High Achievement and Honors

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The University uses a number of means to encourage and reward students who demonstrate academic excellence. The Dean's List recognizes students who have achieved outstanding academic success for the semester. Students expected to achieve Latin honors upon graduation are recognized at the annual Honors Convocation. Finally, the most extensive form of recognition and encouragement is the Honors College Program for the superior student, which provides the most capable students with opportunities for intellectual stimulation and development.


Undergraduate students are recognized for their high academic achievement by being placed on the Dean's List of their respective college or school each fall and spring semester.  To be eligible for the Dean's List, students must earn at least 12 credits towards their semester GPA, and achieve a  semester GPA of 3.5 or better.  These requirements apply to all undergraduate students, regardless of their academic class (i.e., freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior).


Departmental Honors focuses on original research and is fostered by all departments. Students work independently in the library carrel, the science laboratory, or the experimental classroom pursuing the solutions to their research problems. The rigors of direct, unbiased observations, critical analysis, integration, and logical reasoning develop the disciplined thinker needed today.

Prerequisites for application for departmental honors research are a 3.0 GPA at the end of three years of collegiate study, and a 3.2 GPA in a major concentration. Decision to apply for departmental honors research should be made during the junior year when a thesis advisor should also be identified.

At that point, the student will submit a HON 494 application to the chair of the University Honors Thesis Committee. The student must submit a prospectus (HON 494) to the chair of the University Honors Thesis Committee; instructions and deadlines for the prospectus are sent each semester to all departments. Once the prospectus has been approved, the student becomes a candidate for departmental honors and is awarded three semester hours of credit.

Generally, the first semester of the senior year is spent completing the proposal and initial research. During the second semester the student writes a thesis (HON 495) for which, if accepted after an oral defense, the student is awarded three semester hours of credit and departmental honors. Upon request, detailed instructions are available from the chair of the University Honors Thesis Committee, or from chairpersons of academic departments.


The Honors College is a four-year program for exceptionally well-prepared students. It offers a challenging, stimulating environment in which to practice analytical, creative, and verbal skills.

Honors College freshmen and sophomores enroll in Level One:  Honors Foundations, a series of interdisciplinary courses and seminars.  The program continues with the Honors Minor in Transdisciplinary Concepts and Perspectives, culminating in an Honors College Capstone experience.  This sequence satisfies most of the Liberal Education Program.  Honors College students must also complete an academic major and all the requirements of that major. 

Admission to the Honors College is competitive. Inquiries are invited from interested freshmen and transfer students. Information on the Honors College may be obtained from the University's Admission Office; from the Honors College Office, Engleman B225A; or from SouthernCT.edu/honorscollege.


Latin Honors

To be eligible for Latin honors, students must attain a 3.5 cumulative grade point average or higher in a degree program upon completion. Only grades earned at Southern are included in the cumulative grade point average.  In addition, students must earn at least 60 credits at Southern towards an undergraduate degree; or at least 50 credits if enrolled in a post-baccalaureate degree program to be eligible for Latin honors.  Latin honors will be confirmed upon completion of a degree program and awarded on both the official transcript and diploma as follows:

3.5-3.69 (Cum Laude)
3.7-3.89 (Magna Cum Laude)
3.9-4.0 (Summa Cum Laude)

Senior Honors Convocation

Just prior to the end of the spring semester, eligible students who are likely to graduate with Latin honors are accorded special recognition at the Senior Honors Convocation for their distinction in scholarship, leadership, and service to the University.  Recognition at the Senior Honors Convocation and commencement is granted to seniors who have met the eligibility requirements above by April 1, including both earned and in-progress credits.  If, however, the student's GPA falls below the required recognition level, this will be reflected in official documents produced after convocation or commencement. 


Several national honor societies are represented on campus. Election and initiation into these societies are conducted annually by their membership and are based mainly on scholastic achievement, interest, and active participation. Societies represented include:

Alpha Kappa Delta—Sociology
Delta Mu Delta — Business Administration
Gamma Theta Upsilon — Geography
Golden Key National Honor Society—Top 15% of Junior and Senior Class
Iota Iota Iota — Women's Studies
Kappa Delta Pi — Education
Lambda Pi Eta — Communication
Phi Alpha Theta — History
Pi Sigma Alpha—Political Science
Psi Chi — Psychology
Sigma Tau Delta - English
Sigma Theta Tau, Mu Beta Chapter — Nursing
Zeta Delta Epsilon—Service