Baccalaureate Honors

Baccalaureate honors (Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, Cum Laude) are awarded upon graduation to undergraduates earning their first bachelor’s degree (Post-Baccalaureate students are not eligible) with at least 90 UW credits, of which at least 60 are numerically graded. Distance Learning courses (those that include the DL prefix) are included in the UW cumulative GPA and therefore count toward baccalaureate honors.

Students who have earned quarterly and/or annual Dean’s List recognition do not necessarily qualify for baccalaureate honors.

GPA Requirements (Autumn 2023-Summer 2024)

ProgramCum Laude*Magna Cum Laude*Summa Cum Laude*
Business Administration3.783.883.96
Educational Studies3.973.984.00
Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences3.913.974.00
Interactive Media Design3.863.943.99
Nursing and Health Studies**3.983.994.00
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (includes Computer Science and Software Engineering and Earth System Science)3.863.943.99

*Students must also earn 90 matriculated credits in residence at the UW and at least 60 credits must be graded. Summa Cum Laude is the top 0.5%, Magna Cum Laude is the next 3%, and Cum Laude is the next 6.5%.

**RN to BSN students do not earn enough UW credits to qualify for Baccalaureate Honors

All graduates earning baccalaureate honors are given a gold honor cord to wear in the Commencement ceremony and the honor is listed in the Commencement bulletin. For students graduating in spring, the honors listed in the commencement bulletin, as well as honor cord distribution, are based upon a student’s cumulative GPA as of the winter quarter, since spring grades are not available for this determination (see box at the right). Spring classes are ultimately included in the credit totals and GPA calculations for honors posted to the student’s final record.

The GPAs for baccalaureate honors are set each year for the following year (autumn through summer) by a subcommittee of the Faculty Council on Academic Standards, based on statistics for the current year provided by the Office of the University Registrar. The GPA cutoffs may be different for each of the degree programs.

Honor Cord for Commencement

For spring/summer graduates

To be eligible to wear a Baccalaureate Honor Cord during the commencement ceremony, an undergraduate student must:

  • Complete 75 UW credits by the end of winter quarter, of which at least 60 are numerically graded
  • Meet the cumulative GPA requirement by the end of winter quarter (see chart)