Special Academic Honors


The Dean's List

A student earning a superior academic average is placed on the Dean's List. Notice of this accomplishment is sent to the student's hometown newspaper(s).

Academic qualifications for inclusion on the Dean's List require that a 3.7 academic average be maintained for the semester, with no D's, F's, U's, I's, X's, W's, WD's, WF's or WP's, and that a minimum of 12 academic hours be completed for a grade. Students with X-grade notations are not eligible to receive Dean's List honors, either contemporaneously nor retroactively.

Phi Beta Kappa

Phi Beta Kappa, founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary, is the oldest national honor society for the liberal arts and sciences in the nation. Only about 10% of US colleges and universities have Phi Beta Kappa chapters and these chapter select only about 10% of their graduates to join. Since its founding, Phi Beta Kappa has inducted 17 US Presidents, 39 Supreme Court Justices, and more than 130 Nobel Laureates as members. The motto of the society is “Love of learning is the guide of life.”

Read More about Phi Beta Kappa↪

Recognition of Senior Research or Senior Creative Project

A student who plans to complete a yearlong senior research or senior creative project may declare to the major department/program and to the Registrar the intention to submit a final product for Recognition. This declaration must be completed by February 1 of the senior year and requires the signatures of the Project advisor, a second evaluator, and the chair of the department/program. Departments and programs will determine the guidelines governing the design and execution of the project and may establish minimum requirements for students to undertake a project. A Senior Research or Senior Creative Project will be judged to merit Recognition if both the advisor and second evaluator give it a B or above, and at least one of the grades is a B+ or above. (These grades are separate from the grade for the Senior Research course submitted by the advisor.) A Senior Research or Senior Creative Project that is judged to merit Recognition will receive the following acknowledgment: 1) the student's name, the title of the project, and the name of the project advisor will be included in the commencement program, 2) the title of the project and Recognition will be indicated on the student's transcript, 3) a copy of the final product, in its appropriate form as determined by department or program, will be preserved in the library. Students should consult with the Academic Department for specific requirements regarding Recognition of a Senior Research or Senior Creative Project.

Graduation with Honors

A student who meets the general college requirements and the particular requirements for a Denison degree may graduate with Honors. There are three levels of Honors.

  • Highest Honors - Summa Cum Laude
    • This highest distinction is accorded to students who earn a cumulative grade-point average of 3.9 or higher.
  • High Honors - Magna Cum Laude
    • This second highest distinction is accorded to students who earn a cumulative grade-point average of 3.75 or higher.
  • Honors - Cum Laude
    • This third distinction is accorded to students who earn a cumulative grade-point average of 3.60 or higher.

Please note: The calculation of a student's GPA for “Latin Honors” is based on all semesters of academic work at Denison, with a minimum of 64 graded hours completed at Denison. Students with X-grade notations are not eligible to receive Latin Honors, either contemporaneously or retroactively.

President's Medals

Each spring at the Academic Awards Convocation, the President awards medals to outstanding graduating seniors who have made especially good use of their undergraduate education and have contributed substantially to the community. The range of accomplishments the President seeks to acknowledge and honor are comparable to those associated with the winners of a major national scholarship such as the Rhodes or Marshall. The preeminent criterion for receipt of a President's Medal, Denison's most prestigious award, is academic achievement. In addition, candidates must embody some combination of the following: service to the community, contribution to the arts, enlargement of the community's global perspective, athletic fitness and achievement, leadership ability and contribution to community discourse.