Verification: Grade Point Average (GPA) Calculations

REQUIREMENTS

  • CASPA WILL NOT CALCULATE YOUR GPA UNTIL YOUR APPLICATION HAS A STATUS OF “COMPLETE.” Please see the “Completing the Application” section of our instructions for details.
  • IT MAY TAKE UP TO FOUR WEEKS FROM YOUR COMPLETE DATE FOR YOUR APPLICATION TO BE VERIFIED. Average turnaround time is about two weeks. Applications are verified in chronological order by Complete Date. Please monitor your status menu to determine your complete date and what complete date we are currently verifying.
WHY DOES CASPA CALCULATE A GPA?

By inputting your coursework into the CASPA application, you standardize the format and content of your transcripts.  Transcripts vary widely in what type of hours credits are worth, the numeric values of grades, and course subjects. CASPA calculates a standard set of GPAs based upon your coursework, making sure your grade values, credit values, and course subjects are consistent with all other CASPA applicants. As a result, your PA programs may compare your course subjects, credit values, and grade values on a level field with all other applicants who are seeking admission to their program.

HOW YOUR GPA IS CALCULATED

CASPA uses the information which you have entered in the coursework section of your application to calculate several tables of GPAs in multiple categories for each applicant. Each category is calculated by adding up the total number of quality points in that category (your credits multiplied by the numeric value of your grade) and dividing this number by the total credits you attempted to earn in this same category. ALL CASPA GPAs ARE CALCULATED IN SEMESTER HOURS. The result of these calculations is three charts worth of GPAs. Please refer to the sample GPA below:

CHART NUMBER ONE: Year-Level GPAs (click to expand)

The first chart breaks down your GPA by school year, and also divides your GPA into science, non-science, and overall categories. Please note: doctorate work is NOT factored into the Overall GPA. Doctorate work is only calculated as a separate “Doctorate GPA.”

ROWS

The rows going across indicate the school level which you categorized your courses under on your application, so for example, if you marked three terms at two different schools as “freshman,” than all courses under those terms factor into the “Freshman” GPA row. Please note that the “Total” row includes freshman – senior work, the “Cumulative Undergrad” row indicates freshman – post-baccalaureate work, and the “Overall” row includes freshman – master’s degree level work.

COLUMNS

The columns divide the chart into Science, Non-Science, and Total (science and non-science) sections. Looking at the chart above, this applicant’s overall science GPA is 3.08, overall non-science is a 3.14, and overall total GPA is 3.10.

Year-Level GPAs Chart
Category Science Non-Science Total
Credits Quality
Points
GPA Credits Quality
Points
GPA Credits Quality
Points
GPA
Freshman 18.0 42.6 2.37 15.0 40.5 2.70 33.0 83.1 2.52
Sophomore 18.0 49.8 2.77 6.0 9.9 1.65 24.0 59.7 2.49
Junior 18.0 60.9 3.38 15.0 50.7 3.38 33.0 111.6 3.38
Senior 30.0 84.6 2.82 0.0 0.0 0.00 30.0 84.6 2.82
Total 84.0 237.9 2.83 36.0 101.1 2.81 120.0 339.0 2.82
Post Baccalaureate 3.0 12.0 4.00 11.0 44.0 4.00 14.0 56.0 4.00
Cum. Undergrad 87.0 249.9 2.87 47.0 145.1 3.09 134.0 395.0 2.95
Graduate 30.0 110.7 3.69 3.0 12.0 4.00 33.0 122.7 3.72
Doctorate 0.0 0.0 0.00 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.00
Overall 117.0 360.6 3.08 50.0 157.1 3.14 167.0 517.7 3.10

 

CHART NUMBER TWO: Course Subject GPAs (click to expand)

The second chart breaks down your GPA by course subject, regardless of your college level. These subjects are determined by the “course subjects” you selected for each course on your application. Please note that during the verification process, CASPA staff will change the subject category for any courses which they determine were not categorized correctly.

Course Subject GPAs
Course Graded
Credits
QP GPA Credits
< 2.0
Credits
P/CR/AP
Total
Credits
Biology/Zoology 84.0 270.0 3.21 3.0 0.0 84.0
Inorganic Chemistry 6.0 15.0 2.50 0.0 0.0 6.0
Organic Chemistry 6.0 18.0 3.00 0.0 0.0 6.0
Biochemistry 12.0 31.8 2.65 0.0 0.0 12.0
Physics 6.0 13.8 2.30 0.0 0.0 6.0
BCP Totals 114.0 348.6 3.06 3.0 0.0 114.0
Other Science 3.0 12.0 4.00 0.0 0.0 3.0
Math 15.0 40.8 2.72 3.0 0.0 15.0
English 12.0 43.8 3.65 0.0 0.0 12.0
Behavioral Science 15.0 45.6 3.04 0.0 0.0 15.0
Other Non-Science 8.0 26.9 3.36 0.0 0.0 8.0
Total 167.0 517.7 3.10 6.0 0.0 167.0

 

CHART NUMBER THREE: Non-Graded Credit (click to expand)

The third chart records earned credit for which you did not receive an actual letter grade, and therefore it cannot be included in your GPA. “Advanced Placement” lists credits you earned if you passed a college board AP exam in high school. The “Pass” section lists credit for classes in which you earned a “Pass,” “Satisfactory,” or “Credit.” The “Fail” section lists credits in which you earned a “Non-Pass” rather than an F letter grade.

 

Non-Graded Credit Chart

 
Advanced Placement 12.0
Pass 3.0
Fail 0.0

 

CASPA SCALE FOR NUMERIC VALUE OF LETTER GRADES (click to expand)

Grade on Transcript: CASPA Numeric Value:
A+
4.0
A
4.0
A-
3.7
AB
3.5
B+
3.3
B
3.0
B-
2.7
BC
2.5
C+
2.3
C
2.0
C-
1.7
CD
1.5
D+
1.3
D
1.0
D-
0.7
E
0.0
F
0.0
WF
0.0

SCIENCE AND NON-SCIENCE GPAs

Science GPA

Your Science GPA is calculated based on these course categories: Biology/Zoology, Inorganic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics, and Other Science.

Non-Science GPA

Your Non-Science GPA is calculated based on these course categories: English, Math, Social/Behavioral Science, and Other Non-Science.

BCP GPA

“BCP” stands for “Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.” All courses labeled as Biology, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, or Physics are included.

WHY IS MY GPA DIFFERENT THAN THE ONE ON MY TRANSCRIPTS?

Because CASPA standardizes grades across all colleges, it is not unusual for there to be a discrepancy in GPAs between what your schools calculate and what CASPA calculates. Common reasons for this include:

  • CASPA does not recognize individual school’s forgiveness, academic renewal, or grade replacement policies in regards to repeated courses. All grades which you earned for repeated courses will factor into your CASPA GPA.
  • CASPA’s numeric scale for letter grades may be different than the one used at your home institution. Please note that a grade of “WF” or “Withdrawn Failing” is calculated into the CASPA system as an “F.” You can view the numeric chart in the “Entering Coursework” section of our instructions.
  • CASPA calculates all GPAs in semester hours. If any of your courses were completed in quarter hours, CASPA converts these to semester hours on your GPA charts. The conversion ratio is 1.0 quarter hour = 0.667 semester hours.
  • CASPA breaks down your GPA by college level, not by college. Therefore if you attended multiple schools with terms labeled as “freshman,” “sophomore, etc, CASPA will combine all of these classes into your freshman or sophomore GPA.

MY GPA HAS BEEN CALCULATED. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Once your GPA has been calculated, your status should read as “Verified” and you will receive an automated e-mail notification. Look over your GPA in your status menu and read through how we calculate the GPA should you have any questions. Once your application has been “Verified” it is placed into our next mailing batch. Please see the “Application Mailing” section of our FAQ for detailed information about mailings.

COMMON QUESTIONS:

Q: Do I have to calculate my own GPA?

A: No. CASPA calculates your GPA during the processing of your application.

Q: Will I receive my GPA calculation before I e-submit my application?

A: NO. CASPA WILL NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, CALCULATE YOUR GPA UNLESS YOUR APPLICATION HAS ALREADY BEEN E-SUBMITTED.

Q: How can I view my GPA calculation?

A: Once your GPA is calculated, it will appear in the Status menu of your online application under “GPA Calculations.”

Q: What types of courses ARE NOT included in my GPA at all?

A: Professional and foreign coursework will not be included in the GPAs. In addition, any course in which a grade of withdrawal (passing), pass/no-pass, audit, incomplete, exempted or not yet enrolled is indicated will not be included in the GPAs.

Q: Why does CASPA include my repeated courses in my GPA?

A: CASPA must standardize applicant information throughout the country, and therefore does not recognize individual school or state academic “forgiveness” policies in regards to repeated courses, as each college treats these situations differently. Some schools average the two grades together, others factor in the higher grade, some take the second grade even if it’s lower than the first, and others do not recognize repeated courses at all. Therefore, CASPA must factor both grades into your CASPA GPA. Once your application arrives at the schools you are applying to, they may or may not recalculate your GPA depending upon their individual policies

Q: Why don’t my doctorate level courses factor into my Overall GPA?

A: When PAEA and the CASPA Admissions Committee (which is made up of admissions officers from CASPA PA programs) decided to begin accepting doctorate level work as academic rather than professional for the 2013 cycle, this decision included keeping the doctorate GPA separate from the overall GPA. CASPA must abide by this decision.

Q: What do I do if I disagree with my course subjects?

If you disagree with a course subject decision, please check the course subjects list, and e-mail CASPA customer service. If an error has been made based upon the course title and prefix, CASPA may correct it.  CASPA will only change course subjects which have been verified incorrectly based upon their title and department.

AS INSTRUCTED BY PAEA, CASPA IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO CONSIDER ANY OUTSIDE INFORMATION (letters , course descriptions, etc.) WHEN CONSIDERING A COURSE SUBJECT. 

If you would like your PA programs to consider outside information, e-mail CASPA customer service with a course description of the class in question. Please note that this is for courses which have questionable content ONLY. PA programs will not consider descriptions of courses which clearly fall under a course subject (i.e. Medical Terminology is an English course clearly marked on our list and can not be challenged.) CASPA will post the course description to admissions officers through the admissions portal, and the decision will be up to the individual PA programs as to how they will regard the course.

Regardless of the PA programs’ decisions, your CASPA course subject and GPA will NOT be updated.

Q: What do I do if I disagree with the CASPA GPA calculations?

A: CASPA cannot recalculate entire GPAs for each applicant; however, we are willing to look at specific areas (for example, Junior Year Science GPA) upon request. ONLY after you have attempted to calculate the GPA on your own should you CONTACT CASPA BY E-MAIL ONLY with a specific set of calculations for a certain portion of your GPA which you believe is erroneous and we will review and explain the discrepancy. GIVEN THE TIME AND ATTENTION NECESSARY TO REVIEW A GPA DISCREPANCY, CASPA WILL NOT ACCEPT GPA REVIEW REQUESTS BY PHONE. Any applicants who call customer service requesting a GPA recalculation will be instructed to resubmit their request via e-mail.

Q: How to I calculate my GPA on my own?

A: GPAs are calculated by taking the credit hours for each course and multiplying them by the CASPA numeric value of your grade to determine your quality points. The total quality points are then divided by the total number of credits to determine your GPA.

Course Transcript
Grade
Transcript
Credits
Attempted
Transcript
CASPA
(Converted)
Grade
Calculation Quality
Points
TOTAL 16 32
MATH 1100 A 3 4.0 = 4 × 3 12
ENGL 1310 B 3 3.0 = 3 × 3 9
GEOL 1610 C 4 2.0 = 2 × 4 8
PHED 1000 D 3 1.0 = 1 × 3 3
PSCI 1040 F 3 0.0 = 0 × 3 0

GPA Calculation
32 (Quality Points) by 16 (Credit Hours Attempted) = 2.00 (GPA)



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