Cumulative GPA is your GPA for all the classes you have taken at your college, and it is the GPA most often referenced and used in college. Therefore, it can be useful to know how to calculate cumulative GPA for all semesters.
Students can calculate their cumulative GPA for all semesters by finding each grade’s grade point value, multiplying each grade point value by the number of credits for that class to find the grade points, and dividing the total grade points by the total credit hours.
They can also find it on their transcript, DARS report, or student portal.
Let’s look at where you can find your official cumulative GPA, how to find the grade point value for your final grades, how to find your GPA using each class’s grades, a quicker alternative to find your cumulative GPA using your semester GPAs, and how to find your overall GPA from multiple schools.
Learn more about what cumulative GPA is.
How to find cumulative GPA
It is far easier to find your GPA than to calculate your GPA. Plus, the GPA that your school calculates is your official GPA. It is good to know what this is.
Students can find their cumulative GPA by:
- Looking at their transcript (official or unofficial).
- Looking on the student portal (such as MyASU).
- Accessing their DARS report.
- Checking their most recent grade report—it often has both the student’s term GPA and cumulative GPA.
- Talking to their academic advisor.
- Contacting the registrar’s office.
Learn more about How to Find Out Your College GPA.
Where can I find my cumulative GPA on my transcript?
Where cumulative GPA is listed on a student’s transcript can vary depending on the college. Students should check:
- For anywhere labeled cumulative GPA or overall GPA
- The summary or overview section at the top (or sometimes the bottom)
- The end-of-grade breakdown section for the most recent semester
On my unofficial transcript, my cumulative GPA is listed at the end of each semester:
To understand why I blacked out my student ID number, check out my post Are Student ID Numbers Confidential? (What Can Someone Do With Student ID).
What is the formula for cumulative GPA?
While you should always use and reference your official (school-calculated) cumulative GPA, it is useful to know how to calculate cumulative GPA.
The formula for cumulative GPA is total grade points divided by total credit hours.
Click here to check out the most popular products for college students.
Variations in classes counted in cumulative GPA
Colleges vary in their policies on including transfer credits and retaken courses. In general, colleges do not count transfer credit toward the student’s cumulative GPA at that college, and they use the most recent grade of a retaken class.
However, it is important to find out your school’s policy regarding transferred and retaken classes. Check their website, call the registrar’s office, or ask your academic advisor.
Learn more about Retaking College Classes.
Converting grades to grade point values
To calculate your GPA (both semester and cumulative), you need to first convert your final grade into the equivalent grade point value it is worth. You can do this using either your final letter grade or percentage for each class.
Schools typically use a 4.0 scale with pluses (such as B+) worth 0.33 more and minuses (such as B-) worth 0.33 less.
4.0 GPA scale:
|98.00 – 100.00
|92.00 – 97.99
|90.00 – 91.99
|88.00 – 89.99
|82.00 – 87.99
|80.00 – 81.99
|78.00 – 79.99
|72.00 – 77.99
|70.00 – 71.99
|68.00 – 69.99
|62.00 – 67.99
|60.00 – 61.99
While the above is the most common college GPA scale, some colleges use variations. Some round to one decimal point, and others round to two. Some colleges (such as ASU or Columbia) count an A+ as a 4.33 GPA, while most count an A and A+ as 4.0. There are also some schools, such as MIT, that use a 5.0 GPA scale.
Students should use their college’s GPA scale since they can vary. You can find your school’s scale on their website or by asking your academic advisor.
Check out all the benefits of Prime Student. Click here to sign up for Prime Student.
Method 1: Calculate cumulative GPA using the grades for each class
One method to calculate cumulative GPA is just like you would to find your semester GPA except with the grades from all your classes (not just the ones that semester). To do this:
- Find your grades for each class and how many credits each class is worth.
- Use your school’s grading scale to convert each grade into its grade point value.
- Multiply the grade point value by how many credits the class is worth to find your grade point.
- Add the grade points for each class.
- Add up all the credit hours for each class.
- Divide the total grade points by the total number of credit hours.
A short example:
|Grade Point Value
|Grade Point x Credit Hours
|Math from Spring 2020
|2 x 3= 6
|Sociology from Spring 2020
|4 x 3= 12
|English from Fall 2020
|4 x 3= 12
|Biology from Fall 2020
|3 x 4= 12
|History from Spring 2021
|3 x 3= 9
|Total grade points/ total credit hours = cumulative GPA
|51/ 16 = 3.19
There are also GPA calculators that can help you calculate your cumulative GPA this way.
Method 2: Calculate cumulative GPA using each semester’s GPA
This is probably the easiest and most common. It uses your semester GPAs but accounts for taking a different number of credit hours in different semesters.
To calculate your cumulative GPA using each semester’s GPA, you:
- Determine credit hours for each semester and semester GPA.
- Multiply each semester’s GPA by the number of credit hours that semester to find out each semester’s grade points (this is sometimes called your weighted grade points—which is not the same as a weighted GPA in high school).
- Add up each semester’s grade points.
- Divide total grade points by the total credit hours.
Example of calculating cumulative GPA using GPA from all semesters:
|Semester GPA x Semester Credit Hours
|4.0 x 12= 48
|3.67 x 13= 47.71
|3.42 x 12= 41.04
|3.19 x 16= 51.04
|Total grade points/ total credit hours = Cumulative GPA
|187.79/ 53 = 3.54
Method 3: Calculate cumulative GPA by averaging your semester GPAs
Important: This method can only be used if you took the same number of credits EVERY semester!
If you took the same number of credits each semester, you could use an even simpler method to calculate your cumulative GPA—averaging your semester GPAs.
To average your semester GPAs:
- Find your GPA for each semester and add them up.
- Divide by the number of semesters.
Example of averaging your semester GPAs to find cumulative GPA:
|18.3/5 (number of semesters)= 3.66 cumulative GPA
Frequently asked questions about calculating cumulative GPA
Let’s look at some frequently asked questions about calculating cumulative GPAs.
How do you calculate cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale?
Calculating cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale means that your school uses a 4.0 GPA where an A=4.0, B=3.0, C=2.0, D= 1.0, and F=0.0. The GPA scale that your school uses is important for when you convert your final grade to a grade point value.
You would use any of the above methods to calculate your cumulative GPA to find your grade point for each class by multiplying the grade point value by the number of credits, adding all the grade points, and dividing the total grade points for each class by the total credit hours.
How do you calculate GPA from an overall percentage?
Calculating a GPA from an overall percentage means that your final grade (as a percentage) is used to find the corresponding grade point value your school assigns using their GPA scale (like the common one by the U of I referenced earlier).
For example, a 93% is worth 4.0 grade points.
Once you find your grade point values, you proceed with finding your cumulative GPA by:
- Multiplying each course’s grade point value by the number of credits to find the grade points.
- Adding all the grade points (for all the classes you have taken at the college).
- Adding all the credit hours (for all the classes you have taken at the college).
- Dividing the total grade points by the total credit hours to get your cumulative GPA.
How do you calculate your overall GPA with your semester GPA?
If you want to add your new semester GPA to your cumulative GPA, the easiest would be to use method 2 above.
Calculate your overall GPA with your semester GPA by multiplying each of your previous semester’s GPA by the number of credit hours you took that semester to find your semester’s grade points, adding up the grade points for each semester, and dividing the total grade points by the total credit hours.
If you took the same number of credit hours each semester, you can use method 3 and add up your GPA for each semester and divide by the number of semesters.
How to calculate overall GPA from different colleges
Calculating your overall GPA from different colleges is slightly more complicated.
First, you need to get your transcript from each college. See if each college uses a 4.0 GPA scale and if the credit hours are either all semester hours or all quarter hours (or if some are quarter and some semester).
Colleges use the same GPA scale and credit hour format
If the GPA scale and credit hour format are the same, you can use method 2 above and multiply each semester’s GPA by the number of credit hours for that semester to find that semester’s grade points—do this for each semester at every school. Divide the total grade points by the total credit hours.
Colleges use different GPA scale or credit hour format
If the scales or credit hour formats are not the same, then you need to standardize them.
If the colleges do not use the same GPA scale, you need to convert each final grade to a standard grade point value (you can use your current or most recent college’s GPA scale or the commonly used one posted above).
Convert semester or quarter credit hours to the same format. Again, you can use the format that your current or most recent college uses or the most common format (which is semester credit hours).
To convert quarter credits to semester credits, divide quarter credits by 1.5. For example, 3 quarter credits are equal to 2 semester credits.
To convert semester credits to quarter credits, multiply semester credits by 1.5. For example, 4 semester credits are worth 6 quarter credits.
Once you have standardized information, continue finding your overall GPA how you would if each semester was from the same college. You can use method 1 or 2 above.
- Find the grade points for each class (grade point value multiplied by number of credit hours).
- Add all the grade points.
- Add all the credit hours.
- Divide total grade points by total credit hours.
- Find grade points for the semester by multiplying the semester GPA by the number of credit hours that semester.
- Add the grade points for each semester.
- Divide the total grade points by the total credit hours.
Now that you know how to calculate cumulative GPA for all semesters, share this post with a friend or bookmark it to reference the next time you want to calculate your cumulative GPA.