MU's fall semester GPA averages to 3.05

The School of Nursing recorded the highest GPA at MU.
Joyu Wang / Graphic Designer

MU turned out an undergraduate grade point average of 3.05 for the Fall 2010 semester, a continuation of an upward trend over the past few years.

According to the annual Fall Semester Enrollment Summary conducted by the University Registrar, the undergraduate population of 24,901 students, one of the highest ever, produced the highest cumulative GPA in at least five years.

Leading the academic charge was the Sinclair School of Nursing with a 3.43 GPA, and the Non-Divisional Department brought up the rear with a 2.63 average. The average male GPA was 2.95, and the average female GPA ended up at 3.18.

It was the second consecutive year MU had more than half of its major departments score above a 3.0, with seven out of 12 this year.

This fall semester was also the first time any department edged out the School of Journalism as the top ranked department in regards to grade point average.

School of Nursing Dean Judith Miller said she was not surprised at the success of her department.

“(Nursing) students are very industrious,” Miller said. “They know they have to have good grades. I think all of that attributes to them being high achievers, and them having the highest GPA of all the majors.”

Since the fall 2007 semester, the undergraduate GPA at MU has increased in small but regular increments. At 3.01 in 2007, MU’s GPA climbed to 3.03 in 2008, 3.04 in 2009 and 3.05 in 2010.

Sophomore Eric Brewster said he didn’t know the reason for the upward trend but attributed it to a stronger commitment to school work by incoming students.

“It could be that the public school system is better or that students are more committed,” Brewster said.

Vice Provost for Undergraduate Students Jim Spain said MU’s consistently strong GPA could be attributed to a few factors.

“We continue to increase the programs designed to help students be academically more successful,” Spain said.

Two developments Spain mentioned were increasing the availability of tutors and creating the Freshmen Interest Groups program.

“All of those things are designed to help students be more successful, and if they are indeed effective then you would expect student GPAs to increase over time,” Spain said.

In the past few years, seniors have had the highest GPA at MU, speaking to the survival-of-the-fittest aspect of many universities. Grade order also lines up with GPA, with juniors and then sophomores following the seniors in terms of GPA.

As for the usurped School of Journalism, Dean Miller said there is no need for worry.

“They have a national reputation, and nursing does, too,” she said. “We attract the best and brightest students as well as the best and brightest faculty.”

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