The policy for granting graduation with honor as established by the University Academic Council provides for honoring at each commencement 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 https://reg.msu.edu/ROInfo/GradHonor/GraduationHonors.aspx.
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.