Thompson Rivers University

Grade Point Average

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  • What is a Grade Point Average (GPA)?

    Your Grade Point Average (GPA) is a measure of how well you are doing in your academic studies.  At TRU, the academic grading scale goes from “A+” to “F”, with corresponding grade points ranging from the highest “4.33” to the lowest “0.00”.  A student’s Grade Point Average, or GPA, is a mathematical calculation that indicates where an average of the grades falls on the scale.

    The letter grade is assigned a grade point value according to the Grading Systems-ED 3-5 POLICY, as shown below.  Each letter grade has a numeric grade point value assigned which is used to provide for a TRU-based term and cumulative term grade point average (GPA).  This policy and all others can be found at

    Academic/Career/Developmental Programs
    Letter Grade Numerical Grade Grade Points Letter Grade Description
    90 - 100
    85 - 89
    80 - 84
    Excellent.  First Class Standing.  Superior Performance showing comprehensive, in-depth understanding of subject matter.   Demonstrates initiative and fluency of expression.
    77 - 79
    73 - 76
    70 - 72
    Very Good.  Second Class Standing.  Clearly above average performance with knowledge of principles and facts generally complete and with no serious deficiencies.
    65 - 69
    60 - 64
    Satisfactory.  Basic understanding with knowledge of principles and facts at least adequate to communicate intelligently in the discipline.
    C- 55 - 59 1.67 Pass.  Some understanding of principles and facts but with definite deficiencies.
    D 50 - 54 1.00 Minimal Pass.  A passing grade indicating marginal performance.  Student not likely to succeed in subsequent courses in the subject.
    F 0 - 49 0.00 Unsatisfactory.  Fail.  Knowledge of principles and facts is fragmentary; or student has failed to complete substantive course requirements.
    DNC -- 0.00 Did not complete the course - no official withdrawal or less than 50% of course work completed.
  • What is a term grade point average (TERM GPA)?

    Your term GPA is the average of your grades for only one semester.

    For example, if a student earns grades of “A-“ in all courses, he or she would have a TERM GPA of 3.67. A GPA of 3.67 or higher, is regarded as first Class Standing.

  • What is a cumulative grade point average (CUM GPA)?

    Your cumulative GPA is a calculation of the average of all your grades for all semesters and courses completed at TRU.

    NOTE: Courses completed at other institutions do not affect your cumulative GPA at TRU.  Transfer credits earned from course work completed at other institutions will be recorded on your TRU transcripts, but not the grade attained in each course.

    Your TERM GPA and CUM GPA are shown on your educational transcript.  You can request an official copy of your transcript at the Registrar’s Office, RM OM 1155, for a $5.30 fee, or you can attain an unofficial copy by logging in to TRU Online.  For more information about obtaining your transcripts please go to the TRU website at

    Sample of a TRU transcript

    Course Course Title CREDITS GRD GRDPT
    Engl 110
    Psyc 111
    Math 100
    Intro to Psychology I
    Finite Math
    TERM GPA 3.16
    CUM GPA 3.16
    6.00 CR
    6.00 CR

    TERM GPA: GPA for one semester
    Cumulative GPA: GPA for all semesters taken at TRU;

  • Which courses are used in the GPA calculation? Are UPrep and ESAL courses taken into account?

    All transcript-able credit courses are used in the GPA calculation.  For example, English 060 is a UPrep course, and even though it does not count as credit towards a degree, it is still a credit course that will show on your transcript, and therefore, it will be included in your GPA.  The same is true for ESAL courses.

  • Does repeating a course remove a low grade from a transcript?

    A transcript is an accurate record of all courses attempted.  Therefore, repeating a course does not remove the lower grade from a transcript, but only the higher grade will be used in the cumulative (CUM) GPA calculation.

    Depending on your situation you may want to retake a course in which you attained a “D” or “F” or “DNC” grade.  When a course is repeated at TRU, only the highest grade is used to determine your CUM GPA.  If you need to take a course for a third time, you will need written approval from the Chair of the department offering the course (refer to Policy ED 3-3: Course and Program Repeaters;

  • How does a "DNC" or an "F" affect GPA?

    When a student drops out and does not complete the course, or does not attend the final exam, a letter grade of “DNC” is given which stands for “did not complete”.  A “DNC” affects GPA the same as an “F” grade does for “failing” the course.  The grade point value for both a “DNC” and an “F” are 0.00.

  • What is a deferred grade, or "DEF"?

    For extenuating circumstances, you could ask your instructor for additional time, up to a maximum of six weeks, to complete course assignments.  If your instructor agrees to give you extra time, you will be given a course deferral (DEF).  If no grade is submitted within six weeks, the DEF will be changed to a DNC (did not complete) after six weeks.

    For example, consider the DEF in this transcript:

    Course Course Title CREDIT GRD GRDPT
    Psyc 111
    Phil 111
    Intro to Psychology I
    Intro to Critical Thinking
    TERM GPA  2.33
    CUM GPA    2.33
    3.00 CR
    3.00 CR

    A “DEF” means that regularly scheduled course work has not been completed, and the term GPA is incomplete. A DEF on the transcript indicates that an extension has been graNted by the instructor and the student has been given additional time, up to a maximum of 6 weeks from the last day of class, to complete all course work. A final grade must be submitted to the Registrar’s office by the instructor within six weeks of the last day of class or otherwise the DEF is changed to a DNC.

  • What are some of the implications of a "high" GPA and a "low" GPA?

    One of the implications of having a “good” fall and winter TERM GPA, of  2.0 or better, is that you will be assigned an earlier date to register.  In other words, your fall and winter TERM GPA determine your assigned date to register within the registration priority system for academic programs.  The higher your GPA the earlier you get to enrol in your fall and winter courses.

    On the other hand, if you have a “poor” GPA, of less than 2.0, you will be placed at the end of registration priority, which may reduce your selections of courses.

    Another implication of attaining a good GPA, a GPA of over 3.5 based on a 100% course load, could mean earning a scholarship and/or being named to the Dean’s List.  For more information about scholarships and other financial awards, please refer to the TRU website and for information about the criteria for the “Dean’s List” please go to and refer to Academic Recognition Policy ED 3-4.

    Perhaps one of the most serious implications of a “poor” GPA is being placed on Academic Probation which could eventually lead to your withdrawal from TRU. (Refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy Ed 3-2 found at )

  • How do you appeal a grade?

    To appeal a grade you must follow TRU policy as explained in Policy ED 4.0.  According to policy a student should attempt to resolve the concern by discussing the situation with the instructor.  If the concern is not resolved, then the student should make contact with the next highest level of responsibility usually the department chair.

    If the issue remains unresolved, the student may commence an appeal in accordance with the appeal procedure set out in the Appeals Regulations.  For more information, please contact the Office of Student Affairs located in RM OM 2477 or phone (250) 371-5738.

  • What is the academic renewal policy?

    Academic renewal allows a returning student to apply to the Registrar’s office for academic forgiveness of the prior cumulative grade point average.  The policy is designed for undergraduate students who have gained maturity outside of higher education and have demonstrated acceptable academic performance following their return.  The Academic Renewal policy is subject to the following regulations:

    1. Academic Renewal applies only to returning undergraduate students who have previously attempted 30 or fewer credits and have had an absence of at least three calendar years from any post-secondary institution (except to complete courses required for readmission to TRU).

    2. Academic Renewal will affect the student’s cumulative GPA in all courses taken prior to the minimum three year absence.  Only courses with an original grade of C- or better may count towards program graduation requirements.  In all cases, program requirements must be met.

    3. A minimum of 12 credits of graded courses with a GPA of at least 2.0 must be completed after returning before Academic Renewal may be requested of the Registrar’s Office.  For purposes of Academic Renewal, only credit (transcript-able) courses will be considered.  With the approval of the Registrar or designate, the student will be granted Academic Renewal.  The student’s transcript will remain a record of all coursework completed.  Courses taken prior to the three year, or more years, of absence will not be used in computing the cumulative grade point average.  The transcript will have “Academic Renewal” noted at the end of the last semester counting towards Academic Renewal.

    Note: Academic Renewal is a policy of TRU and may not be recognized by outside agencies or other institutions. Refer to the Academic Renewal Policy ED 3-11 found at