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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 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%
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 multiplying the course credit by the grade points, and dividing the sum 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 grades indicated in the “Numerical Scale of Grades” column in Grading and Grade Point Averages. A grade of D indicates marginal performance which is acceptable only for Complementary Studies courses (i.e., Group A Impact of Technology on Society and Group B Humanities and Social Sciences, Management Studies and Law), Basic Science Complementary Courses (for Computer Engineering and Software Engineering students from CEGEP), and Elective Courses (for Mechanical Engineering students from CEGEP and for Architecture students). A grade of D is not acceptable for required (core) courses, technical complementary courses, laboratory complementary courses, or courses in any other category of the Engineering programs. Individual departments/schools will decide if a student with a D in a prerequisite course(s) may take the subsequent course.
Grades have the following designations:
A, A- Very Good
B+, B, B- Good
C+, C Satisfactory
D Conditional Pass
F Fail

Grading and Grade Point Averages (GPA): Other Grades

Grading and Grade Point Averages (GPA): Other Grades

Other Grades


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


incomplete; deadline extended for submission of work in a course

KE or K*

further extension granted


failed to meet the extended deadline for submission of work in a course; calculated as a failure in TGPA and CGPA


completion requirement waived; not calculated in TGPA or CGPA


deferred examination

LE or L*

permitted to defer examination for more than the normal period


no grade reported by the instructor (recorded by the Registrar)


pass; not calculated in TGPA or CGPA


course continued in next term (applicable only to courses taken pre-Fall 2002)


satisfactory; equivalent to C or better in an elective course; not calculated in TGPA or CGPA (See Courses Taken under the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Option.)


unsatisfactory; equivalent to D or F in an elective course; not calculated in TGPA or CGPA (See Courses Taken under the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Option.)


withdrew; a course dropped, with permission, after the Course Change deadline; not calculated in TGPA or CGPA


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.)


faculty permission to withdraw from a deferred examination; not calculated in TGPA or CGPA

NA or &&

grade not yet available

W- - or - -

no grade; student withdrew from the University, not calculated in TGPA or CGPA

Unexcused Absences

Grading and Grade Point Averages (GPA): Unexcused Absences

All students who miss a final exam are given a J grade. You then have the following options:

  1. Ask to be assigned a grade based only on the grades earned for your work submitted up to, but not including, the final exam.

    The grade earned is calculated by adding the grades obtained on the individual pieces of work and a grade of 0 for the portion of the final grade allocated to the final exam. This option is not available if the professor stipulated in the course outline that the final exam is a required part of the evaluation.

  2. Request a deferred exam, if you have the appropriate reasons and documentation.
  3. Apply for a supplemental exam if permitted by your faculty.
Note for Engineering: Option 1 is not available to students in the Faculty of Engineering.
Note for Music: Option 1 is not available to students in the Schulich School of Music.

You must request option 1) no later than four months after the end of the examination period of the original course.

You must request option 2) by the faculty deadlines as indicated in University Regulations and Resources > Undergraduate > Examinations: General Information > Final Examinations > Final Examinations: Deferred Examinations.

You must request option 3) by the faculty deadlines as indicated at

If you wish to appeal a J grade, you should write to your Associate Dean or Director.

Note for the Faculties of Arts and Science (including B.A. & Sc.): Requests are made at Service Point (3415 McTavish Street). However, it is important that you also see a Faculty adviser in Dawson Hall to talk about your options and the effects that your request may have on your studies. For more information, see
Note for Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies: Only options 2 and 3 above are applicable to graduate students. Students wishing to appeal a J grade should write to the Assistant Registrar, Records.
Programs, Courses and University Regulations—2014-2015 (last updated Jan. 22, 2015) (disclaimer)