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Commencement
Honors Program

Graduating with Honors

Butler University awards three levels of general university honors and three levels of departmental distinctions.

To be eligible for any kind of graduation honors or distinctions, University or Departmental, a student must have completed at least 60 hours of credit for grade at Butler University. Transfer students who will graduate with less than 60 hours at Butler are not eligible for honors or distinctions.

University Honors

University Honors, also known as Latin Honors, are awarded as follows:

  • Cum Laude—A Butler cumulative grade point average of 3.70 or both an average of 3.50 and satisfactory completion of the University Honors Program, including a thesis
  • Magna Cum Laude—A Butler cumulative grade point average of 3.70 and satisfactory completion of the University Honors Program, including a thesis
  • Summa Cum Laude—A Butler cumulative grade point average of 3.90 and satisfactory completion of the University Honors Program, including a thesis

Departmental Distinctions

Departmental distinctions are to reward students for exceptional achievement within their major. Departmental distinctions are awarded at graduation. A student need not be a member of the University Honors Program in order to be awarded departmental distinctions in his or her major. The criteria for departmental distinctions are determined by each department individually.  However, the general framework is as follows:

  • "in (major) with Distinction" is awarded to a nominee who has a GPA of at least 3.6 in the academic major.
  • “In (major) with High Distinction" is awarded to a nominee who has a GPA of at least 3.7 in the academic major. Additionally, pursuant to individual departmental guidelines, the nominee must either pass a comprehensive examination in the major subject or complete a thesis with a topic approved by the appropriate College Honors Board. If the department does not have a comprehensive exam, then the thesis is a requirement for High Distinction.
  • "​In (major) with Highest Distinction" is awarded to a nominee who has a GPA of at least 3.8 in the academic major. Additionally, pursuant to individual departmental guidelines, the nominee must either pass a comprehensive examination in the major, complete a thesis with a topic approved by the appropriate College Honors Board, or both, as the department mandates. If the department does not have a comprehensive exam, then the thesis is a requirement for Highest Distinction.
  • Students should consult their academic advisor for the specific departmental distinction requirements of their major.

All comprehensive exams must comply with five minimum standards. They must:

1.       Be developed and administered by the departments or programs (i.e., GRE and other external standardized tests are not appropriate);

2.      Be relevant to the student’s course work in the department;

3.      Include a written component;

4.      Include a component that is common to all students and that tests their understanding of core knowledge in the discipline; and

5.      Include questions that require synthesis of ideas and comprehensive reflection about a substantial portion of the student’s departmental course work.