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How To Graduate With Honors In College

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Honors Colleges Vs Honors Programs: Whats The Difference

How to Graduate With Honors and Make The Dean’s List | My College Transcripts

You may hear the phrases honors college and honors program used interchangeably, but there are actually some significant differences between the two. So, what is an honors college vs an honors program?

The key difference between honors colleges and honors programs in the United States is that honors colleges function as discrete schools within the larger university system, and honors programs arent separated into individual colleges within the university. Put another way, an honors college is a separate school within a university, while honors programs arent.

Because honors colleges are stand-alone schools on a university campus, they tend to require more resources. Consequently, honors colleges are more commonly found at big, public universities. On these campuses, honors colleges typically function like the other colleges at big universities, complete with their own on-campus facilities, academic advisors, student scholarships, study abroad opportunities, and course offerings that are open to honors students only.

In contrast, honors programs can often be found at smaller colleges and universities. Smaller institutions may have fewer or no individual colleges within the larger university system. At these smaller schools, honors students will not be a part of a separate college within the university but will follow a special honors curriculum and/or complete extra assignments, like an honors capstone project or honors thesis, in order to graduate with distinction.

Does Graduating College With Honors Matter

If your degree is a mean to an end in industry that is not really competitive, where you can forget your degree, than honors and good grades are just a matter of personal pride. If you plan on achieving a competitive internship, or job where you grades matter, than honors does not really matter, but grades do.

University Of South Florida Honors College

Like Shreyer at Penn State, the Judy Genshaft Honors College is its own school on the USF campus.

The honors college at USF offers the rigorous academic experience of a top-tier research university with the close-knit community that smaller, private institutions are typically known for. That means youll have more demanding classes, smaller class sizes, one-on-one interaction with your professors, and unique opportunities only available to honors students.

The Admissions Process

To become an honors student at USF, prospective students must apply to the University of South Florida before applying to the Judy Genshaft Honors College. While all interested high school students are encouraged to apply, the honors college does take high school GPA and SAT/ACT scores into account. The Honors College has an automatic admission policy for students who meet the following criteria:

  • Score 1400 or higher on the SAT, or score 31 or higher on the ACT
  • Have a recalculated USF GPA of 4.0

The recalculated GPA portion of USFs honors college admissions process takes your high school GPA and then adjusts for difficulty. To figure out your recalculated GPA, the honors college does the following:

  • Adds one-half point for honors courses
  • Adds one point for AP, IB,AICE, or Dual Enrollment courses
  • Removes any non-academic courses


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Alabama High School Diploma Options

An honors diploma signifies a student’s superior academic performance. Because of the prestigious nature of an honors diploma, students who wish to earn one must meet more rigorous standards than those required to attain a standard diploma. Specific honors diploma requirements vary slightly from state to state, as they are determined by the state board of education however, there are an array of standard requirements that are universal from location to location. If you wish to achieve an honors diploma, consider the steps you must take to meet this goal and begin your planning process early to ensure that you are successful in your endeavor.

Speak to your adviser about the requirements specific to your school. The general requirements for an honors diploma are relatively similar from state to state however, some schools or districts elect to set standards that are even more rigorous than the ones set forth by their state department of education. To ensure that you are fully aware of all of the requirements, learn your school’s specific requirements early in your school career. Either check your student handbook for specifics, or speak to your adviser one on one.

Take an English, science, math and social studies course every year. While you don’t need four credits of math, science or social studies just to graduate, you do need four to qualify for an honors diploma as taking these four core courses yearly indicates your dedication to academics.

When Will I Know If I Receive Honors


To determine your honors designation, your college or university needs to know your final GPA. They also need to compare it to that of others in your graduating class. Typically, your college or university will notify you if you receive honors once all grades have been submitted at the end of a graduating semester. Oftentimes, you won’t be notified until the time of the graduation ceremonies or soon thereafter.

It’s also possible that your college has GPA cutoffs which can change your honors designation even after the graduation ceremony. For example, the honors designations used for a June ceremony may be estimates based on the GPA cutoffs from the previous semester. If your final GPA differs from the estimate they used, your honors designation may change once they evaluate your final standing.

If your college awards honors per semester, you’ll likely be notified shortly after the semester in which you earned the designation ends.

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Baccalaureate Degrees With Honors Extra Muros

When determining eligibility for honors, repeated courses and grades awarded in all courses taken at all colleges and universities attended are included in computing the Grade Point Average .

Honors Extra Muros are awarded to transfer students who have not completed the required 60 semester hours of credit within the University of Nebraska system required for cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude honors.

To be eligible for Honors Extra Muros transfer students must meet both the following standards and requirements:

  • Have a minimum of 24 graded credit hours from UNO
  • Have a minimum of 77 graded credit hours

If those requirements have been met, baccalaureate degrees with Honors Extra Muros are awarded as follows:

  • Cum laude Have a scholastic average for their entire undergraduate career of 3.51 or above, but below 3.63
  • Magna cum laude Have a scholastic average for their entire undergraduate career of 3.63 or above, but below 3.87
  • Summa cum laude Have a scholastic average for their entire undergraduate career of 3.87 or above

What Is A Valedictorian And A Salutatorian

The valedictorian is the student who has achieved the highest academic ranking among the graduating class, while the salutatorian ranks second after the valedictorian. There may be people who associate valedictorian and salutatorian distinctions with high school graduations, but some colleges and universities also assign students to these designations. If a university awards these distinctions, they usually also reserve time during a graduation ceremony for speeches by these two students. During these speeches, the valedictorian and salutatorian may talk about their experience and give their peers hope and encouragement for their futures.

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Edmund J James Scholars

The James Scholar Honors Programs run by the various colleges of the University are named after Dr. Edmund J. James, President of the University of Illinois from 1904 to 1920. Students who are admitted to the College of Engineering must be invited to participate as a first semester freshman in the James Scholar Program. No more than 20 percent of the admitted class are invited to participate the first semester.

Freshmen not invited to participate in their first semester upon admission may apply during the first two weeks of their second semester if they have achieved a 3.5 Grade Point Average or higher their first semester.

James Scholar Program Benefits:

Some of the benefits of participating in the James Scholars Program are

  • Formal recognition of participation is shown on your academic record
  • Priority scheduling during registration
  • A library stack pass
  • Invitation to the annual Engineering Honors Conference at Allerton Park and other special honors activities.

For further information see:

What Is Summa Cum Laude

Dad follows daughter to college, both graduate with honors

The pinnacle of Latin honor awards is the summa cum laude distinction, which translates to “with the highest honor.” Typically awarded to the top 1% to 5% of graduates, summa cum laude is an incredibly impressive distinction that will make you stand out from your peers post-graduation.

Read more: The Difference Between Magna Cum Laude GPA vs. Summa Cum Laude GPA

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University Of California Berkeley

Similar to the Latin prizes, the University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA honors students with distinction, high distinction, and highest distinction. The GPA range for these prizes varies depending on the school within the institution.Only 20% of the graduating cohort at this university is eligible for these honors. The top 3% of the graduating class receives the highest honor based on grade point average.The following 7% of graduating students will receive a large differential, while the remaining 10% will receive a prize.

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Honors awarded at graduation to superior students are designated on the diploma as Honors, High Honors, or Highest Honors.

  • Honors:Students receive the designation Honors if they have a cumulative University of Illinois grade-point average of at least 3.5 at graduation .
  • High Honors:Students receive the designation High Honors if they have at least a 3.8 grade-point average at graduation .
  • Highest Honors:Highest Honors may be awarded to any student with at least a 3.8 grade-point average at graduation . In addition, the ECE Department requires that a student complete a special project of superior quality. In most cases the student shows initiative by finding a faculty member and research area for the project and enrolls in ECE 397, 396, or 496/499. In rare cases, Highest Honors can be awarded based on outstanding leadership in campus organizations such as IEEE, HKN, etc.

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Be Consistent In Your Formatting

Whatever format you decide to use, make sure each entry follows the same template. A break in formatting will be distracting and make your resume look less professional. Along the same lines, choose a format that will fit well with the rest of your resume. The formatting of each section will not be identical, but it should be similar.

Schreyer Honors College Pennsylvania State University


The Honors College at Penn State is called Schreyer Honors College, and like most honors colleges, its a separate school within the Penn State system.

Schreyer prides itself in offering a best of both worlds experience to its students. Honors students have access to the cutting edge resources of a big, top-tier research institution, but they have the small class sizes and one-on-one learning experiences characteristic of a small liberal arts college.

So if youre a student who wants to be part of a community where you know your professors and classmates but you dont want to miss out on a big university experience, then an honors college like Schreyer at Penn State can provide that for you.

The Admissions Process

In order to apply to Schreyer Honors College, youll need to complete the Penn State undergraduate application and then complete the separate Schreyer Honors College application.

There are several components to the Schreyer application. Youll have to answer three essay questions and a handful of short answer questions, submit two letters of recommendation, and self-report your high school academic record.

Schreyer applicants who submit their application materials by November 1 are invited to an optional Admissions Interview with a Scholar alumnus. If you arent able to submit your application early it wont negatively impact your application, but landing an interview gives you a chance to make a case for yourself in person.

The Honors College Experience

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What Is A Good Gpa For Harvard

Applicants require exceptionally good grades to get into Harvard. The average high school GPA of the admitted freshman class at Harvard University was 4.04 on the 4.0 scale indicating that primarily A students are accepted and ultimately attend. The school ranks #1 in Massachusetts for highest average GPA.

What Is An Honors College

What is an honors program in college? Now, dont be misled by the name honors collegean honors college isnt an independent university. Instead, an honors college is a program that exceptional high school students can apply to and enroll in while completing a traditional bachelors degree.

Put another way, an honors college one of a number of colleges on a university campus. Just like the college of arts and sciences or the business college, an honors college is another on-campus school that forms part of the universitys educational system.

While every honors college is different, many honors colleges offer enrolled students perks. Here are some unique opportunities that you can find at honors colleges and programs across the nation:

  • Courses with more rigorous and/or specialized curriculum that are exclusively open to honors college students

  • Smaller class sizes that can be conducted seminar-style, allowing students to interact more meaningfully

  • A smaller faculty-to-student ratio, giving students the opportunity to interact more frequently with professors and advisors

  • Housing and/or housing amenities that are reserved for honors students, giving honors students the opportunity to form a close knit community

  • Priority registration, giving honors students a wider range of course options and the opportunity to curate a semester schedule that suits their needs

If these benefits sound great to you, then you might enjoy the experience of enrolling in an honors college.

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How Many Students Receive Honors Degrees

Because each school has its own requirements, its difficult to give an exact proportion of students who graduate with honors. But one can say that between 20% and 30% of college students graduate with honors because thats the range most schools use to assess whether a student earns the honors, the percentage is New York University, for example, awards honors to the top 30% of its students. Although this is the most common percentage, some colleges have more stringent standards, thus the true figure is lower. Probably approximately a quarter of a percent. Being at the top of your class, though, isnt always enough. Many schools also have minimum GPA requirements, which vary by school. The mechanism is in place to prevent honors from being given to mediocre students in a class of underachievers.Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 for cum laude honors, 3.75 for magna cum laude, and 3.9 for summa cum laude at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, for example.

What Are The Requirements To Graduate Summa Magna And Cum Laude


There is not currently a nationwide standard for earning any of the Latin honors, so universities are free to form their own requirements. In all instances, universities often reserve these distinctions for students who reach a certain GPA or rank in a certain percentage of their class compared to their peers. Some universities also hold additional requirements to earn one of the honors, including needing a letter of recommendation from a faculty member, completing special projects or finishing a certain number of advanced courses.

Requirements to graduate summa cum laude: Top 5% of students or those with a cumulative GPA of 4.0+.

Requirements to graduate magna cum laude: Top 10% of students or those with GPAs from 3.8 to 3.9.

Requirements to graduate cum laude: Top 20% of students or those with a GPA between 3.5 and 3.7.

Since every university and the specific colleges or programs of study can decide what they consider summa, magna and cum laude, check with your academic advisor so you’re aware of honors eligibility and what you need to accomplish to earn such distinction. As an example, the college of medicine may decide that students with a GPA of 3.85 or above qualify for summa cum laude given the intensity of undergraduate courses in this field of study. The college of communications may decide that summa cum laude is reserved for students with a 3.95 GPA or higher.

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What Is All The Fuss About

There are two types of students the first one just tries to survive through college and get a diploma, the other is all about different programs, opportunities, and honors. It doesnt matter which you relate, as the following information will still be useful to you.

So, almost every college has a few types of honors that students can obtain Latin honors, English honors and Organization honors . Every high school and college establishes certain rules about these honors and the criteria that you need to meet in order to become an honored scholar.

Latin honors are:

  • Cum Laude as for Latin With Praise, typically a student with a 3.5 GPA.
  • Magna Cum Laude as for Latin With Great Honor, a 3.7 GPA.
  • Summa Cum Laude With Highest Honor is one of the highest honors a student can get which requires at least a 3.9 GPA.
  • Such honors commonly imply receiving an honor cord during the graduation ceremony. The fact of getting such an honor is indicated in your transcript. Check out the simple tips for you on how to become a top student without struggling.

    English honors can be received by the academic department which reviews seniors each year to pick the most deserving ones based on the grades in their major or other qualities. They can also provide you with a recommendation in addition to the honor.

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