What is Cumulative GPA?

Created By : Jatin Gogia

Reviewed By : Rajasekhar Valipishetty

Last Updated : May 22, 2023

What is Cumulative GPA?: Are you confused about cumulative GPA? We’ve provided the information, so do not worry. We will help you understand what your cumulative GPA is, how it is different from your normal GPA, how to calculate cumulative GPA, and what is the ideal cumulative GPA. So, if you have any doubts regarding these topics, then we encourage you to keep reading to find out more.

What is Cumulative GPA?

To understand the concept of cumulative GPA, we must first learn about the basic form of GPA. Your GPA is a number that represents your academic capabilities. A higher GPA means that you are doing really well in your studies. In other words, your GPA is calculated as the average of all the grades that you have gotten.

You will find many types of GPAs such as semester GPA, unweighted GPA, weighted GPA, cumulative GPA, and more. So, cumulative GPA is defined as the average number of all the grades of all the subjects that you have taken throughout the entirety of your high school/college journey. Therefore, we can also figure out our cumulative GPA when we find the average of all the semester GPAs in high school/college. By doing so, we can easily determine the strength of a student in academics.

Your cumulative GPA has a major role in getting you hired, or getting you a college admission. The higher your cumulative GPA is, the more likely you are to get recognized, admitted into a college, or hired for a job.

Why is Cumulative GPA important?

The cumulative GPA is incredibly important when college admissions offices or recruiters look at your portfolio. In order to be hired or admitted to a college, your cumulative GPA will be scrutinized to see if you would be a good fit in the company or college. If you have a low cumulative GPA, then this tells potential employers and colleges that you might not be very successful in academics, which will negatively affect your performance at the college or company.

However, this does not mean that your cumulative GPA is the only way to judge you. They will be reviewing other parts of your application as well. But, your cumulative GPA is a big part of it, because it can set you apart from your competitors. Your cumulative GPA allows them to analyze your entire track record in school or college. Therefore, they will get a more widespread and better idea of your abilities and academic performance.

How to Calculate your Cumulative GPA?

Follow the simple steps below to calculate your cumulative GPA. But, to save time and energy, you may even use an online Cumulative GPA Calculator that will give you the result with the click of a button.

  • Get both your credit hours and the GPAs for all your semesters. Keep in mind that there may be certain subjects that require varying periods of credit hours. So, calculate the values according to that as well.
  • Determine the total points. You must do this for each semester by multiplying the number of credit hours by the GPA for that semester. Like so, find the total points for each semester.
  • Calculate the total credit hours by adding up all the credit hours for every semester. Next, find the cumulative total points by adding up all the total points for every semester.
  • Divide the cumulative total points by the total credit hours. The answer will be your cumulative GPA.

Solved Example on Cumulative GPA

Find the cumulative GPA for the following:

Semester 1: 3.5 GPA, 12 credit hours

Semester 2: 4.0 GPA, 14 credit hours

Semester 3: 3.6 GPA, 13 credit hours

Semester 4: 3.7 GPA, 13 credit hours


Given that,

Semester 1: 3.5 GPA, 12 credit hours

Semester 2: 4.0 GPA, 14 credit hours

Semester 3: 3.6 GPA, 13 credit hours

Semester 4: 3.7 GPA, 13 credit hours

Find the total points.

Semester 1: 3.5 x 12 = 42 total points

Semester 2: 4.0 x 14 = 56 total points

Semester 3: 3.6 x 13 = 46.8 total points

Semester 4: 3.7 x 13 = 48.1 total points

Total credit hours = 12 + 14 + 13 + 13 = 52

Cumulative total points = 42 + 56 + 46.8 + 48.1 = 192.9

Cumulative GPA = Cumulative total points/total credit hours

= 192.9/52 = 3.7096

Therefore, your cumulative GPA for four semesters is equal to 3.71.

What is the Ideal Cumulative GPA to get into College?

Before we establish one GPA to be the optimum value to get into college, we should understand that the strength of the GPA scale differs for every school, so it is quite impossible to compare them accurately.

Now, there are many other ways to compare and analyze GPAs. Primarily, your school plays a major part in your GPA. Each school has a different way in which the GPA scales. Next, you can consider how intense your courses and schedule are. Of course, you would have to keep in mind your class’s average GPA. Your scores may be unweighted or weighted, so the GPAs might also vary due to this.

Each college and program has a standard when it comes to GPA. So, you are unlikely to get into that college if you have a cumulative GPA that is lower than their set standard. For example, Harvard only accepts students who have an unweighted GPA of 3.95 or above. But other colleges might accept students with a 3.5 GPA.

It is safe to assume that GPA requirements vary for each college. Luckily, the colleges will consider the rigour of your classes as well. As a general rule of thumb, most colleges will accept students with a 3.0-3.5 GPA. But more prestigious colleges and those that offer more rigorous programs like finance, law, medicine, and more, will require a GPA that is higher than 3.5.

If you want to learn more about GPAs, and other interesting topics, check out lcmgcf.com. It is home to all the answers that you are looking for!

FAQs on What is Cumulative GPA?

1. What does my cumulative GPA mean?

Your cumulative GPA is the average numerical value of all the grades that you have gotten across all your subjects, during high school.

2. What is the difference between a cumulative GPA and a normal GPA?

GPA is merely the average of all the grades that you received in a term or semester. Whereas, cumulative GPA is the average of the grades that you’ve earned in all the subjects during the entirety of the high school. This includes all the semesters.

3. Is cumulative GPA the real GPA?

There is no such thing as the real GPA because cumulative GPA and other types of GPA are all used to measure academic performance. You can measure this by using other types of GPA as well, such as weighted, unweighted, semester GPA, and more. But if you want a number that entails your academic performance for all your semesters or throughout high school, then a cumulative GPA is the one for you.

4. Is a cumulative 3.5 GPA good?

Yes, a 3.5 cumulative GPA is considered an ideal value. With this GPA, you can definitely get into some of the top colleges.


Hopefully, you have learned a lot about cumulative GPA. We have taught you about many facets like the definition of cumulative GPA, how to calculate it, its significance, and what is a good GPA. If you ever want to calculate your own cumulative GPA, just follow the steps above to get the job done within minutes.