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What is my LSAC GPA? How is it different than my undergraduate GPA?

Published September 14, 2022

When applying to law school, it is best to be as prepared as possible. This blog will help you understand how the Law School Admission Council calculates undergraduate GPA for the purpose of your law school application and how it might differ from your undergraduate institution’s GPA calculation.

How LSAC Converts Grades

The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) converts undergraduate grades to a 4.0 system to give law schools a standard basis for assessing applicants. Grades excluded from LSAC’s conversation (e.g. courses taken after degree conferral, grades earned for noncredit courses, etc.) may differ from your institution’s policies for calculating cumulative GPA.  Learn more about grades excluded from LSAC’s GPA conversion as well as other important LSAC conversion information.

LSAC includes grades from every postsecondary course. Since LSAC counts all college courses attempted, this means that any transfer credits you may have earned from other colleges or universities will be included in your LSAC GPA. So, if you started at one institution and transferred after your freshman year, LSAC will count all grades earned at both institutions when calculating your GPA.

What’s the Difference?

So, if LSAC calculates your GPA one way, and your undergraduate institution calculates your GPA another way - what’s the difference? 

The difference lies primarily in the grades that are considered for either grade point average. LSAC counts the grades from every postsecondary class you’ve taken and has specific policies regarding grades excluded so that applicants are assessed on an even playing field regardless of their undergraduate institution. 

The Takeaway

Your undergraduate GPA means a lot! Make sure you’re aware of the impact each class you take will have on your cumulative GPA and how it might impact your law school application.

If you have concerns about your cumulative undergraduate GPA you are welcome to submit a GPA addendum explaining the circumstances of those grades. The Admissions Committee may very well appreciate the additional context!

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in August 2019 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Photo of Lindsay Gladney.

Lindsay Gladney is the Vice Dean for Admissions at the University at BUffalo                           School of Law.


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