Columbia College

Academic Honors

Dean’s List

During each academic term, students who have earned a minimum GPA of 3.6 or better in 12 or more points of letter credit in the preceding term are placed on the Dean’s List.

The grade P is considered neutral when the averages are figured, and the dividing factor is reduced by the number of points taken for Pass credit. Students who have received grades of D, F, or UW during the term are not eligible for consideration. Students who receive the grade of INC, approved in advance by the Committee on Academic Standing, are eligible for Dean’s List only after all INC grades are changed to letter grades.

College (Latin) Honors

The Bachelor of Arts degree is awarded with honors in three categories (cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude) to no more than 25 percent of the graduating class, with no more than 5 percent summa cum laude, and the total of summa and magna cum laude not exceeding 15 percent. College honors is the highest academic recognition awarded by the College. The Committee on Honors, Awards, and Prizes reviews the academic records of the top 35% of the graduating class. Selection is based not on GPA alone, but on the breadth, depth and high quality of academic achievement, departmental recommendations, and outstanding academic work beyond that which is required for the degree. Students may not apply for honors nor may they solicit faculty for recommendations in this process.

There is no separate consideration of honors for October or February graduates. Each spring the Committee on Honors, Awards, and Prizes considers the October and February graduates along with those who are degree candidates for May. The report of those graduating with honors is in the May Class Day program. The honor is noted on the diploma and transcript. October and February graduates may ask the Registrar to add an honors notation to an already issued diploma.

Valedictorian and Salutatorian

The Committee on Honors, Awards, and Prizes reviews the academic records of the most exceptional students nominated by the faculty for Valedictorian and Salutatorian. Selections is based not on GPA alone, but on the breadth, depth, and high quality of academic achievement, departmental recommendations, and outstanding academic work beyond that which is required for the degree.

Departmental Honors

Departmental Honors may be established and awarded by any Columbia College department or academic program, and is recorded on a student’s final transcript.  Students should consult with their director of undergraduate studies no later than the beginning of the first term of their senior year if they wish to be considered for Departmental Honors. Students who are awarded Departmental Honors are notified by their department in mid-May. Not all departments and programs offer Departmental Honors.  College guidelines for Departmental Honors include the following three criteria:

  1. Departmental Honors are awarded to no more than 10 percent, or, in small departments, one member of the graduating majors (including all October, February, and May degrees);
  2. a grade point average of at least 3.6 in major courses is expected for a student to be considered for Departmental Honors;
  3. an honors thesis or equivalent project of high quality should be required by each department or academic program in order to receive Departmental Honors.

Phi Beta Kappa

This academic society was founded in 1776 to recognize and celebrate friendship, morality, and learning. The Columbia College Delta chapter was formed in 1869. Each year 10 percent of the senior class is inducted into Phi Beta Kappa by faculty who are members of the society. Two percent is elected in November and the other eight percent is elected in the spring. Selection is based not only on academic achievement, but also on evidence of intellectual promise, character, and achievement outside the classroom. Academic achievement is measured by strength and rigor of program as well as by grades and faculty recommendations. Students may not apply for Phi Beta Kappa nor may they solicit faculty for recommendations in this process.

As with graduation honors, October and February graduates are considered along with students graduating in May. Election to Phi Beta Kappa is noted on a student’s transcript.