Degree Honors and Distinction

Scope: Who is Covered by this Policy?

Undergraduate Students


General Honors

University Honors

To graduate with University Honors, a student must have completed course and program requirements of the Honors Program. To achieve University Honors with Distinction, students must achieve the University Honors course and program requirements, achieve a 3.50 cumulative grade point average upon completion of the required credit hours for graduation, and complete an approved large-scale project or an intensive pre-professional experience. 

Associate Degree Honors

Students pursuing an associate degree are eligible to apply for participation in the University Honors Program. Associate degree students who complete the necessary University Honors requirements will be accorded the designation, “With Distinction” and receive a certificate of recognition. Contact the Honors Program Director at Miami Hamilton or Miami Middletown for details.


Effective with December 2014 graduation, the criteria for graduation with distinction are divisionally based. Graduating students within each academic division must achieve the following cumulative grade point averages:

Latin Honors – Effective 2014-2015 Academic Year
Division Summa Cum Laude Magna Cum Laude Cum Laude
Arts and Science 3.95 3.85 3.65
Creative Arts 3.90 3.80 3.70
Education, Health and Society 3.95 3.85 3.70
Engineering and Computing 3.90 3.80 3.60
Farmer School of Business 3.90 3.75 3.50
Professional Studies and Applied Sciences 3.90 3.75 3.50


Criteria are based on the average grade point average within each division from the calendar years, 2009, 2010 and 2011. These criteria will remain unchanged. The grade point standards used for the distinction of summa cum laude approximates the average grade point average of the highest two percent of students in each academic division for the past three years.  The standard used for magna cum laude approximates the average grade point average of the next five highest percent of students in each academic division for the past three years; and the standard used for the cum laude designation approximates the average grade point average of the next highest ten percent of students within each academic division for the past three years, with typically no more than 17 percent being awarded honors within each division.  Once every five years, the University Registrar and Office of Provost will conduct a review of these criteria and propose a change to criteria to University Senate if needed.

Students who graduate with distinction may wear cords at commencement based upon final grades of the last semester of attendance prior to commencement, and the commencement program will reflect that they may be graduating with distinction. Actual degree honors will be recalculated to include grades from the student’s final semester and will be posted on the student’s academic record. In addition, for students who graduate with distinction, the diploma for the degree will designate the Latin Honors earned by the student. Students who earn two or more degrees from separate academic divisions receive a separate diploma for each degree. Each diploma will indicate the appropriate Latin Honors the student earned, using the criteria for Latin Honors of the academic division where each degree resides.

For graduation with distinction a student pursuing a baccalaureate degree must have earned at least 64 credit hours from Miami University; a student pursuing an associate degree must have earned at least 32 credit hours from Miami University. For students who earn fewer than 64 hours from Miami toward a baccalaureate degree or fewer than 32 hours from Miami toward an associate degree, the cumulative grade point average used at graduation to determine eligibility for honors is the lower of the following averages: (1) the average for all courses taken from Miami or (2) the combined average calculated using the grades from all college-level courses.

Degree honors are considered finalized 30 days after graduation and are not subsequently recalculated.

Course work subjected to fresh start and the course repeat policy are not used in the calculation of graduation honors. (See policy “Admission” section “Re-enrollment of Former Students”)

Department Honors—Baccalaureate Degrees

Students, whether or not designated as honors program students, may apply to complete a departmental honors program in most University departments. Interested students should see the chief departmental advisor in their major department.

Related Form(s)

Not Applicable.

Additional Resources and Procedures

Not Applicable.


Not Applicable.

Policy Administration

Next Review Date


Responsible Officer

  • Provost & Executive Vice President
  • Associate Provost

Legal Authority

Not Applicable.

Compliance Policy


Revision History

Edited July 2019, Edited January 2021

Reference ID

Student Handbook 1.11

Reviewing Bodies