Calculating your UC and CSU GPA

The GPAs you use to apply for private, non-UC/CSU schools are different from the UC/CSU GPAs. Trying to figuring out how to calculate the UC/CSU GPA is frustrating! I have worked with parents that have doctorate degrees in physics who cannot figure it out. So, let me try to break it down in 400 words or less.

  • Although UC/CSU reports the GPA’s from 10-12th grade, they only take your 10th and 11th grade marks (CSU considers 12th grade marks as well). UC/CSU only takes A-G courses to calculate your GPA.
    • How do you know if your course is an A-G course? Check the UC/CSU list of A-G courses for your school
    • If you take a course outside of your school (community college, private school or online) you can also check to see if that course will count towards your A-G GPA

Since, it’s only 10th/11th grade that is used for the GPA calculation that means that 9th grade doesn’t count right? WRONG. Your grades from 9th are used to meet subject requirements for UC/CSU. Also UC/CSU look  9th grade and you want them to be impressed so don’t slack.

Here is where more confusion may come in…How do UC/CSU’s calculate H/AP/IB credit into your GPA?

  • UC/CSU cap their weighted GPA giving weight to only 4 year long H/AP/IB courses
  • Those courses have to be approved weighted courses. You can find that info in the above website
  • They only use weighted courses from 10th and 11th grade
  • They only use a max of 2 from the 10th grade

Confused yet?

The most common question I get after I explain this is “Which classes do the UC/CSU’s use to calculate my weighted GPA if I have more than 4 year long H/AP/IB courses?” The question is simple when you do the math. Look at my example below for explanation.

Honors Literature – A   This is used for the weighted GPA so it is assigned 5 points

IB Visual Arts – C This is used for the weighted GPA so it is assigned 3 points

AP US History – A This is not used for the weighted GPA (it’s the 5th weighted class) so it is assigned 4 points

Total points = 12. Weighted GPA = 4.0

Honors Literature – A This is used for the weighted GPA so it is assigned 5 points

AP US History – A This is used for the weighted GPA so it is assigned 5 points

IB Visual Arts – C This is NOT used for the weighted GPA (it’s the 5th weighted class) so it is assigned 2 points

Total points = 12. Weighted GPA = 4.0

It doesn’t matter which classes the colleges use, it’s an extra grade point that is added to your GPA, it does not matter if it is coming from a C grade or an A grade.

 

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Author: Stacey Ho

Stacey has over ten years experience in college admissions counseling. She graduated from UCLA and then received a Master’s in School Counseling from the University of Maryland, College Park. She also obtained a certification in College Admissions Advising from UC Berkeley Extension. She is passionate about helping first-generation college students.