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Grading and Grade Point Averages (GPA)

Grading and Grade Point Averages (GPA)

Classification of Grades:

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.

Note for Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies: Class averages do not appear on transcripts for graduate courses. In the Faculty of Engineering, letter grades are assigned according to the grading scheme adopted by the professor in charge of a particular course.

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

Grades A through B- represent satisfactory passes, and F a failure. Certain courses have been approved for Pass/Fail (P/F) grading. Students must obtain grades of B- or better in courses used to fulfil program requirements.

Grading and Grade Point Averages (GPA)
Grades Grade Points Numerical Scale of Grades
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%
F (Fail) 0 0–64%

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.

Note for Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies: If you change levels, e.g., from master’s to doctoral, the CGPA starts again.

This policy took effect in January 2003. 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 F or J continue to be used in the CGPA calculation even after you repeat the course or if you take a supplemental examination.

Other Grades:
IP — in progress; (Master's Thesis Courses Only)
P — pass; Pass/Fail grading is restricted to certain seminars, examinations and projects only. In such cases all grades in these courses are recorded as either Pass or Fail. Not calculated in TGPA or CGPA.
HH — to be continued; the use of this grade is reserved for major research projects, monographs and comprehensive examinations as designated for graduate studies.
J — unexcused absence (failed); the student is registered for a course but does not write the final examination or do other required work; calculated as a failure in the TGPA and CGPA.
K — incomplete; deadline extended for submission of work in a course or for the completion of a program requirement such as a Ph.D. language examination (maximum four months). (Need a K contract signed.)
KF — incomplete/failed; failed to meet the extended deadline for submission of work in a course or for the completion of a program requirement; calculated as a failure in TGPA and CGPA.
KK — completion requirement waived. Not calculated in TGPA or CGPA. This is used in exceptional cases only, with the approval of the Assistant Registrar, Records. Not calculated in TGPA or CGPA.
KE or K* — further extension granted with the approval of the Assistant Registrar, Records (maximum two years.) (Need a K contract signed.)
L — deferred; for students whose final examinations or papers have been deferred, for reasons such as illness, at the time of the examination. Deferrals will not be granted for reasons such as early plane bookings. The “L” grade must be cleared as soon as possible (maximum four months). A dated medical certificate or appropriate document recommending a deferral must be submitted to Service Point with a departmental recommendation for a deferral before or immediately after the examination. In particular, such recommendations will not be considered if medical reasons are brought forth after a grade is assigned. By commencing to write any examination, the student waives the right to plead medical causes for deferral or permission to write a supplemental examination, unless the medical problem occurs in the course of the examination and is documented by examination authorities.
LE or L* — further deferral; permitted to defer examination for more than the normal period.
NA or && — grade not yet available.
NR — no grade reported by the instructor (recorded by the Registrar).
Q — course continued in next term (applicable only to courses taken pre-Fall 2002).
Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory — Not used for graduate students.
W — withdrew with approval; a course dropped, with permission, after the Course Change deadline; not calculated in TGPA or CGPA.
WF — withdrew failing; a course dropped, with special permission in an exceptional case, after faculty deadline for withdrawal from course, the student's performance in the course at that stage being on the level of an F; not calculated in TGPA or CGPA. (Not used by Music and graduate students.)
WL — faculty permission to withdraw from a deferred examination (approved by the Assistant Registrar, Records); not calculated in TGPA or CGPA.
W-- or -- — no grade; student withdrew from the University, not calculated in TGPA or CGPA.
Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2012-2013 (last updated Jul. 11, 2012) (disclaimer)