The grading system at UCLA may be different from the grading system in your home institution or high school. At UCLA, all of your assignments and final grade for each course will come in a form of a letter grade A,B, C, D, or F. An “A” being the highest grade possible and “F” meaning you failed the course. Some instructors also use the plus/minus system to differentiate your letter grade even more. For example a “B” is higher than a “B-.”
Grade Point Average
Your final letter grade in a course is used to calculate your Grade Point Average or GPA. Once all of your grades for the academic quarter have been submitted you will be given a GPA for the quarter, which will appear on your official transcript. Your GPA is calculated by dividing the total number of grade points earned during your quarter by the number of units attempted. The total grade points earned for a specific course equals the number of grade points assigned times the number of course units. For instance, if a student takes three four-unit courses and receives grades of A-, B-, and C+, then the GPA for the term equals the total grade points (34.8) divided by the total course units (12). The GPA is 2.9.
Grade Point Scale
Every quarter you will receive a GPA indicating how well you did during that specific quarter. You will also see an accumulative GPA on your transcript which indicates your GPA over your entire academic career at UCLA. Your accumulative GPA is what you will use when you are applying to jobs or graduate school. Additionally, you may also see a Major GPA on your transcript, which indicates how well you have done in the classes related to your specific major. This GPA can be used to apply to departmental honors programs within your respective major.
Besides students who are in the professional schools, most students at UCLA will be on the quarter system. The quarter system is 10-weeks long, goes by very fast and is difficult for most domestic students to adjust to as well.
Keep in mind that the schools of dentistry, law, and medicine use their own grading system, and if you are in one of these schools, then this grading method will not apply to you. If you’d like to know more about these professional schools and their grading methods, it is recommended you visit their sites or contact the school for more information.
In the event that you are struggling in your classes, please see an academic advisor or student affairs officer located in your department. You can also seek academic counseling and plan out your remaining time at UCLA. Click here to see the different resources available for you.