Academic Programs Catalog

Undergraduate Education

Graduation Honors

Honors College students, students who complete the Academic Scholars program within the Honors College, students who graduate with honor or high honor, and Board of Trustees Award recipients are recognized in the commencement program and at the commencement exercise.


Graduation with Honor

The policy for granting graduation with honor as established by the University Academic Council provides for honoring the top 20 percent of the graduating undergraduate students based upon their grade-point averages. Approximately six percent receive the degree With High Honor and approximately 14 percent receive the degree With Honor.

The current minimum grade–point averages to receive graduation honors can be found on the Office of the Registrar Web site at Student grade-point averages are calculated and truncated at two decimal places.

The specific minimum grade–point averages required for honors are determined by the Office of the Provost following a review of the standards by the University Committee on Undergraduate Education. The grade–point distributions of each year's Spring graduates are used for establishing new grade–point average standards for the following consecutive Spring, Summer, and Fall graduating classes.

Graduation with honor is based on the entire academic performance at Michigan State University. However, recognition of graduation with honor in the commencement program is based on the grade–point average and credits of all work at Michigan State University completed prior to the opening of the semester in which the commencement ceremony is held. Transfer students must earn a minimum of 50 semester credits at Michigan State University to be eligible for graduation with honor or recognition in the commencement program. Graduation with honor is indicated on the student's permanent academic record and on the diploma. Lists are also released to the press with appropriate designations.

Board of Trustees Awards

Awards are made at Fall and Spring commencements to the six or more graduating seniors who achieved the highest cumulative scholarly records by the close of the preceding semester.  A total of 60 or more credits for the degree must be earned at Michigan State University with numerical grades by the close of the preceding semester. Fall, Spring, and Summer graduating seniors are eligible. The President of the University acts on behalf of the Board in determining the recipients of the awards.

Summer Board of Trustees Award recipients, please contact the commencement office at if you plan to participate in the December commencement ceremony.

Academic Apparel at Commencement

At the commencement exercises, candidates graduating from the Honors College wear a white stole with the initials, HC. Candidates graduating With Honor or With High Honor wear a gold braid.