Undergraduate students

Academic Recognition: Dean's List and Latin Honors at Graduation

Policy Number: 100503

Current Policy

Category: Academic » Honors



Recognition by the University

Northern Arizona recognizes students with outstanding academic records in the following ways.

Dean's List

The Dean's List is awarded to undergraduate students each Fall and Spring term that have earned a grade point average of 3.5 or higher in at least 12 graded units.

Latin Honors

When Baccalaureate Honors are designated on commencement programs, diplomas, and transcripts they recognize outstanding academic achievement by graduating students in relation to their peers' achievement.

Baccalaureate Honors are granted to undergraduate candidates who:

  • successfully complete 45 or more semester hours of resident work at Northern Arizona University; and
  • have an exemplary grade point average (GPA) with no more than six semester units of failing grades for the entire Northern Arizona University undergraduate record, regardless of whether the failing grades were unrepeated, repeated, replaced, or averaged.
  • Although failing grades may be repeated for grade replacement or grade averaging, the original “F” grades are still included for purposes of the policy. (Repeating a course in which an “F” grade was earned does not eliminate the “F” grade from inclusion in determining Baccalaureate Honors.)
Baccalaureate Honors designations that appear beside student names in commencement programs are tentative until all final grades are reported.

General Procedure

Appropriate GPA thresholds are specific to each individual college as determined on a percentage basis (top 5%, 10%, and 20%). These GPA thresholds will be calculated for each year using data from the preceding year.

As an example, for students graduating in Spring 2011, Summer 2011, Fall 2011 and Winter 2011 terms, the thresholds will be calculated using data from the previous year: Spring 2010, Summer 2010, Fall 2010, and Winter 2010. In subsequent years, the same procedure will be used, with the data advanced by one year.

For each graduation period (i.e., Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter), "Latin" honors are awarded based on these guidelines:

  • Summa Cum Laude will be awarded to candidates whose cumulative grade point average meets or exceeds the 5% threshold for their college.
    • Translated from the Latin, Summa Cum Laude means: "With Highest Praise"—and is pronounced: "soo muh koom loud deyh."
  • Magna Cum Laude will be awarded to candidates whose cumulative grade point average meets or exceeds the 10% threshold for their college (but not the 5% threshold).
    • Translated from the Latin, Magna Cum Laude means: "With Great Praise"—and is pronounced: "mag nuh koom loud deyh."
  • Cum Laude to candidates whose cumulative grade point average meets or exceeds the 20% threshold for their college (but not the 10% threshold).
    • Translated from the Latin, Cum Laude means: "With Praise"—and is pronounced: "koom loud deyh."

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