Everybody knows that an ‘A+’ is excellent and an ‘F’ is bad news. But sometimes the “in-between” grades can be challenging to make sense of.
More specifically, many students wonder whether or not a ‘D’ is a passing grade. Obviously, none of us are excited with a ‘D’ grade — but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a failure, either.
We will try to give the simplest answer possible to this question, but there are some nuances and exceptions that make the topic more complicated than you might imagine.
Quick Answer: Is a ‘D’ a Passing Grade for High School?
A ‘D’ grade is considered “passing.”
It is unlikely that a ‘D’ will require you to retake the course. In other words, you didn’t flunk.
However, you might not be able to graduate if your grades are consistently at the ‘D’ average. This will vary from state to state, school to school, and may be different between public and private school.
Some schools require a 2.0 GPA (or higher) to graduate. This GPA is the equivalent of a ‘C’ average.
In certain schools, you might even need a 2.5 GPA or higher. Student athletes often must maintain a particular GPA to remain eligible for sports, also.
Lastly, if you wish to attend college, you will likely need to average higher than a ‘D’ average. Again, this varies between schools — so it is important to research the college you wish to attend.
Quick Answer: Is a ‘D’ a Passing Grade for College?
At most colleges, a ‘D’ is considered “passing.” However, too many ‘D’ grades will prevent you from accomplishing your goals.
First of all, a ‘D’ equates to a 1.0 GPA. At almost every college or university, you will need a 2.0 GPA (or higher) in order to graduate.
This means that scoring a ‘D’ in one class is acceptable, but you can’t let it become a habit.
Most colleges have higher grade requirements for courses that are specific to your major. So, if you are a psychology major, you might need a 3.0 GPA in psychology courses.
Further, your major might only accept ‘C’ or higher grades in major-specific courses.
Considerations for Transfer Students
Lastly, we should consider the requirements for community college students and students that wish to transfer to another university.
Similar to the above — although a ‘D’ isn’t “failing,” it probably won’t be high enough to achieve your goals.
For example, many schools will only accept transfer credits if a student scored a ‘C’ or higher. So even though you “passed” your community college class with a ‘D,’ it won’t grant you any credit at a university.
And again, many universities will require a 2.5 GPA or higher for admission.
Although a ‘D’ is a “passing” grade, the 1.0 GPA it yields won’t be high enough to meet your graduation goals.
For high school, it might be possible to get through with a lot of ‘D’ grades. But it will be challenging to then gain admission to a college or university.
For college, you won’t be able to graduate with too many ‘D’s. The 1.0 GPA will likely get you on probation. And even if it doesn’t, you will probably need a 2.5 (or higher) GPA to receive a degree.