Criteria for University Honors

Policy Number: EP-15.01

Effective Date: Effective for the graduating classes of Summer 2014, Fall 2014, and Spring 2015, who would be treated consistently at the 2015 commencement ceremony.

Policy Title: Criteria for University Honors (view the full SCEP proposal)

Contact: Office of Programs and Academic Assessment

Policy Statement: University Honors are awarded to graduating students who satisfy UIC hours residency requirements with a UIC grade point average that falls within the following honors categories:

  • Summa cum laude: 3.90 and above
  • Magna cum laude: 3.75 to 3.89
  • Cum laude: 3.50 to 3.74

University Honors will be awarded based on UIC GPA at the end of the term prior to the term of graduation for commencement ceremony purposes. UIC will make permanent adjustments to student transcripts and diploma related to University Honors based on final grades.

Reason for Policy: Academic Affairs in consultation with the Committee of Associate and Assistant Deans (CAAD) proposes the revision of criteria for University Honors recognition at graduation. Under the version of the policy approved in 2004, three categories of University Honors are awarded to graduating students whose overall grade point average (work completed at UIC and, if applicable, that transfers from other institutions) is at least 3.50/4.00. There are additional requirements for transfer students.

The revised criteria will make the awarding of University Honors based solely on coursework earned at UIC and revise the minimum hours of earned UIC coursework. These changes are needed because the current criteria adversely impacts transfer students who have been successful at UIC.

By making the UIC GPA the sole determinant for University Honors, we stress the importance of the academic experience at UIC. We also match the standard that exists on the official UIC transcript, which only prints UIC GPA.

These revisions will more clearly articulate the intentions and requirements of University Honors and will more fully engage students who have succeeded at UIC. Based on the Spring 2013 graduating class, 6.6% more undergraduates would receive Latin Honors under the revised policies suggested. This equates to 165 more honorees out of the 2,497 Spring 2013 graduates.

Minority Impact Statement: The revision will positively impact many populations of students, but particularly students of color. With the proposed policy revisions, based on Spring 2013 semester graduates, the awarding of University Honors increases 26% for Black/African-American students (from 23 to 29) and 32% (from 75 to 98) for Hispanic students.

Who Should Read the Policy:  Faculty, staff, and students at UIC.

Policy History: 

  • This policy updates the 2004 version (EP-05.01). It was approved by the Senate Committee on Educational Policy (SCEP) on September 4, 2014.
  • The policy was approved by the UIC Faculty Senate on September 18, 2014.