PRP 3640 - Academic Distinction

ISSUED BY: Dr. Diana Rogers-Adkinson, Senior Vice President and Provost
Effective Date: April 1, 2021
NOTES: Approved by CCAA, 3/16/83. Approved by RAX, 3/23/83. Amended and approved by RA, 4/6/83. Amended by addition of #7 by CCAA, 2/22/84. Approved by RA, 4/4/84. Amended by addition of #8 by Vice President's Advisory Council. Amended at BUCC 4/26/95. Presented at the University Forum September 20, 1995. Amended at BUCC 02/26/03. Reported to the University Forum March 5, 2003 Amended at BUCC 02/22/06. Reported to the University Forum 03/01/06. Revised by BUCC 4/13/2016. Presented at University Forum on 9/28/2016.


Undergraduate degree seeking students who achieve high academic performance as evidenced in their grade point average each semester and over the course of their studies at Bloomsburg University receive recognition through the Dean’s List, on their transcripts, at graduation and on their diplomas. The standards for graduation with distinction and receiving honors need to be clearly articulated so they can be applied consistently, and so students will know what is required to achieve these recognitions.


Dean’s List Distinction: Academic recognition of the scholarly achievement demonstrated by students in their academic studies each semester according to specific GPA standards.
Ceremonial Distinction: Indicates the level of distinction recognized at the commencement graduation ceremony based on the prior semester’s cumulative GPA as indicated in the graduation program and with the receipt of gold honors cords.

Latin Distinction: Indicates graduation with a high cumulative grade point average (GPA) at the end of the final semester; the specific honors designation will appear on the transcript and the diploma upon degree conferral. Latin Honors are used to indicate a level of distinction with which an academic degree has been earned and accordingly is indicated on the diploma. The system has three levels of honor: cum laude (“with praise”), magna cum laude (“with great praise”), and summa cum laude (“with highest praise”).
Honors College Distinction: The Honors College is a selective program that provides an enriched and intellectually stimulating academic experience for high-achieving students. Students may be offered admission to the Honors College upon acceptance to the University or can apply for admission as a current student. Successful completion of the program, an interdisciplinary curriculum program taught by faculty from across the University, will be noted on the final transcript.


Academic distinction awards are bestowed as recognition for outstanding academic achievement and as a means to further encourage sound scholarship. They are awarded to every undergraduate degree seeking student attaining the required proficiency.


A. Dean’s List

a. Full-Time: Admitted undergraduate students with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better, who have a carrying load of 12 hours or more, excluding P/F hours, and have a term GPA of 3.5 – 4.0 are placed on the Dean's List.
b. Part-Time: Admitted undergraduate students with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better who have a carrying load of fewer than 12 hours for a given term may qualify for Dean's List if both of the following conditions are met:

  1. 1. A minimum of two part-time terms must be completed in succession, without interruption by either a term of full-time enrollment or the awarding of Dean's List.
  2. 2. A carrying load of at least 12 hours, excluding P/F hours, must be earned over the combined part-time terms and the student must have an averaged GPA of 3.5 – 4.0 over the combined terms.

B. Academic Distinction

a. Students will receive the three levels of academic distinction based upon the calculation of the following cumulative grade point averages (GPA):
i. Summa Cum Laude - GPA 3.95-4.0
ii. Magna Cum Laude – GPA 3.75-3.94
iii. Cum Laude – GPA 3.50-3.74
b. A student’s Academic Distinction level is determined based on the final cumulative grade point average in the semester in which the student's degree is conferred and will be designated on the transcript and the diploma.
c. To receive Ceremonial Distinction baccalaureate students may have the 30 credit hours in progress at the time of distinction.
d. Preliminary Ceremonial distinction (based on the cumulative grade point average as of the semester prior to degree conferral) may be acknowledged at the commencement ceremony and commencement program.
e. To receive Latin Distinction baccalaureate students must have completed a minimum of 30 credit hours at the time of degree conferral at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania in order to receive the distinction on their diploma and transcript.
f. At each commencement ceremony the graduate in each college who has earned the highest academic average of current graduates within the college, shall receive recognition as the honor graduate from that college. For spring commencement, only students graduating in winter or spring are eligible for this designation; for fall commencement, students graduating in the summer and fall are eligible. The honor graduate must have earned (prior to the final semester) at least 60 hours of credit at Bloomsburg University prior to the last semester to be considered for this recognition. In the case of ties, all tied graduates will be recognized.
g. Students who have previously been awarded a baccalaureate degree and who are currently being awarded a second baccalaureate degree will not be eligible for honors distinction unless they have completed 30 credit hours at Bloomsburg University as part of their second baccalaureate degree.