Verification: Grade Point Average (GPA) Calculations

REQUIREMENTS

  • SOPHAS WILL NOT CALCULATE YOUR GPA UNTIL YOUR APPLICATION HAS A STATUS OF “COMPLETE.” Please see the “Completing the Application” section of our instructions for details.
  • IT MAY TAKE UP TO FOUR WEEKS FROM YOUR COMPLETE DATE FOR YOUR APPLICATION TO BE VERIFIED. Applications are verified in chronological order by Complete Date, and verification takes up to four weeks from your complete date and can occur at any time within that period. You will receive an email notification when your application has been verified. If it has been less than four weeks since your application became complete, please be patient and do NOT email customer service for this information.
WHY DOES SOPHAS CALCULATE A GPA?

By inputting your coursework into the SOPHAS application, you standardize the format and content of your transcripts.  Transcripts vary widely in what type of hours credits are worth, the numeric values of grades, and course subjects. SOPHAS calculates a standard set of GPAs based upon your coursework, making sure your grade values, credit values, and course subjects are consistent with all other SOPHAS applicants. As a result, your public health schools and programs may compare your course subjects, credit values, and grade values on a level field with all other applicants who are seeking admission to their program.

HOW YOUR GPA IS CALCULATED

SOPHAS uses the information which you have entered in the coursework section of your application to calculate several tables of GPAs in multiple categories for each applicant. Each category is calculated by adding up the total number of quality points in that category (your credits multiplied by the numeric value of your grade) and dividing this number by the total credits you attempted to earn in this same category. ALL SOPHAS GPAs ARE CALCULATED IN SEMESTER HOURS. The result of these calculations is several different types of GPAs.

COLLEGE YEAR-LEVEL GPAs:

 These GPAs indicate the school level which you categorized your courses under on your application. For example, if you marked three terms at two different schools as “freshman,” than all courses under those terms factor into the “Freshman” GPA. Please note that the “Total” row includes freshman – senior work, the “Cumulative Undergrad” row indicates freshman – post-baccalaureate work, and the “Overall” row includes freshman – graduate degree level work.

Category: Credits Quality Points GPA:
Freshman
33.0
83.1
2.52
Sophomore
24.0
59.7
2.49
Junior
33.0
111.6
3.38
Senior
30.0
84.6
2.82
Total
120.0
339.0
2.82
Post-Baccalaureate
14.0
56.0
4.00
Cum. Undergrad
134.0
395.0
2.95
Graduate
 33.0
122.7
3.72
Overall
167.0
517.7
3.10


COURSE SUBJECT CATEGORY GPAs (click to expand)

SOPHASt breaks down your GPA by course subject, regardless of your college level. These subjects are determined by the “SOPHAS course subjects” you selected for each course on your application. Please note that during the verification process, SOPHAS staff will change the subject category for any courses which they determine were not categorized correctly.

Course: Graded Credits Quality Points GPA:
Biology/Chemistry/Physics/Life Sciences
84.0
270.0
3.21
Behavioral/Social Sciences
12.0
31.8
2.65
Public Health
15.0
40.8
2.72
Business
6.0
18.0
3.00
Math
6.0
15.00
2.50
Other Health Professions
114.0
348.6
3.06
Other
8.0
26.9
3.36


SCHOOL SPECIFIC GPAs (click to expand)

 SOPHAS finally breaks down your GPA by the school you attended, regardless of course level. PLEASE NOTE: Because SOPHAS standardizes grades across all colleges, it is not unusual for there to be a discrepancy in GPAs between appears on your school transcript and  what SOPHAS calculates.

School Name: Graded Credits Quality Points GPA:
DARTMOUTH COLLEGE
270.0
845.0
3.13
CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY
45.0
138.0
3.07

WHY IS MY GPA DIFFERENT THAN THE ONE ON MY TRANSCRIPTS?

Because SOPHAS standardizes grades across all colleges, it is not unusual for there to be a discrepancy in GPAs between what your schools calculate and what SOPHAS calculates. Common reasons for this include:

  • SOPHAS’ numeric scale for letter grades may be different than the one used at your home institution. Please note that a grade of “WF” or “Withdrawn Failing” is calculated into the SOPHAS system as an “F.” You can view the numeric charts below.
  • SOPHAS calculates all GPAs in semester hours. If any of your courses were completed in quarter hours, SOPHAS converts these to semester hours on your GPA charts. The conversion ratio is 1.0 quarter hour = 0.667 semester hours.
  • SOPHAS breaks down your GPA by college level in addition to by college. Therefore if you attended multiple schools with terms labeled as “freshman,” “sophomore, etc, SOPHAS will combine all of these classes into your freshman or sophomore GPA.

SOPHAS GRADE CHARTS:

LETTER GRADE SOPHAS VALUES:

Grade on Transcript: SOPHAS Letter Grade: SOPHAS Numeric Value:
A+
A
4.0
A
A
4.0
 A-
A-
3.7
AB
AB
3.5
B+
B+
3.3
B
B
3.0
B-
B-
2.7
BC
 BC
2.5
C+
C+
2.3
C
 C
2.0
 C-
C-
1.7
 CD
CD
1.5
 D+
 D+
1.3
D
D
1.0
 D-
 D-
0.7
E
F
0.0
F
F
0.0
WF
F
0.0


U.S. NUMERIC GRADE CONVERSIONS:

Numeric Grade on Transcript: SOPHAS Conversion: Percentage Grade on Transcript: SOPHAS Conversion:
4.0
A
100-90
A
3.7
A-
89-80
B
3.5
AB
79-70
C
3.3
B+
69-60
D
3.0
B
59 and Below
F
2.7
B-
NOTE REGARDING NUMERIC GRADES BETWEEN NUMBERS ON THE CHART:

If you enter a value between the numbers on this chart (i.e. 2.8) the system will automatically round up to the higher grade, in this case, a B.

2.5
BC
2.3
C+
2.0
C
1.7
C-
1.5
CD
1.3
D+
1.0
D
0.7
D-
0.0
F


CANADIAN NUMERIC GRADE CONVERSIONS:

Numeric Grade on Transcript:
SOPHAS Conversion:
Percentage Grade on Transcript:
SOPHAS Conversion:
4.0
A
90-100
A+
3.7
A-
80-89
A
3.5
AB
70-79
B
3.3
B+
60-69
C
3.0
B
50-59
D
2.7
B-
0-49
F
2.5
BC
NOTE REGARDING NUMERIC GRADES BETWEEN NUMBERS ON THE CHART:

If you enter a value between the numbers on this chart (i.e. 2.8) the system will automatically round up to the higher grade, in this case, a B.

2.3
C+
2.0
C
1.7
C-
1.5
CD
1.3
D+
1.0
D
0.7
D-
Less Than 0.7
F

DISPUTING YOUR COURSE SUBJECTS

If you disagree with a course subject decision, please note that SOPHAS may only base its course subject assignments on the course title and the department prefix listed on your official transcript. If the title or prefix do not indicate the subject you would like, understand that we can NOT accept additional documentation in order to prove this course had different content than that indicated by the title and prefix. Letters , course descriptions, unofficial transcripts, etc. will not allow you to have a course subject changed.

UNDERSTAND: SOPHAS IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO CONSIDER ANY OUTSIDE INFORMATION WHEN CONSIDERING A COURSE SUBJECT.

CORRECTING INCORRECT COURSE SUBJECTS

The only time a course subject will be changed by SOPHAS is if this subject is incorrect based on the title and prefix. For example, if your course is titled “Inorganic Chemistry I” and it was incorrectly verified as “Business” please send us an email at sophasinfo@sophas.org with the subject line “Course Subject Correction” and we can have verification make this correction.

DISPUTING CORRECT COURSE SUBJECTS

If the course subject is correct by SOPHAS standards, but you feel that you can provide a course description which indicates a very different subject, you have the option of asking SOPHAS to post the course description, along with your REQUESTED course subject, in an admissions note to your public health programs on your SOPHAS application.

IMPORTANT: the dispute process is for courses which have questionable or vague titles ONLY. The schools and programs of public health helped to create the SOPHAS Course Subject list and they will NOT consider descriptions of courses which clearly fall under this list (i.e. Biological Anthropology is considered an Social Science course by SOPHAS programs). Any requests to dispute a clearly defined course on the SOPHAS list will be denied.

  • Email us at sophasinfo@sophas.org, with the subject line “Course Subject Dispute.”
  • Indicate the course, what you believe the course SHOULD be categorized as, and copy/paste the official course description from your course catalog which supports your argument into the email body. Please provide the link to the description’s source in ADDITION to the description’s text. Do NOT simply link us to a course catalog or description, as we will not hunt this information down for you.
  • SOPHAS will review both your request and the description. IF we feel that the description supports a valid argument for your requested course subject, we will post your request to your admissions officers for their review at their discretion. SOPHAS will NOT change your course subject, nor will we update your GPA calculation.
  • If your course description does NOT support your argued subject OR if you attempt to dispute a course clearly marked on our course subject list (see warning below) SOPHAS will deny your request for an admissions comment to be posted. If you still wish to dispute your subject at this point, you should do so with your SOPHAS programs directly.

DISPUTING YOUR GPA CALCULATION

Understand that GPAs are automatically calculated using the data that is inputted into the coursework section of the application, and most often are correct. On the rare occasion that they are not, it is most often because something has been labeled incorrectly in the coursework section. Before disputing a GPA calculation, it is the applicant’s responsibility to understand the following:

  • How GPAs work mathematically. A common error applicants make is to add their GPA from each of their four years of undergraduate study and then divide by 4, which they erroneously believe is their overall undergraduate GPA. In fact, this is their AVERAGE GPA, which is very different from an Overall GPA. Review all of the instructions and examples on this page to ensure your math is correct.
  • How SOPHAS GPAs work specifically. This includes the notes above on common reasons they are different from the GPA on your transcripts. SOPHAS GPAs are not and should not be those found on your transcripts.
  • How SOPHAS can and can NOT help you in regards to your GPA. SOPHAS cannot assist you if you are unhappy because your GPA is “wrong.” It is impossible for us to determine what the issue might be if you simply believe it is incorrect. In order for us to either help find what may be causing an error or help you understand why a certain number is correct, we require more specific information.

If you believe your GPA is incorrect, the first step is to choose an area that you believe is incorrect (i.e. Post-Bac Science GPA) and attempt to calculate the correct GPA yourself. Instructions for how to do so are below.

ONLY after you have attempted to calculate the GPA on your own should you CONTACT SOPHAS BY E-MAIL ONLY with a specific set of calculations for a certain portion of your GPA which you believe is erroneous and we will review and explain the discrepancy. Email sophasinfo@sophas.org with the subject line “Verification: GPA Inquiry” and include a description of the issue and the calculations you have made.

UNDERSTAND: GIVEN THE TIME AND ATTENTION NECESSARY TO REVIEW A GPA DISCREPANCY, SOPHAS WILL NOT ACCEPT GPA REVIEW REQUESTS BY PHONE. Any applicants who call customer service requesting a GPA recalculation will be instructed to resubmit their request via e-mail.

CLICK HERE FOR SIMPLE INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO CALCULATE A GPA:

Course: Transcript Grade: Attempted Credits on Transcript: SOPHAS Convert Grade: Calculation: Quality Points:
MATH 1100
A
3
4.0
= 4 X 3
12
ENGL 1310
B
3
3.0
= 3 X 3
9
 GEOL 1610
C
4
2.0
= 2 X 4
8
PHED 1000
D
3
1.0
= 1 X 3
3
PSCI 1040
F
3
0.0
= 0 X 3
0
TOTAL
16
32
GPA Calculaton = 32 (total Quality Points) divided by 16 (total credit hours) = 2.00 GPA

MY GPA HAS BEEN CALCULATED. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Once your GPA has been calculated, your status should read as “Verified” and you will receive an automated e-mail notification. Look over your GPA in your Application PDF and read through how we calculate the GPA should you have any questions. Please note that “Verified” is the final application status which will be assigned to your SOPHAS application. For more detailed information on how your application will be provided to your schools programs by SOPHAS, please see the “How SOPHAS Schools and Programs Receive Your Application” section of our Instructions and FAQ.

COMMON QUESTIONS:

Q: Do I have to calculate my GPA?

A: No. SOPHAS calculates your GPA during the processing of your application.

Q: Will I receive my GPA calculation before I e-submit my application?

A: NO. SOPHAS WILL NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, CALCULATE YOUR GPA UNLESS YOUR APPLICATION HAS ALREADY BEEN E-SUBMITTED.

 Q: How can I view my GPA calculation?

A: Once your GPA is calculated, it will appear on your full Application PDF. This can be accessed in the “Program Status” section.

Q: What types of courses are NOT included in my GPA at all?

A: Any course in which a grade of withdrawal (passing), pass/no-pass, audit, incomplete, exempted or not yet enrolled is indicated will not be included in the GPAs.

Q: Do repeated courses factor into my GPA?

A: In the case of a repeated course, SOPHAS will calculate the MOST RECENT grade received whether it is higher or lower than the first time the course was taken. To ensure this is calculated correctly, you should record the “credits attempted” for all initial attempts of the course as 0.00 in your coursework section and label these courses “not applicable.” You should still record the grade received. For the final attempt at the course, you should record the grade, full credits and mark it as “Repeat” under “Course Type.” Please note that withdrawn courses or courses taken at different schools are NOT considered repeats.



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