How Is Your GPA Calculated for Dental School?

By Richard Graham
Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

Admission to dental schools is mostly handled by the American Dental Education Association (ADEA). To facilitate the comparison of dental school applicants applying from institutions with different rules for grade point average (GPA) calculation, the ADEA has standardized the calculation process. The ADEA GPA calculation may differ somewhat from the GPA as reported on your transcripts, but, fortunately, the calculation process is simple and you can easily calculate your dental school GPA on your own.

Obtain a copy of your transcript for all coursework you've completed at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Cross out all International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement and CLEP courses that are listed on your transcript. Eliminate any audited courses, as well as courses taken on a pass/fail basis. Cross out any incomplete or withdrawn courses. The ADEA does not include these classes in calculating your GPA, so do not include any of these classes in calculating your GPA for dental school.

Go through your transcript and round all credit hours to the tenth place to get the adjusted credit hours for each class. For example, if you took a class worth 5.333 credit hours, you would calculate 5.3 as the number of adjusted credit hours for that class. If your institution operates on a quarter schedule instead of a semester schedule, multiply each credit hour by 0.667 and round the result to the tenth place. For example, if you received 5 credit hours for a quarter class, multiply 5 by 0.667 to obtain 3.335 adjusted credit hours. Round 3.335 to the tenth place to obtain 3.3. Use 3.3 as the number of adjusted credit hours for that class.

Calculate your total number of credit hours by adding together the adjusted credit hours for all the classes on your transcript.

Convert each letter grade on your transcript to its number value. An A grade is assigned a base number value of 4, a B is assigned a 3, a C is assigned a 2, a D is assigned a 1 and an F is assigned a 0. For plus and minus modifiers, add or subtract 0.333 respectively. For example, a C+ is assigned a number value of 2 + 0.333 or 2.333 while a C- holds a number value of 2 - 0.333 or 1.667.

Multiply the number value for each grade by its corresponding number of adjusted credit hours to obtain the hour-adjusted grade for each class. A B+ grade in a course worth 5 credit hours would yield an hour-adjusted grade of 3.333 x 5 or 16.665.

Add together the hour-adjusted grades for all courses and divide this sum by your total number of credit hours.

Round the result to the hundredth place to obtain your GPA for dental school.

About the Author

Richard Graham has worked professionally as both an economist and educator since 2007. He also works as a consultant to small businesses and organizations focused on developing green technologies. Graham holds a Bachelor of Science in economics.