GPA Requirements for Transfer Students

There are many reasons to consider transferring to a new university. Some students started at a two-year school and now want to earn a bachelor’s degree. Others are looking for a better fit or a more affordable one. Maybe you paused your education briefly and are ready for a fresh start.

Whatever the reason, you probably have plenty of questions on your mind as you explore your options. One of the most common questions is about the GPA you’ll need to be accepted to a new institution. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about GPAs, including what you can expect when it comes to GPA requirements for transfer students. 

A Quick Overview of GPAs

Before covering the GPA requirements you’ll need to meet as a transfer student, let’s start with some basic information about GPAs. If you know all this, feel free to skip ahead to the next section.

What is a GPA?

GPA stands for “Grade Point Average.” It is used to represent your course grades as a number, which makes it easy to see the big picture of a student’s academic performance.

Here’s how it works: In American universities, a GPA is based on a four-point scale, so a GPA can be anything from 0.0 to 4.0 (and actually above, but we’ll ignore that complication). Because most institutions assign grades as letters, those must be converted to numbers in order to calculate a GPA. 

Most colleges and universities consider an A to be worth four points, a B worth three, a C two, and a D one. A failing grade is typically worth zero. 

How is a GPA calculated?

A GPA is an average of your grades. To calculate it, you need to first convert your grades into numbers. (For a bit more detail here, the College Board has a helpful resource.) 

Once that’s done, simply total your scores and divide that sum by the number of scores you have.

For example, let’s say you had four classes with the grades A, C, B, and D. Converting those grades into numbers would be four, two, three, and one. Adding them together, we get 10. Dividing that by the number of scores (four) gives us a GPA of 2.5.

What is my GPA?

You should be able to find your cumulative GPA indicated somewhere on your official transcript for any college you’ve attended. A cumulative GPA means it is the average for all the courses you’ve taken, as opposed to a semester GPA.

You can also easily calculate your GPA as we explain above.

What is a good GPA?

Obviously, a 4.0 is great. Beyond that, there is no simple answer to this question. When you apply to a college, the admissions team will most likely consider your GPA in light of many other factors. 

For instance, the same GPA from two different schools might appear quite differently if one is from a program that is much more demanding. 

What GPA is required for transfer students?

Now we come to the key question: If you want to transfer to another college to complete your degree, what kind of GPA will you need to have?

You won’t be surprised to hear that the answer will be different depending on the school to which you’d like to apply. Some schools will give you a sense of the range.

Georgetown University, a very selective school in Washington D.C., indicates on its website that the average GPA for transfer students is about 3.8. Michigan State, a large state university, requires a cumulative GPA for transfers of at least 2.5. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a branch of the state university system, accepts students who have a GPA of 2.0.

Broadly speaking, while some schools will require a higher GPA, 2.0 seems to be the minimum requirement to be eligible to transfer to a four-year institution.

A convenient way to finish strong

At Athens State, we understand the challenges faced by transfer students. As one of only a few upper-division universities in the country, we exclusively serve those who began elsewhere and are looking to successfully complete their degrees. 

We have prioritized a streamlined transfer process and strive to give you the maximum credits for your prior coursework so nothing goes to waste. We also want you to enter your career confidently without being burdened by debt, which is why we offer both affordable tuition and generous financial aid

Explore our list of more than 50 undergraduate majors, including both online and on-campus offerings, to see what’s possible. If you’d like to hear more about transferring to finish strong at Athens State, head to our admissions page.