Grades and Course Credits

University Policy

Explanation of Grades

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
F* 0.0 Fail, P/F course

Please note that Boston University adopted a special grading policy for the spring 2020 semester.

Letter Grade Explanation (honor points are not applicable for these grades)
AU Audit, no credit
CR Credit, course acceptable for degree
H^ Honors
I Incomplete
J Registration in the same or continuing course necessary to complete requirements
MG Missing grade, grade not assigned
NC No credit, course not acceptable for degree
P Pass
P* Pass, P/F course
W Withdrew from course after withdrawal deadline
X^ Unresolved status (instituted May 1986)

^ Grade is no longer used.

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)

Knowing your GPA is important in measuring your progress, and calculating it is simple. 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 “honor points” value:

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 credits, although some course credits vary.

Calculating your GPA

Step 1 – Determine honor points for each course

The honor points earned in a particular course are determined by the number of credits multiplied by honors points assigned to the final grade.


C+ in CAS EC 101 (4-credit course)
4 credits x 2.3 points (C+) = 9.2 honor points

Step 2 – Calculate GPA

Divide the total honor points earned by the total number of credits attempted.


CAS EC 101 (C+): 4 credits x 2.3 pts = 9.2 honor points
CAS MA 109 (B+): 4 credits x 3.3 pts = 13.2 honor points
ENG BE 200 (C−): 2 credits x 1.7 pts = 3.4 honor points
SHA HF 100 (A): 4 credits x 4.0 pts = 16.0 honor points
QST SM 108 (A−): 1 credit x 3.7 pts = 3.7 honor points
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, CR, 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.
  • Grades for courses taken at other institutions are not calculated into a student’s Boston University GPA.