Admission GPA: normally calculated on the last 60 credit hours
What to include:
Master’s degree: the last 30 credit hours of an undergraduate degree
PhD: maximum 30 credit hours of a master’s degree and then the remaining 30 credit hours
comes from the last of the bachelor’s degree
All courses listed on a transcript, which have a grade and credit hours assigned, including
failing and INC grades, 3000 and 4000 level Qualifying Graduate Student grades, practica,
internship, projects, seminars and thesis. See restrictions below.
Courses listed as Pass, Completed, Approved (etc.) are included in the required 60 credit
hours but the calculation is based on 19 marks not 20.
Courses completed at another university as a one-term or full-year exchange student
What to exclude:
physical education courses of any kind (except for students applying to kinesiology)
courses with a "W", ILL or IP grade
courses completed in a Master’s degree are not included in the GPA for a new admission to
a Master’s degree.
A maximum of 25% of the credit hours per GPA can be used from the following types of
courses: practica, internship, thesis, seminars, workshops, project, and lab courses. For
example, a thesis with 40 credit hours can account for no more than 25% of the total GPA,
or 15 credit hours out of a total of 60.
For Kinesiology applicants. Physical Education courses cannot make up more than 25% of
the total credit hours per GPA
Courses with Pass/Fail grades (with credit hours) cannot make up more than 25% of the
total credit hours per GPA
Sequential professional degrees, e.g., BEd, BN and BJ, cannot make up more than 50% of
credit hours per GPA
April 2009 1
GPA for Admissions
The Faculty of Graduate Studies requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 for normal admission. In
special circumstances, a department may request special consideration in writing explaining
why the student might be deemed admissible despite the GPA.
Process of Calculating GPAs for Admission
o Most transcripts include the weight of each course, usually as a half or full credit
o Weights may be 0.5 (half credit) versus 1.0 (full credit); 3.0 (half) versus 6.0 (full);
2.0 and 4.0.
o Course weight can usually be confirmed by checking the back of the student’s
Once the course weights are understood, simply count back to determine what comprises the
student's last 60 credit hours.
o If you don't need all the courses in the earliest term, select the courses with the
highest grades for that term.
o use the most recent undergraduate transcript.
o Count back 60 credit hours. This is roughly the equivalent of the last two years of
o Classes completed in a previous Master’s degree are not included in the GPA for
new admissions to a Master’s degree.
o use the most recent Master’s transcript (up to 30 credit hours) plus the undergraduate
transcript(s) to a total of 30 credit hours.
o if there is no Master’s degree, use the most recent undergraduate transcript.
Applications received prior to the completion of a previous degree: for example, if a student
has four classes in their final term of a previous degree with no grade,
o count back 16 courses for the GPA to generate the admission GPA
o a final GPA will be calculated once the final transcript is submitted.
April 2009 2
GPA Calculation for Scholarship Competitions
When calculating GPAs for scholarships (NSERC, Killam etc.), the GPA is listed as three
numbers (the last 30 credit hours, the second last 30 credit hours and a combined total).
Use the most recent transcript including the current transcript
o count back 60 credit hours.
o use the most recent 30 for the first calculation
o and the next 30 as the second most recent calculation.
The GPA should be based on a combined weight of approximately 60 credit hours in total.
GPA Domestic Transcripts
If the grades are in letter form, convert each to a grade point using the following table:
If the grades are in percentages convert each to a grade point using the following table: eg.
Score Grade GPA
90-100 A+ 4.3
85-89 A 4
80-84 A- 3.7
77-79 B+ 3.3
73-76 B 3
70-72 B- 2.7
67-69 C+ 2.3
63-66 C 2
60-62 C- 1.7
50-59 D 1
0-49 F 0
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Transcripts with both percentage and letter grade, such as Queen’s and MUN
o The conversion used at these universities does not correspond with Dal’s conversion.
o The percentage is first converted to Dal’s letter grade.
o For example, at Queen’s and MUN all grades between 80 and 100 = A and a GPA of
4.0. Converting to Dal’s scale, the GPA on the Queen’s and MUN transcript would
be converted as follows: 80 = A- (3.7), 85 = A (4.0), and 90 = A+ (4.3).
Calculate the GPA
o Multiply each of the grade points by the associated course credit weight
o Total the results and total the credit weights.
o Divide the results total by the total of the credit weights to get your GPA.
AS AN EXAMPLE: to calculate the GPA of just these four courses:
Credit Weight Grade GPA Equivalent Final
3 B (3.0) 3.0 9
6 B+ (3.3) 3.3 19.8
3 A- (3.7) 3.7 11.1
3 B- (2.7) 2.7 8.1
T = 15 T = 48
Total GPA Value; (3 x 3.0) + (6 x 3.3) + (3 x 3.7) + (3 x 2.7) = 48
Total Credit Weights: 3+6+3+3 = 15
GPA: 48 divided by 15 = 3.2 GPA = 3.2
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For many international transcripts, the course weights and grading scales are significantly
different from those on Canadian transcripts.
o Go back 2 full years with international transcripts
o Use the course weight and grade for each course with the appropriate conversion
chart, provided below, to generate equivalencies on the Dalhousie scale.
For international transcripts that do not use full and half credits.
o Take the last two full years of a four-year program,
o Consider the credits as listed and refer to page 1 of this document for what courses
can be include and which to exclude.
Some international transcripts do not give weights, but do give a "maximum" grade and the
grade achieved. On such a transcript, one grade may be 247 out of 300, and another 445 out
o Use the grades and add up the maximums to determine a percentage for each course,
and then use the appropriate conversion chart to equate to Dalhousie’s scale.
India and Pakistan Conversion
Their Grading Scale Equivalent
33-44% 1.7 - 2.3
0-32% Fail 0.0
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A (First Class
40-49% 1.7 - 2.3
0-39% Fail 0.0
Their Grading Dalhousie Dalhousie
Scale Equivalent GPA
97-100% A+ 4.3
A (90-100) 93-96% A 4
90-92% A- 3.7
87-89% B+ 3.3
B (80-89) 83-86% B 3
80-82% B- 2.7
77-79% C+ 2.3
C (70-79) 73-76% C 2
70-72% C- 1.7
67-69% D+ 1.3
D (60-69) 63-66% D 1
60-62% D- 0.7
F 0-59% F 0
Valuable websites for understanding international grade conversions and educational systems:
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International Association of Universities (IAU Online Databases)
World Education Services: International Grade Conversion Guide for Higher Education
You can also refer to the conversion guides on the FGS website:
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