Grade Point Average (GPA)

The information on these pages is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter to Grade Point Conversion Chart

Letter GradeGrade Point

How do I find my current GPA?

Your cumulative GPA will be used to determine your Academic Standing and to determine your eligibility for admission to a Plan following your first year.

Warning: The calculators will provide only an estimate of the grades required.

In order to use the new calculators, you will first need to find your GPA. Your cumulative GPA and number of Graded Units may be found on SOLUS by going to “Other Academic” > “Grades”.

GPA and Academic Standing

For students who completed their studies at Queen's at the end of the Winter Term 2011, no change to grading or evaluation occured. Continuing students still received percentage grades in Winter Term 2011. However, continuing students will also have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) reported on their transcript.

Starting May 1, 2011 academic decisions in the Faculty of Arts and Science are based primarily on a student’s grade point average (GPA).  GPA Calculators will help you plan what grades you need to achieve your target GPA.

Dean’s Honour List and Dean's Honour List with Distinction

Achieving the following GPA on all courses taken during an academic year (from Sept 1 to Aug 31) will place a student on the Dean’s Honour List. 

GPA in Academic YearList
3.50 or above (and not otherwise placed on the Dean's Honour List with Distinction) Dean's Honour List

To be placed on the Dean's Honour List with Distinction, a student must have achieved an academic year GPA in the top three percent (3%) of all students within Arts (BA, BAH, BFA, BFAH, BMus, BPHE, BPHEH) or Science (BSc, BScH, BCMP, BCMPH).  Based on previous performance levels, a minimum academic year GPA of approximately 3.90 in Arts and 4.10 in Science will be required. These values may vary from year to year.  In addition, there may be no Incomplete (IN), Deferred (GD), Failure (F) grades, or repeated courses during the year in question.

Requirements to Graduate

To graduate, students must have a minimum GPA on all courses taken at Queen’s (cumulative GPA), as follows:

Cumulative GPADegree Eligibility
1.60 or above3-year degree:
B.A., B.Sc., B.Cmp., B.F.A., B.P.H.E.
1.90 or above4-year Honours degree:
B.A.(Hons.), B.Sc.(Hons.), B.Cmp.(Hons.), B.F.A(Hons.), B.P.H.E.(Hons.), B.Mus.

Specific course requirements for all these degrees remain unchanged.

Academic Progression

Students are expected to maintain a cumulative GPA of 1.60 or above to remain in good academic standing.  Students who fail to achieve the following cumulative GPA standards when they are evaluated in May of each year may receive an academic sanction.

Cumulative GPASanction
Below 1.60Placed on Academic Probation
(if you are a new student or are currently in good academic standing)
Required to Withdraw
(if you are currently on academic probation)
Below 0.70Required to Withdraw

The first time a student is required to withdraw, it will be for a period of one year.  They may then return to Arts and Science on academic probation.  If they are required to withdraw a second time, it will be for a period of three years. Details of GPA and Academic Standing may be found in Academic Regulation 12 (Dean’s Honour List), Academic Regulation 13 (Academic Standing) and Academic Regulation 16 (Requirements for Graduation).

FAQ on the Grading Scheme

How will repeating a course affect my GPA?

If you repeat a course, only the highest grade earned will be used when calculating the cumulative GPA.

Repeating a failed course:

If you repeat and pass a course that you previously failed, your GPA will increase, likely to a significant extent. The previous failed attempt will remain on your transcript but the failing grade will be excluded from your GPA.

How will taking a course that is an exclusion of another course affect my GPA?

An exclusion* is a set of two or more courses that are not the same, but that have considerable overlap in content such that both may not count towards the requirements of your degree. Students are not normally permitted to enrol in a course that excludes one that they have already taken.

If you obtain permission to take a course that is an exclusion of another course(s) that you have taken, the grades in all excluded courses will contribute to your GPA. However, you may only count one of the courses (the course with the highest grade) towards your total degree requirements.

For example: SOCY 211/3.0 and STAT 263/3.0 are exclusions. If you choose to take both courses, both graded units will be included in your cumulative GPA but you will only be allowed to count a maximum of 3.0 units towards your degree requirements.

*Exclusions are identified in the Academic Calendar course descriptions or in SOLUS in the following manner:

EXCLUSION: No more than 3.0 units from BIOL 243/3.0; ECON 250/3.0; GPHY 247/3.0; KNPE 251/3.0; POLS 385/3.0; PSYC 202/3.0; SOCY 211/3.0; STAT 263/3.0.

How is the integrity of my transcript maintained?

Integrity of the academic record is paramount in all Queen’s transcripts. Thus, when we switched to the letter-based grading system, all previous percent-based grades remained unchanged. All previous academic rulings also remained. A student will never be allowed to “switch” a letter for a percent grade, or vice versa.

How important are failures under the GPA system?

Under the old academic regulations, failures were not counted in your average. However, the number of failures were used, at least in part, to determine your academic standing. The GPA includes failures. The academic regulations (see GPA and Academic Standing) now evaluate academic standing using a single GPA threshold. Students should reasonably expect the same academic outcomes under this system as in the old.

How will the change from percent to letter grades be explained on the transcript?

All Queen’s transcripts contain a legend (see section above).

It is also important to note that Queen’s University is by no means alone in changing its grading scheme. Many major Canadian universities, such as the University of Alberta, have changed their grading scheme in the recent past.

How will my transcript be evaluated externally?

Your Queen’s transcript is an important record of your academic achievements in university, but it is by no means the only indicator of your overall abilities: building a good resume and a network of individuals who can act as references is also very important.

Having said this, it is important to remember that those evaluating your transcript are likely to be looking at a lot more than just your GPA. They are going to be far more interested in such things as: what courses did you take? How long did you take to complete your degree? How consistent is the student’s performance? How applicable are the skillsets and knowledge you have acquired as an undergraduate to the position/award to which you are applying? The following links deal with some specific examples.

How will my transcript be evaluated by a graduate school?
Generally, the people evaluating transcripts for entry into a graduate school are frontline faculty members, just like those you have encountered in your classes as an undergraduate. They will be particularly interested in your performance in courses relevant to the discipline to which you are applying, probably far more than the overall GPA. They will also be looking for trends in your academic performance: a student who starts out weakly in first year but who ends up as an A student at the end of their undergraduate career may be viewed more favourably compared to a student with a more consistent, but ultimately less impressive, record. The courses you choose will also be important: what electives you choose to complement your discipline are critical to showing that you are intellectually mature and prepared to do graduate work. Remember that your reference letters and any previous research experience are likely to be considered to be at least as important as your overall grades. You should contact the appropriate admissions officer or the appropriate graduate school website if you have questions about your academic eligibility.

How will my transcript be evaluated by a professional school (education, medical, law, etc.)

Professional schools all have different criteria for admission. The transcript is one of them, but aptitude tests (MCAT, LSAT) and references are also important. Some useful information on the evaluation of transcripts by professional schools in Ontario can be found at the links below:

How will my transcript be evaluated by a scholarship agency?
Certainly it is true that “A” students tend to get scholarships. But it is important to remember that many external scholarship agencies use grades as just one criterion when assessing you for scholarships: research experience, job experience, and evidence of communication, leadership and interpersonal skills are all important components, particularly for the most prestigious scholarships. If applying for a major scholarship, you should carefully review the instructions from the scholarship agency, and if necessary contact them directly if you have questions.

How will my transcript be evaluated by a potential employer?
Interestingly enough, many employers don’t place a lot of importance on the grades you got in university. Many of them will want a transcript merely to confirm your academic credentials. They will often be much more interested in your skillsets, interpersonal skills, teamwork and previous job experience.

Will drops show on my official transcript?

In January 2012, Queen’s Senate passed a motion that a dropped course (DR) will not appear on the transcript if the course was dropped before your program’s drop date deadline. This is retroactive back to May 1, 2011.

If you have dropped a course since May 1, 2011 and the change was made before the Arts and Science deadline, the drop (DR) will be removed from your transcript.

In the future

Please be proactive when dropping a course and make sure you drop it before your program’s deadline! You can find out the deadlines by looking at your Faculty/School academic calendar dates here.

Use this calculator to input the future grades you estimate you will obtain and find out your GPA.

Use this calculator to determine the grades you need to obtain a specific cumulative GPA.