Dean’s List, Distinction, and Honors Policy

Responsible office
Responsible party
Last revision
September 2017
Approved by
Faculty (via vote)
Approval date
July 2014
Effective date
July 2014
Last review
July 2019
Additional references


All financial and administrative policies involving community members across campus, including volunteers are within the scope of this policy. If there is a variance between departmental expectations and the common approach described through college policy, the college will look to the campus community, including volunteers to support the spirit and the objectives of college policy. Unless specifically mentioned in a college policy, the college’s Board of Trustees are governed by their Bylaws.


Dean’s List

A student will be placed on the Dean’s List if they attain a grade point average for the academic year of 3.75 or higher and no NC’s or Incompletes at the time the list is calculated (June 30 of every academic year). To qualify for the Dean’s List, a student must complete seven units, excluding adjuncts, in the academic year (six for graduating seniors), all seven of which (or, in the case of seniors, six) must be taken for a letter grade. Only credits completed at Colorado College or within an affiliated study abroad program will be used in determining eligibility.

Students with NCs or Incompletes who, because of extenuating circumstances, could not be considered for the Dean's List, may petition the Dean’s Office for reconsideration. Please write a brief letter explaining and documenting the extenuating circumstances that prevented initial consideration for the Dean's List. Please submit your petition for review by the Dean of the College.


Certain departments in the college grant a special award of distinction at graduation to majors who have done especially outstanding work in their major field and who also have superior records in all their college work. The departments may offer special courses of independent work for students admitted to these programs.

Latin Honors

The bachelor’s degree with honors — cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude — may be conferred upon those students who receive the recommendation of the Committee on Instruction. The degree summa cum laude is conferred only by a special vote of the faculty after individual consideration of each case.

Honors at graduation will be determined on the basis of grade point average computed from the last 22 units taken under the “G” grade track at Colorado College, including credit earned in ACM programs and the college’s affiliated programs. Any transfer student who completes a minimum of 18 units for graduation at Colorado College, and at least 16 units on the “G” track option, will be automatically considered for honors. Courses taken for less than .5 units of credit shall be excluded from the 22. The Committee on Instruction may consider individually the cases of students with fewer than the required units at Colorado College. The registrar’s office will notify departments about students who have the required grade point average to be considered for honors, but who would not automatically be considered using the above criteria, and these students will be considered if recommended by a minimum of three faculty members. The Committee on Instruction will recommend to the faculty students who should be awarded their degree summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude. The total number recommended by the Committee on Instruction will normally be equal to approximately 20 percent of the graduating class. Faculty approval is not required except for the granting of the degree summa cum laude.

Phi Beta Kappa: Standards for Election

Colorado College is home to the Beta of Colorado Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, America’s oldest honor society (1776). The chapter, chartered in 1904, consists of about 40 faculty and staff members elected at their undergraduate colleges and universities. The chapter inducts about 10 percent of each graduating class into lifetime membership, based on the students’ excellence in the liberal arts. Grades are the first indicator of this excellence, followed by a questionnaire asking the whole faculty to rate students. To be eligible, students also must meet the Society’s distribution requirements, particularly in the areas of language study and quantitative reasoning. Seniors are encouraged to make sure their transcripts are in order at midyear, and any student interested in membership should be aware that, in doubtful cases the chapter examines transcripts to assure that the Society’s standards are met. For more information, consult the Beta of Colorado website.





Report an issue - Last updated: 02/10/2023