Washington College uses a four-point scale to calculate a student’s grade point average (GPA). The factors contributing to a student’s GPA are the letter grades earned and the amount of academic credit each course carries. In simplest terms, a student’s GPA represents the ratio of Quality Points earned divided by Quality Points possible. This ratio is then multiplied by four to put it on the standard four-point scale.
Students will earn a “term GPA” for each semester that they are enrolled at the College. The term GPA does not change even if a course is later repeated. It represents the historical record of a student’s graded coursework during a given semester. The term GPA is used to calculate a student’s academic standing each semester, including his or her eligibility for the Dean’s List.
The aggregate of a student’s entire graded coursework, as seen on the academic transcript, combines to form the “cumulative GPA.” Students must earn at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA in courses taken at the College in order to graduate.
The Registrar’s Office uses a student’s cumulative GPA and current class year to determine his or her class rank. The class year is based on the student’s accumulated credit hours as of the end of a given semester. Note that it is possible for students to change class years midway through the academic year.
All students may obtain their grade point averages from WebAdvisor and by viewing their official transcript. They may share this information with anyone they choose. In addition, students can determine their approximate rank within the class by consulting the undergraduate cumulative grade-point-average cutoffs posted by term. These vary from year to year and from class to class.
Ranks should be reported in the following form: “Jane Brown ranked in the top xx percent of the class at the end of the Spring 2012 term.”