Scholastic Honors Policy

UNIVERSITY POLICY

It is the policy of the Health Science Center to recognize the academic achievement of students with scholastic honors and distinctions awarded at the end of each term and at graduation.

PERTINENT INFORMATION

The Health Science Center is committed to higher education in the State of Texas and recognizes the academic achievement of students each term and at that time of graduation by designating honors and distinctions based on their GPAs, coursework, or programs. To be eligible to graduate with any University honors or distinctions, students must have completed at least 30 semester credit hours at the Health Science Center.

Graduation with University honors is based on the average of all grades earned in courses taken in residence at the Health Science Center, whether the courses were passed, failed, or repeated. All courses regardless of grading basis are counted in the 30 hour minimum, but only letter-graded courses are used to determine the grade point average. Certificate and non-degree seeking students are not eligible for graduation scholastic honors.

Graduation with distinction is based on the successful completion of specified coursework, often with minimum grades, as determined by the school offering such distinctions. To qualify for consideration, students must have completed at least 30 semester credit hours, or two full academic years, at the Health Science Center.

DEFINITION OF TERMS

Dean’s List

The School of Dentistry, School of Health Professions and School of Nursing recognize students who meet a minimum GPA as qualifying for the Dean’s List each semester, including the term of graduation. Qualifying GPAs can be found under each school’s respective Catalog section.

Distinction

Some schools recognize students’ commitment to and excellence in a specific area of study within their program by recommending they graduate with distinction in a given area.

GPA

An acronym for grade point average, it represents an average of the numerical weight assigned to letter grades earned in credit-bearing classes graded on a letter basis (i.e. A, B, C, D and/or F). For more information, please see the Student Grade Point Average Policy.

In Residence

This term refers to a student establishing academic residence at the university by completing a minimum number of semester credit hours that qualifies them for honors and distinctions.

Latin Honors

These include Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude, each of which are described further under University Procedures below.

UNIVERSITY PROCEDURES

Scholastic Honors by Term

Students at the end of term who earn GPAs of 3.9 or higher are recognized as qualifying for the Dean’s List. Students may earn this honor multiple times for each semester in which they are registered in credit-bearing classes graded on a letter basis (i.e. A, B, C, D and/or F).

Dean’s List recognition is notated under the appropriate grading term on the official transcript. The recognition may also appear on the official Commencement Program for graduating undergraduate, graduate, and professional-level students.

Scholastic Honors at Graduation

Graduating undergraduate students who earn particular GPAs at the end of their respective programs shall be recognized with Latin honors based on specific GPA ranges. These designations only apply to undergraduate students. GPA ranges and the Latin honors applicable to them are as follows:

  • Cumulative GPA 3.5 – 3.69: Cum Laude
  • Cumulative GPA 3.7 – 3.89: Magna Cum Laude
  • Cumulative GPA 3.9 – 4.00: Summa Cum Laude

Latin honors are noted on diplomas and official transcripts.

Graduate or professional students do not receive Latin honors designations. Other school-specific honors may be notated on their transcript based on the schools’ policies. Graduate-level students within the School of Nursing are awarded high honors with a cumulative GPA of 4.0.

Students in some schools may recognize students’ commitment to and excellence in a specific area of study within their program by recommending graduation with distinction. Examples include distinction in research and distinction in teaching. These are notated on their official transcripts, but not on their diplomas. More information on each school’s policies can be located under their respective, school-specific policies.

Schools may choose to denote distinctions and honors awarded on the official Commencement Program published each May.

Student Notification of Honors

The school’s associate dean for student affairs or other designated official carries the responsibility for obtaining confirmation of honors and apprising students accordingly. The deans’ offices manage achievement of distinctions within their own schools. Students shall be notified in a timely manner whenever they have achieved honors or distinction at the end of a term or upon graduation.