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GPA and File Evaluation

Common questions we receive relate to Pre-Evaluation, GPA calculation, international school accreditation, and grade conversion research.  Please see below for some helpful information on these topics. 


As a general rule, and particularly during our peak admissions period, evaluators are not available to complete pre-evaluations.  Departmental requests to pre-evaluate application files is a common topic.  However, since departments are responsible for choosing their own qualified students, we have found it best that the Graduate College complete the official comprehensive evaluation after the department has made an official recommendation to admit an applicant.  After recommendation, we will verify accreditation, degree comparability, and perform grade conversions to calculate an official admit GPA.  The information and contacts provided below are commonly used in our office and will empower you with very useful tips on how to enhance your department’s own evaluation process.

Best Practices for GPA Calculation*

If applicant holds only a Bachelor’s degree:

  1. If the cumulative GPA on the Bachelor’s granting transcript has 60 or more semester units listed and is above 3.00, then the GPA is acceptable.

  2. If the degree cumulative GPA with 60 or more semester units is below 3.0, all undergraduate transcripts will be used to calculate both a total cumulative and a last 60 semester unit GPA.  If either GPA calculation is above 3.0, then GPA is acceptable.

  3. If both calculated GPA’s (cumulative and last 60) are below 3.0, then a justification memo is required. 

If applicant has 12 or more Graduate units or a Graduate Degree:

  1. If the cumulative GPA from the highest degree is above 3.0, then the GPA is acceptable.  If below 3.0, then a justification memo is required.

  2. If no graduate degree has been earned but 12 or more graded, graduate units have been received, then calculate GPA on all graduate units.  If 12 or more units GPA is above 3.0, then the GPA is acceptable.  If below, then a justification memo is required.

  3. If the applicant has any UA graduate units and the GPA is below 3.0, they are not admissible to a degree program.

  4. If an applicant has a minimum of 6 graduate units in the major from the University of Arizona, with a GPA of 3.0 or better, they are admissible. 

Click to use our Graduate College GPA Calculator.

*The Graduate College performs all GPA calculations on a case-by-case basis and these best practices are meant as a guide.  As always, special circumstances arise and not every situation can be listed.  If all attempts to achieve an acceptable GPA are unsuccessful, a Graduate College Admissions Specialist will email the department and recommend the applicant be denied.  If the department wishes to pursue the applicant further, then a Departmental Justification Waiver Request Form will be required. 

International Grade Conversions

International grade conversion is sometimes necessary.  First and foremost, request a transcript/key and use that grade conversion.  If there is no conversion information or the key is not helpful, then use the World Education Services Country Resources guide.  

International GPA's that are not on a 4.0 scale must be converted.  Use the following formula:

  • Home institution cumulative GPA X 4 / Home institution scale = converted 4.0 scale
    • Example:   7.16 X 4 / 10 Point scale = 2.864 on a 4.0 scale
    • Example:   6.55 X 4 / 7 Point scale = 3.74 on a 4.0 scale

International Research Tips

A list of countries and their English proficiency and equivalent degree requirements may be found on list of International Admissions Requirements by Country. The UAccess system also holds valuable information about educational systems and institutions from countries all around the world. 

Country Information

Country Specific Educational information can be found in UAccess:  Main Menu > Campus Community > Organization > Country Specific Education Data

Search the lookup while blank to load all the countries as some have unusual abbreviations and are harder to locate.  Scroll down to the Grad Minimum Comparable Degree section to read more information about the degree requirement for that country.

Institution Information

Specific Institutional information can be found in UAccess on the UA Application Summary page at:  Main Menu > Student Admissions > Applicant Summaries > UA Application Summary. 

Scroll to the bottom of the UA Application Summary page to the Education History section.  The institution name will be listed and the School Notes link will appear on the far right.  In most situations, when you are unsure of accreditation, this School Notes section will be beneficial.

School Notes can also be found in UAccess here:  Main Menu > Student Admissions > Applicant Summaries > UA Application Summary > Organization Table.




Last updated 5 Dec 2019