GPA Calculator

Updated: January 4, 2023
In this Article

    Calculate your cumulative grade point average with our GPA calculator, and see how your current (and future) grades will affect your ability to join the military, military academies and how it can affect your military career.

    Cumulative GPA Calculator

    GPA Calculator

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    Cumulative GPA

    Calculator Instructions

    • If your school uses weighted GPAs select the weighted GPA toggle. Note, weighted GPAs accommodate grades in AP or honors courses, where an A on the weighted scale translates up to a 5.0 based on the difficulty of the class.
    • Add your course name (Optional).
    • Select your letter grade.
    • Add your class credits.
    • Only select the weighted College GPA if using to calculate your High School GPA.
    • Note: The “College” GPA weight is for High School level students taking college level classes. College students should select “Regular” GPA weight.

    When Does GPA Matter with the Military?

    Each branch of the military has its’ own requirements and there is sometimes confusion over the value of your GPA when it comes to a military career. Sometimes your GPA matters a great deal, and sometimes other factors are more important. Knowing in what context GPA matters in the military is half the battle in many cases.

    All branches of military service have general enlistment and commissioning requirements that are loosely related to grade point average issues.

    In general, any high school student who wants to enter a competitive program such as an officer candidate, service academy admission, or military medical scholarship program must be concerned not just with the actual GPA numbers, but also with overall class ranking and the quality of classes taken.

    Your GPA isn’t always the only factor–whether the courses you took were Advanced Placement or not can also make a difference.

    The military requires a high school diploma. Those without one can apply with a GED. but some college may be required in such cases. Officer candidates will need to choose from a variety of options including attending a service academy, applying for officer candidate school with a bachelor’s degree or higher, or attending college in an ROTC program. In every case, higher education GPAs are very important.

    A small number of readers may wonder at this point if they are permitted to apply for military service without a high school diploma, GED, or other equivalency.

    The short answer is no. In general, recruits cannot enter military service in contemporary times without having or obtaining some form of high school diploma or its equivalent. If you do not have a diploma or a GED, you should still talk to a recruiter to ask what is required in your specific circumstances.

    Some may find their chosen branch of service (especially Guard and Reserve units) provides options for non-diploma / non-GED applicants; you will likely be required to test for a GED at a minimum. The path to a career in uniform may still be open to you but you will need to meet the minimum requirements.

    Choices That Can Affect The GPA Issue

    You can start a military career in one of several ways; you can join as an active duty enlisted member, you can go to college and earn a degree and apply for an officer’s commission, and you can take the above options as a member of the Guard and Reserve, too.

    The decisions you will make as a potential recruit that may affect how important your high school or college GPA is; for example, if you join the military as an enlisted member the GPA issues aren’t the same as those who sign up for officer candidate programs/commissioning programs.

    Those who want to attend college and join an ROTC unit will find their GPA issues are different from enlisted and direct commissioning options.

    High School Diplomas Versus High School Equivalency

    It is very important for potential officer candidates and enlisted recruits to understand that the military can and does make a distinction between high school students who finished a high school program successfully compared to those who failed to complete a high school program and earned an equivalency to a high school diploma later on.

    In general, even if your high school GPA was strong before you stopped attending classes, you may be required to take a certain minimum number of college-level classes before you can be considered as a military enlistee or officer candidate.

    GPA issues for these college classes will be very important due to the “second chance” nature of admission into the military under such circumstances. Don’t neglect your grades in any case, but especially for college classes you may be required to take as a condition of enlistment or commissioning.

    GPAs And Enlisting In The United States Military

    In general, an applicant’s high school GPA itself won’t matter–the real question is did you get a high school diploma? The diploma question is critical because depending on the branch of military service, you may be required to take a minimum number of college hours if you got or need to get a high school G.E.D. or equivalent.

    In such cases, the college GPA will be more important and you may find that a minimum 2.5 GPA is often required in such cases.

    If you have a high school diploma, the GPA you carried in school won’t really make much of a difference; your real emphasis should be preparing for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and scoring well on it. The United States Air Force official site for enlisted recruiting specifically mentions that GPAs and LSAT scores are not used to evaluate an enlisted recruit.

    Becoming A Commissioned Officer In The United States Military

    GPA is far more important for officer candidates, but it’s not high school scores your recruiter is looking at; it’s college-level GPAs that count. On paper you may find standards that are more forgiving–a 2.0 GPA is acceptable to some services technically speaking. Others–including the Air Force–have required a 3.0 GPA in past programs.

    The minimum GPA numbers you encounter at application time may vary depending on current mission requirements, troop end strength goals, and other variables.

    But a recruiter may choose to skip someone with a college 2.0 GPA in favor of candidates with better grades. If you want to enter a commissioning program, GPA is something you definitely want to pay attention to–consider these jobs to be competitive and you’ll have a better idea of how to view your GPA as part of the application process.

    And remember that your high school GPA won’t impress your recruiter in these cases, but in terms of being accepted into an institution of higher learning so you can earn a degree that will get you into an officer program in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard? Your high school GPA is more important for that phase of the process.

    Joining The ROTC In College: GPA Rules

    Each ROTC program has its own variation on minimum GPA requirements. Some may require a high school GPA of 2.0 or 2.5 at a minimum, and most ROTC programs require you to maintain a specific GPA in college which may vary depending on whether you have been paid a scholarship or not. In general, higher GPAs are required when the ROTC member has accepted scholarship money–a 2.5 GPA minimum requirement is common.

    Those who fail to maintain a minimum GPA in college as an ROTC member risk losing their slot in the program, being required to pay back any scholarship funds, and may lose the ability to participate in future ROTC training.

    Some may have tiered levels of consequences for failure to maintain a GPA; Navy ROTC programs include the ability for the participating school to issue an “academic warning”, place the student on academic probation, or even issue a leave of absence depending on circumstances.

    Those still in high school considering the ROTC path in college should consider signing up for Advanced Placement classes or other high-level high school coursework to make themselves more competitive. Remember that the quality of your grades is just as important as the grades themselves.

    GPA Rules For Officer Candidate Schools (OCS)

    When you start researching OCS programs, you will learn that high school GPA isn’t a factor, but college GPA is definitely a consideration.

    All officer candidate schools generally require a college degree from an accredited institution and a minimum GPA carried while attending that school or schools.

    That minimum GPA tends to vary depending on the branch of service (anywhere from a minimum 2.3 GPA to a 2.8 GPA on a four-point scale in many cases) and you may find that prior guidance on minimum GPAs has changed since the publication date of many fact sheets about OCS programs.

    Attending an officer candidate school means being subject to a variety of standards for academic progress. Your GPA while attending the school is not the overriding determining factor as to your progress, but classroom performance is crucial to surviving the experience–don’t expect to have easy classes, and don’t expect to have a single standard for judging how well you’re doing.

    Grade point averages are only one of several metrics you’ll be required to meet and those standards will A) vary greatly depending on the institution and B) are likely to be very high.

    Military Service Academies

    Unlike many of the other rules we’ve explored above, high school GPA can be very important when it comes to applying to attend a military service academy like the Air Force Academy, West Point, the Naval Academy, and others.

    The confusing thing about this is that most of these institutions don’t publish a specific minimum GPA; they prefer to rely on a more “whole person concept” of screening potential candidates. That said, however, many require the application to be within a certain percentage of the top ranked students in their graduating class (see below). The GPA is definitely reviewed along with the specific details of your academic transcript.

    High School Advanced Placement Classes

    High school students considering applications to a military service academy should consider advanced placement high school classes and even some college-level work depending on circumstances in order to be as competitive as possible when applying. The nature of your high school classes, not just your GPA, may be scrutinized when you apply to a service academy.

    Class Rank Counts

    At the Air Force Academy, your GPA is evaluated along with your class rank, your SAT/ACT scores and more. On the page of the AF Academy official site that describes this, no specific GPA is mentioned, instead referring to a more holistic approach using a concept known as the review of the applicant’s “prior academic record”.

    West Point also has a list of academic requirements for admission that does not specifically mention a GPA, but as one of the most selective military academies in the United States, many third-party agencies note that the average student admitted to West Point has a GPA well above 3.0.

    The U.S. Naval Academy official site contains a list of requirements that do not specify a specific GPA but DOES require the student to be in the top 20% of their graduating class.

    GPA And The GI Bill

    There is no minimum GPA required by the GI Bill program itself, however there is a requirement that the GI Bill recipient make academic progress. That progress is defined by the school and while there is no minimum VA-required Grade Point Average, students who fail classes paid for by the VA run the risk of violating the school’s academic progress policies and that may affect your GI Bill benefit.

    It’s best to ask the school what its GPA standards and academic progress rules are, especially in relation to your GI Bill benefits.

    Military Tuition Assistance Programs

    Requirements vary depending on branch of service, but in general some minimum grade point average is required while taking classes using military tuition assistance.

    You won’t find any high school grade point average requirements to apply for this tuition assistance. You may however experience GPA requirements for the school you wish to use the funds for so it’s best to anticipate those academic standards and work on your GPA if you still can.

    Those who have already graduated from high school and had lower GPAs may need to take remedial classes in core areas (these rules vary depending on the school) while others may be admitted on academic probation if their GPA wasn’t high enough. But again, these issues rest firmly with the admissions department of the school and NOT with the tuition assistance program.

    The Air Force has a fairly simple standard for its military tuition assistance–the student must have a successful course completion defined as earning a final grade of C or higher for undergraduate work, and a B or higher for graduate school-level work.

    The Air Force official site also adds, “There is a mandatory requirement to maintain an overall GPA of 2.0 (‘C’ average) or above for undergraduate, and 3.0 (‘B’ average) for graduate level.” Those who do not meet these standards may be asked to repay the tuition money they were provided for those classes.

    Compare that with the Army’s system, which is a bit more complicated. To use Army Tuition Assistance, the GPA requirement depends on how many semester hours you have completed AND the GPA is not calculated at the school, but rather by the Army based on how many classes you have completed in the soldier’s Student Record.

    That is a twist worthy of the soldier’s attention since past performance in classes in the student record, not just the institution you’re currently attending, will help determine whether you’re meeting the academic requirements or not. And the standard varies depending on whether you’re taking graduate or undergraduate classes.

    The U.S. Army Tuition Assistance program rules include the following–keep in mind that failure to meet the standards below means an Army student is no longer considered eligible for Army Tuition Assistance:

    • Soldiers who have completed 15 or more semester hours of TA-funded undergraduate courses are required to maintain an Army TA Grade Point Average of 2.0 to be eligible for more tuition assistance.
    • Soldiers who have completed six or more hours of TA-funded graduate classes must maintain a 3.0 Graduate Army TA GPA to receive additional TA.

    Army standards in this area also apply to the Guard/Reserve options for TA.

    The U.S. Marine Corps Tuition Assistance program, by comparison, has features similar to the Army in that it has the following requirements for cumulative GPAs depending on the number of hours and the nature of the education:

    • Marines receiving Marine Corps Tuition Assistance are required to have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher after completing 15 semester hours of undergraduate studies.
    • Marines using TA for graduate work must carry a GPA of 3.0 or higher after completing six semester hours.
    • Marine Tuition Assistance is authorized “for only one course in the next academic term” in cases where the overall undergraduate or graduate GPA falls between 2.0 and 2.5, or when a grade of D or below is received in any course during the previous term. This also applies in cases of voluntary withdrawals.

    While not administered in tandem with the Marine Corps TA program, the Navy version features the same requirements for carrying a 2.0 (undergrad) or 3.0 GPA (grad studies) minimum. The Navy rules in this area state:

    “Students using TA must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher after completing 15 semester hours, or equivalent, in undergraduate studies, or a GPA of 3.0 or higher after completing 6 semester hours, or equivalent, in graduate studies, on a 4.0 grading scale.” Like the Marine Corps version, TA will not be authorized for those who fail to meet these standards.

    Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS)

    GPA is only a single factor under review when you apply for a USUHS program; the official site reminds that grades aren’t the only standard used to judge the quality of an applicant but the quality of your high school work or education “at the pre-professional level” is very important.

    The average GPA of incoming students tends to be at or near 3.6 and the bare minimum GPA acceptable is 3.0 at any level. CLEP courses are not accepted, and you may be required to carry a minimum C grade for all academic work being admitted for review with your application.

    Military Medical School Health Services Scholarship Program (MMSHSSP)

    Like the USUHS standards, the lowest possible GPA for admission is 3.0, but there is an additional requirement; a 500-or-better score on the Medical College Admission Test or MCAT. Like many medical scholarship programs, “minimum” is not where an applicant wants to be; to compete for these scholarships the applicant should have a minimum GPA of at least 3.6 and a minimum MCAT score of 506.

    About The Author

    Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News

    Written by Team