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Nigerian University Grading System (Complete Student Guide)

The Nigerian universities ranks their students’ overall performance in bachelor’s degree programmes using a classification of degree system.

Degree classification system determines the overall performance of the students throughout the duration of their study year.

Most atimes these degree classifications is super important with regards to employment and their relative admission prospects.

There is a new degree grading system which was approved by the National Universities Commission (NUC)  Instead of the previous five-point Grading system for Classification of Degrees, The National Universities Commission instructed all universities including Delta State University to adopt the four-point scale in the year 2017.


This has been benefiacial in the long run since it increases the GPA requirements for graduation, thereby eliminating the ‘PASS’ class of degrees.

It is worth knowing that Under the four-point grading system, the students scores are graded using the letter grades below:

  • A: (70 and above)- 4
  • B: (60- 69%)- 3
  • C: (50- 59%)- 2
  • D: (45-49%)- 1
  • E: (40-44%)- 0

Four Point Grading System

The four-point grading scale for degrees’ classification is as follows:

  • First Class Honours3.5 – 4.00
  • Second Class Honours (Upper Division)3.0 – 3.49
  • Second Class Honours (Lower Division)2.0 – 2.99
  • Third Class Honours1.0 – 1.99

Unfortunatley, students with less than 1.0 CGPA will not be awarded a degree.

Five Point Grading System in Nigeria

After much deliberation, the National Universities Commission (NUC) instructed Nigerian universities to implement the five-point grading system to replace the previous four-point.

The five-point grading scale for degrees’ classification is laid out below:

  • First Class4.50 – 5.00
  • Second Class Honours (Upper Division)3.5 – 4.49
  • Second Class Honours (Lower Division)2.40 – 3.49
  • Third Class Honours1.50 – 2.39
  • Pass degree1.00 – 1.49

Misconception in the Nigerian Grading System

There has been a lot of misconception about the Nigerian grading system in the recent years. Keep in mind that in the year 2017, the Directors of Academic Planning in Nigeria arrived at a conclusion  that universities should adopt the 4-point grading system.


Here lies the misconception, in the year 2018/2019, vice chancellors of various universities were also instructed to revert to the five-point scale. There were many that implemented this ann there are also the ones that were unable to implement this immediately before their time in the office was over.

Ever since, the grading systems implemented all across the universities in Nigeria has not been  in alignment.

Reasons for the change from four poin grading system to the five poin grading system

The National Universities Commission (NUC), in one of their publications explained that the grading system utilized in Nigeria was changed from the four point grading system to the five-point system because the four-point made it much easier for students of the university to graduate with First Class and several Nigerian universities found it much more challenging to ensure that students acquire the average class of degree.

5-Point Grading System in Nigerian Universities

The 5-point grading system is the most commonly used grading system by Nigerian universities.

Percentage Letter GPA
70-100 A 5
60-69 B 4
50-59 C 3
45-49 D 2
40-44 E 1
0-39 F 0

Here are the ranges of CGPA for the five-point scale:

  • First Class4.50 – 5.00
  • Second Class Honours (Upper Division)3.5 – 4.49
  • Second Class Honours (Lower Division)2.40 – 3.49
  • Third Class Honours1.50 – 2.39
  • Pass degree1.00 – 1.49

Differences between the old four point grading system and New five point Grading System in Nigerian Universities

  • The simple difference between the old four point grading system and new five point grading systems in Nigerian universities is in the classification of their degrees.
  • While the four-point scale starts with 4 and doesn’t award a degree to CGPA less than 1.0, the five-point scale  on the other hand treats the ‘A’ grade as 5.

How the CGPA Grading System in Nigerian Universities is being Calculated

The CGPA scale in Nigerian universities calculates a student’s performance in assessments and semester examinations for every course the student is enrolled in.

A student’s overall performance in courses is classified into various letter grades (A, B, C, D, E, and F).

These letter grades are basically the representation of the range of scores they acquire. Each letter grade has a grade point.

The table below explains the grade point of Nigerian Universities:

Score Letter Grade Grade Point (GP)
70% and above A 5
60-69 B 4
50-59 C 3
45-49 D 2
40-44 E 1
0-39 F 0


How the Grade Point Average is Calculated

Here’s how to calculate the Grade Point Average (GPA) in Nigeria is Calculated.

Every subject has a particular number of Credit Units (CU) they can hold. To obtain the Quality Points (QP), the Credit Units (CU) will be multiplied by the Grade Point (GP) for a particular course.

Let’s say, if a student makes a score of 75% in a 3 Credit Unit course, the Quality Points for the student will be derived by multiplying the Grade Point (B= 4) by the number of Credit Unit, i.e., 3 x 4 = 12.

Now here’s how the Grade Point Average (GPA) is derived,   the GPA is gotten by Dividing the Total Quality Point (TQP) by the Total Credit Unit (TCU) for that particular semester.

For instance, if a student earns 54 Quality Points, in a paticular semester, for 18 Credit Units, the Grade Point Average (GPA) will be 54/18 = 3.0.

Here’s how the Cumulative Grade Point Average is calculated. The Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) is derived by adding the Total Quality Points (TQP) for all semesters and dividing it by the Total Credit Units (TCU) for all semesters.

For example, the CGPA of a student, who earned a Quality Point of 54, in a semester, for 18 Credit Units and earned a Quality Point of 62, in the second semester, for 20 Credit Units, will be calculated as:

CGPA= (54 + 62) / (18 + 20) = 116/38 = 3.05

Differences between CGPA and GPA Grading System

It is sometimes difficult for many students to understand the difference between the Cummulative Grade Point Average and the Grade Point Average. For this reason we decided to break them down and point out the differences between them.

  • Grade Point Average (GPA) is calculated by dividing the total number of Grade Points by the number of Course Units in a semester.
  • GPA and CGPA both refer to a student’s average grades. However, GPA is for shorter periods, such as the average for a semester.
  • The cumulative grade point average (CGPA) is a measure of a student’s overall academic performance. This means that all grades from all semesters are included. Your Class of Honor is determined by your CGPA– for example, First ClassSecond Class Upper, and so on.

How Many Years does University Education Lasts?

University education is usually run for 4-5 years. The duration of the programme depends on the course. However, courses such as Medicine and Law are studied for more than five years.

          5 Year Courses

Here are some of the courses that are run for five years in the university:

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Agricultural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Food Science and Technology
  • Estate Management
  • Pharmacy
  • Soil Science
  • Crop Science

4 Years Course

Here are some of the courses that are run for four years in the university:

  • Fine and Applied Arts
  • Mass Communication
  • Archeology
  • Banking and Finance
  • Economics
  • Marketing
  • Health and Physical Education
  • Medical Laboratory Sciences
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Accountancy
  • Statistics
  • Political Science

Direct Entry Students

Direct Entry (DE) students usually study four year degree programmes for three years and five year degree programmes for four years. This is because they joined regular students in their 200 level.

Classes of Degree in Nigeria and their Respective CGPAs

First Class: 4.50 – 5.00

Second Class Honours (Upper Division): 3.5 – 4.49

Second Class Honours (Lower Division): 2.40 – 3.49

Third Class Honours: 1.50 – 2.39

Pass degree: 1.00 – 1.49

Tabular Representation of Degree System Classification in DELSU

The degree shall be awarded with 1st, 2nd Upper, 2nd Lower, or 3rd Class Honours, or as a Pass degree.  The Cumulative Grade Point Averages for these classes shall be:

1st Class

2nd Class Upper

2nd Class Lower

3rd Class


4.50  –  5.00

3.50  –  4.49

2.40  –  3.49

1.50  –  2.39

1.00  –  1.49

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School News Info Editorial Team has over 10 years of collective experience in school news, jobs, admissions, and scholarships. Since 2019, we've published relevant how-to guides in the career and education fields. Today, we stand as the largest free educational resource platform dedicated to bringing you the latest updates and quality educational tips.



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