Semester and cumulative grade point averages (GPA), which are the basis for assessing students’ academic standing and eligibility to graduate, are derived as follows. Each credit graded “A” through “F” is given a corresponding numerical value called “quality points.” The following chart shows the quality points earned by one credit:

A 4.0
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B 3.00
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C 2.00
C- 1.67
D+ 1.33
D 1.00
D- 0.67
F 0.00

Grade point averages are determined by dividing the credits graded “A” through “F” into the number of quality points those credits earned. The semester GPA includes just the credit and quality points of that semester. The cumulative GPA is based upon the totals for all semesters and summer sessions at New Paltz. Both computations exclude credits graded “S”, “S*” (Satisfactory), “R” (Repeat), “U”, “U*” (Unsatisfactory), and “P” (Pass). Credits and quality points earned at other institutions are also excluded. New Paltz grade point averages reflect only the averages earned in courses taken in residence at New Paltz.

The following is an example of a GPA calculation for a first-semester student:

Composition 1

3 credits, B+ = 9.99 total quality points (3 credits x 3.33 quality points)

College Algebra

3 credits, C- = 5.01 total quality points (3 credits x 1.67 quality points)

The Modern World

4 credits, D = 4 total quality points (4 credits x 1.00 quality points)

General Biology 1 (3-credit lecture + 1-credit lab)

4 credits, A = 16 total quality points (4 credits x 4.00 quality points)

Piano 1

2 credits, A = 8 total quality points (2 credits x 4 quality points)

Total Credits For Semester = 16
Total Quality Points For Semester = 43
Semester GPA = 2.68 (43/16)

One strategy to raise a GPA is to repeat courses in which a low grade was earned. A student should pursue this strategy only if s/he expects to significantly improve the grade by repeating the course. According to the Grade Replacement Policy, which automatically applies when a student takes a course a second time, only the second grade will contribute to the student's cumulative GPA.

In the example above, the first-semester student might consider retaking The Modern World if s/he felt that doing so would result in a higher grade. If the student repeated the course and earned a C+, for example, s/he would receive 5.32 additional quality points (the difference between a 4-credit "D" and a 4-credit "C+"), raising the GPA to 3.02 (48.32/16).

The GPA Projection Tool, located at under Advising, can help students determine what grades they need to earn to attain a certain GPA. Students may also contact the Academic Advising Center to discuss GPA projection.