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Grading and Grade Point Averages (GPA)

Grading and Grade Point Averages (GPA)

Courses can be graded either by letter grades or in percentages, but the official grade in each course is the letter grade. Where appropriate, a class average appears on transcripts expressed as the letter grade most representative of the class performance.

Since Fall 2002, the University has only used letter grades on transcripts and verification forms.

Grades A through C represent satisfactory passes, D a conditional (non-continuation) pass, and F a failure. Certain courses have been approved for Pass/Fail (P/F) grading. Students may also designate elective courses to be graded under the S/U option. See Courses Taken under the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Option.

You must obtain a grade of C or better in courses that you take to fulfil program requirements. You may not register in a course unless you have passed all the prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better, except by written permission of the appropriate department chair.

Grades Grade Points Numerical Scale of Marks
A 4.0 85 – 100%
A- 3.7 80 – 84%
B+ 3.3 75 – 79%
B 3.0 70 – 74%
B- 2.7 65 – 69%
C+ 2.3 60 – 64%
C 2.0 55 – 59%
D 1.0 50 – 54%
F (Fail) 0 0 – 49%
Note for Engineering: The Faculty of Engineering does not use this numeric scale. See Note for Engineering below.
Note for Law: Faculty of Law does not use this numeric scale.

The University assigns grade points to letter grades according to the table above. Your Academic Standing is determined by a grade point average (GPA), which is calculated by dividing the sum of the course credit, times the grade points by the total course GPA credits. The result is not rounded up to the nearest decimal point.

GPA credits are the credits of courses with grades that are assigned grade points.

The term grade point average (TGPA) is the GPA for a given term calculated using all the applicable courses at the same level in that term. The cumulative grade point average (CGPA) is the GPA calculated using your entire record of applicable courses at McGill at the same level; if you change levels, e.g., from undergraduate to graduate, the CGPA starts again.

This policy took effect in January 2003. Prior to January 2003, if your degree program had changed, e.g., from B.Sc. to B.A., the CGPA started again. For students with academic information prior to Fall 2002, who are registered in a different program or in a different level post-Fall 2002, the transcript displays a special message regarding the CGPA restarting.

If you repeat courses, all results are included in the GPA calculation. Therefore, grades of D or F continue to be used in the CGPA calculation even after you repeat the course or if you take a supplemental examination. Note that credits are only granted once for a repeated course regardless of the passing grade.

You must obtain a minimum CGPA of 2.00 to be considered for graduation with a McGill degree.

Note: During the first week of lectures, each instructor will provide you with a written course outline. This information should include, where appropriate:
  • whether there will be a final examination in the course;
  • how term work will affect the final mark in the course;
  • how term work will be distributed through the term;
  • whether there will be a supplemental examination in the course, and if so, whether the supplemental exam will be worth 100% of the supplemental grade, or whether term work will be included in the supplemental grade (courses with formal final examinations must have supplementals);
  • whether students with marks of D, F, J, or U will have the option of submitting additional work, and, if so, how the supplemental mark will be calculated with the extra work (applicable only to students in Science and B.A. & Sc.).
Note for Engineering: In the Faculty of Engineering, letter grades are assigned according to the grading scheme adopted by the professor in charge of a particular course. This may not correspond to marks indicated in the “Numerical Scale of Marks” column in Grading and Grade Point Averages. Grade D indicates marginal results which may be acceptable for peripheral courses but not for required core courses. The classification of a course as core or peripheral depends on your individual program and will be decided by the department concerned.
Grades have the following designations:
A, A- Very Good
B+, B, B- Good
C+, C Satisfactory
D Conditional Pass
F Fail
Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2011-2012 (last updated Feb. 3, 2012) (disclaimer)