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How do I figure out a student’s GPA?

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Calculating the UC/CSU GPA can be complicated and time-consuming, particularly because UC and CSU calculate the GPA in multiple ways. The following is a step-by-step process of how to calculate all of the different versions of the UC/CSU GPA.  In order to do this accurately, you will need a copy of the student’s transcript; all of the UC-approved course lists from all of the high schools the student attended, and this worksheet.

Step #1
Count the number of semester grades (As, Bs, Cs, Ds and Fs) received in all UC-approved a-g courses (using the UC approved a-g list) in the 10th through 11th grade (including the summer before 10th grade through the summer after 11th grade). The total number of semester grades becomes the Total # of Semesters.  Enter that number in the chart below.

Tips to remember:

  • Freshman grades are not counted.
  • Ignore the plusses and minuses on all grades.  
  • If a student received Ds and Fs as semester grades, they can be replaced in the GPA only when the student retake the exact same semester of the exact same course, otherwise Ds and Fs must be included when you are calculating the GPA.

Step #2
Multiply each number of semester courses by the corresponding grade points.  Once you have done this, add these to reach the Total Grade Points.

Step #3
If the student has taken any of them, count the Total Number of UC-approved AP, IB, Honors (only those indicated as honors with a yellow star on the official high school Doorways list) and transferable Community College course semesters in 10th and 11th. Only count those with a grade of C or better because Ds and Fs cannot receive the extra point.  Enter the # of AP, IB, Honors, & CC Semesters in the chart below under Step #3.

Step #4
Add the Total Grade Points (Step #2) to the Total of AP, IB, Honors, and CC Semesters (Step #3). This is the Grand Point Total (Step #4).

Step #5
There are several different ways to calculate a student’s GPA.  By adding or not adding the extra points, you can figure out three of the GPAs that may be used within the UC and CSU system.

  • An Unweighted GPA is one where no extra points are added to the GPA.  To figure out an Unweighted GPA, skip Step #3 and #4 and divide Total Grade Points (Step #2) by Total # of Semesters (Step #1).
  • A Fully Weighted GPA is one in which all extra points are added to the GPA. To compute a Fully Weighted GPA, divide the Grand Point Total (Step #4) by the Total # of Semesters (Step #1).
  • A Weighted and Capped GPA is one in which up to 8 semesters, no more than 4 in the 10th grade, can be added to the GPA.  The UC system uses the Weighted and Capped GPA in order to determine if a California student is UC eligible.  
  • Each UC campus can determine in its selection policy whether to use a Fully Weighted, Unweighted and/or Weighted/Capped GPA.  UC Berkeley, for example, uses both the Unweighted and Fully Weighted GPA when looking at applicants.  For more information, contact the individual campuses.
Step 1:
# of Semester Courses,
by grades received


Step 2:
# of Grade Points
Step 3:
# of AP, IB, Honors,
and CC semesters
Step 4:
Grand Point Total
Step 5:
divide Grand Point Total
by Total Semesters
#As= x4=      
#Bs= x3=      
#Cs= x2=      
#Ds= x1=      
#Fs= x0=      
Total Semesters Total Grade Points      

For more information about the different types of GPAs and for an online calculator, you can visit the websites below. 

  • The UC/CSU GPA includes all grades earned in one's sophomore and junior years. This means grades received in the summer after 9th grade through the summer after 11th grade count. Approved Honors, Advanced Placement, IB and transferable Community College courses are given an extra GPA point.  You can use the California Colleges online calculator.
  • The Cal Grant GPA  (definition) includes all grades (not just "a-g" but grades from all courses, though NOT including P.E., ROTC, or remedial courses) from the 10th grade, the summer after 10th grade, the 11th grade, and the summer after 11th grade. It does not weight the GPA by giving extra points for AP, IB or honors courses.  More information is available on their website.
  • To find out if a student is eligible for the University of California, you can use their calculator. Remember, while eligible students are guaranteed entry to UC, other students are still admitted "by exception."  Students who wish to attend a UC campus should apply regardless of their eligibility determination.

Printable version of this page.


Calculating the UC CSU GPA

UC Berkeley, Center for Educational Partnerships

Step-by-step instructions on how to calculate your UC/CSU grade point average and information about what the different calculated GPAs include. Calculating_the_UC_CSU_GPA.doc (47.62KB) Online GPA Calculator; State of California

This is an online calculator that helps students calculate a general UC/CSU GPA.

Cal Grant GPA

California Student Aid Commision; State of California

Cal Grant GPA questions and answers for high schools.

Are you eligible for UC?

University of California; Office of the President

A step-by-step way to figure out whether or not a student meets UC eligibility.


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Last modified on 1/1/2010

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