courses where the "grade" is W do not count toward quality hours.

Examples

Student One's grade report:


Grade Numerical Value X Credits = Quality Pts.
A- (3.7) 3 11.1
C+ ( 2.3) 4 9.2
A (4.0) 3 12.0
B (3.0) 3 9.0
C (2.0) 1 2.0
Totals   14   43.3

GPA = Quality points divided by quality hours, so 43.3 divided by 14 = 3.093


Student Two's grade report:


Grade Numerical Value X Credits = Quality Pts.
C- (1.7) 3 5.1
C+ (2.3) 3 6.9
F (0.0) 3 0.0
D+ (1.3) 3 3.9
C (2.0) 3 6.0
C- (1.7) 1 1.7
Totals   16   23.6

GPA = Quality points divided by quality hours, so 23.6 divided by 16 = 1.475

To be in satisfactory academic standing, you need to achieve a 2.0 or higher for each individual semester and also for your cumulative GPA. This minimum is higher in certain majors. If you do not achieve this minimum, you will fall under one of the academic "difficulty" categories set forth by the University. For information about academic standing, refer to the catalog under academic policies.