Grades & Grade Point Average (GPA)



The following grading system is used at Howard except where otherwise indicated in the school/college bulletins: 

A - excellent 90 and above 
B - good, 80 - 89 
C - fair, 70 - 79 
D - poor, 60 - 69 
F - failure less than 60 
W - official withdrawal (no grade value and not calculated) 
UW - unofficial withdrawal (no grade value and not calculated) 
I - incomplete (grade following I/ calculated) 

Required courses in which you receive failing grades must be repeated.  

Incomplete grades may be assigned ONLY to students who, as a result of circumstances beyond their control (e.g., illness or family emergency) are unable to complete their coursework. Although the student initiates the request for an incomplete grade, the decision to assign an incomplete grade rests solely with the instructor. If the student’s request is approved, the instructor establishes and submits specific “make-up” conditions on an Incomplete Grade Processing Form (IGPF). Each incomplete designation (“I”) must be accompanied by an alternative grade (“B,” “C,” “D,” or “F”). The alternative grade will become the permanent grade, if the incomplete is not removed. 

Grade Point Average (GPA) 

Your grade point average is a summary of your academic record. 

The grade point value is determined by multiplying the number of credits (also called hours) a course yields by the grade received for the course. Grades yield points as follows: A = 4; B = 3; C = 2; D = 1; F = 0; W, AD, P, S, U, and UW (not calculated). 

The semester grade point average (GPA) is obtained by dividing the number of semester grade points earned by the number of credits attempted for the semester. For example, student attempts five courses totaling 13 credits for the semester, and receives grades as follows: 

Course 1 (3 credits) — “A”          Course 2 (3 credits) — “B” 

Course 3 (2 credits) — “B”          Course 4 (1 credit) — “C” 

Course 5 (4 credits) — “D”. 

 Total semester grade points earned for courses 1 through 5 are respectively: (3 x 4) + (3 x 3) + (2 x 3) + (1 x 2) + (4 x 1) = (12 + 9 + 6 + 2 + 4) = 33. Semester GPA = 33 ÷ 13 = 2.54. 

Course Number 




Grade Yield Points  


Grade Point Value 

(C x G) 

3 x 4 = 12 


3 x 3 = 9 

2 x 3 = 6 

1 x 2 = 2 

4 x 1 = 4 






The cumulative (or overall) GPA is determined by dividing the number of cumulative (or total) grade points earned at Howard University (including grade points for the most recent grading period) by the cumulative (i.e., total) number of credits attempted at Howard University . For example, student previously attempted 65 credits at Howard University and earned 160 grade points with an old cumulative GPA of 160 ÷ 65 = 2.46. The new cumulative number of credits attempted at Howard University = 65 + 13 = 78; and the new cumulative grade points earned = 160 + 33 = 193. The new cumulative GPA = 193 ÷ 78 = 2.47. 

The grade point average is computed for all courses not officially canceled that have been taken and/or repeated in the student’s program of study. 

NOTE: ALL INCOMPLETE GRADES (other than grades for Thesis & Research) must be completed by the student no later than the last day of classes of the semester in which the student is next in residence. (Instructors must submit Special Grade Reports for removing incomplete grades by the last day of the semester.) 

At the end of each semester, semester grades are available to students via the BisonWeb. 

Grading System 

Except where indicated otherwise in school/college bulletins, the following grading system is used at Howard University: A—excellent scholarship, 90 and above; B—good, 80 to 89; C—fair, 70 to 79; D— poor, 60 to 69; F—failure, below 60; W—withdrawal, has no grade value and is, therefore, not calculated in the term of cumulative grade point average; I—incomplete. A grade of D cannot be raised to a higher grade by re-examination. Required courses in which students receive failing grades must be repeated. 

Grade Point Average (GPA) 

The grade point average is determined by multiplying the number of credit hours of the course by the point value of the grade received for the course (A, 4; B, 3; C, 2; D, 1; F, 0; W not calculated). The resulting products (quality points) are then summed and divided by the total number of credit hours. The grade point average is computed for all courses attempted, excluding courses repeated. 

Pass/Fail Regulation 

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors with a cumulative average of 2.0 or higher who enroll in at least 12 semester hours per semester, may elect to enroll in one course per semester on a pass/fail basis. This pass/fail option is restricted to electives exclusively and is not permitted for courses that fulfill major and minor course requirements. Students will receive a passing designation if his/her work in the course rates as “D” or better and a failing designation if his/her work in the course rates below “D”. Except for students in the School of Business, courses passed under the pass/fail system will count towards graduation requirements. FAILING GRADES WILL BE INDICATED ON THE ACADEMIC RECORD; however, neither the passing grade nor failing grade will be computed in the grade point average. Students electing to take a course pass/fail cannot later petition to receive a grade in the course. Until further notice the Pass/Fail Regulation is on an experimental basis and is reviewed annually. 

GPA Requirement for Graduation 

To receive a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, students must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. Additional grade requirements are determined by degree granting School or College.