Explanation of Grades/GPA

Explanation of Grades

Letter Grade Honor Points Explanation
A 4.0 Excellent
A- 3.7 Excellent
B+ 3.3 Excellent
B 3.0 Good
B- 2.7 Good
C+ 2.3 Good
C 2.0 Satisfactory
C- 1.7 Satisfactory
D 1.0 Low, pass
F 0.0 Fail, no credit
Letter Grade Honor Points Explanation
AU Not Applicable Audit, no credit
H Not Applicable Honors
I Not Applicable Incomplete
J Not Applicable Registration in the same or continuing course necessary to complete requirements
MG Not Applicable Missing grade, grade not assigned
NC Not Applicable No credit, course not acceptable for degree
P Not Applicable Pass
W Not Applicable Withdrew from course after withdrawal deadline
X Not Applicable Unresolved status (instituted May 1986)

The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each and two summer sessions of 6 weeks each.

Calculating your Grade Point Average (GPA)

Calculating your Grade Point Average (GPA) is simple and important.  Knowing your GPA is important in measuring your progress.  To determine your GPA for any given semester, Boston University uses the Honor Point System in which each letter grade has a numerical value.  Each grade is given the following point value, which is defined as “Honor Points”:

Grade A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D F
Honor Points 4.0 3.7 3.3 3.0 2.7 2.3 2.0 1.7 1.0 0.0

Each course is worth a specific number of credits.  Most courses at BU are four credit courses although some course credits vary.

To Calculate your GPA

Step 1 – Determine Honor Points for each course

The Honor Points earned in a particular course are determined by:
Number of Credits multiplied by Final Grade Honors Points assigned to the Grade
   Example: C+ in ENG EC 101 (4 credit course)

    4 credits X 2.33 points (C+) = 9.32 honor points

Step 2 – Calculate GPA

Divide Total Honor Points earned by Total Number of Credits attempted


CAS EC101 (C+): 4 credits X 2.3 pts =   9.2 honor pts
CAS MA109 (B+): 4 credits X 3.3 pts =  13.2 honor pts
ENG BE200 (C -) 2 credits X 1.7 pts =   3.4 honor pts
SHA HF100 (A) 4 credits X 4.0 pts =   16.0 honor pts
SMG SM108 (A-) 1 credit X 3.7 pts =   3.7 honor pts
Totals = 15 credits 45.5 Honor Points

45.5 Honor Points/15 credits = 3.03 GPA

  • The grades and credits of all repeated courses are calculated in the GPA.
  • The following grade symbols are not given honor points, and are not used in the calculation of grade point averages: AU, P, W, MG, H, NC and X. 
  • “I”  grades are not computed until all required work is completed and an appropriate letter grade assigned.
  • “J” grades are not computed until the required work in the same or continuing course is completed. The total credits are computed in the GPA at that time.