Honors Curricula, Undergraduate

Graduation with Distinction

Honors Curricula, College or Department

Honors Curriculum, University-wide

The University's honors curricula serve to challenge highly motivated students through courses of advanced study; to provide academic programs of unusual breadth and depth; to provide recognition of outstanding scholastic achievement; to foster interest in research and scholarly activity; and to provide students an opportunity to work with outstanding faculty.

Two types of curricula are available: a University-wide Honors Curriculum; and a College or Department Honors Curriculum.

Dual Recognition: Students who complete the requirements of both University Honors and, in addition, the requirements of a College/Department Honors Program, shall have both designations on the transcript and the diploma. Only a single senior essay, thesis, or project shall be required.

For information in addition to the summaries provided below, students should contact the Dean of the Honors College, who is responsible for overall administration of the University's honors curricula, or their program advisor, about College or Departmental programs.

Honors Curriculum, University-wide

The University-wide Honors curriculum, managed by the Irvin D. Reid Honors College, allows undergraduate students in any College or School to pursue individually-designed Honors Programs which complement their majors. Students may pursue the University-wide Honors Curriculum only, or a College/Departmental Honors curricula in conjunction with the University-wide Honors Curriculum.

Admission

Students with excellent academic records are eligible to apply to the University's Irvin D. Reid Honors College. In considering applicants, emphasis shall be placed on the student's prior accomplishments, and on measures of potential appropriate to the individual and his/her field. Normally, the following are required:

Entering Freshmen: Any entering freshmen with a high school grade point average of 3.5, or a composite ACT score of 26 or SAT combined score of 1100, is eligible for admission to the Honors College.

Matriculated Students: Students who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.3 or above at Wayne State University for twenty-four successive credits, and who have satisfied the English proficiency and Mathematics Competency requirements, may apply for admission to the Honors College.

Transfer Students: Students who have completed a minimum of fifteen college credits with a cumulative grade point average of 3.3 at another postsecondary institution are eligible to apply for admission to the Honors College. Transfer students must have a composite ACT score of 26 or SAT combined score of 1100. Normally, no student shall be admitted to the University Honors Curriculum who has fewer than sixty credits to be completed for an undergraduate degree at Wayne State University. No more than half of the total required credits of honors work may be transferred from another institution.

Students whose cumulative grade point average is at least 3.3, but who are not formally in the Honors College, are eligible to elect honors courses to enrich their educational experiences.

Honors Requirements

The program requires honors-designated course work to constitute at least twenty per cent of the required credits for the baccalaureate program the student is pursuing. In no case may the Honors credits be less than twenty-four credits. Students in this program must satisfy the General Education Requirements (see General Education Program), but the approved General Education courses may, with prior approval, differ for the Honors College. The Honors Advisor shall develop with the student an individual program of study which must be approved by the College in which the student is enrolled. Students must complete a minimum of sixty credits in residence at Wayne State University.

Retention: The academic record of each student shall be reviewed at regular intervals. To remain in the University Honors College, a student normally shall be expected:

a) to pursue a course of study consistent with the objectives of the Honors College, as recommended by the University Honors Council and approved by the President or his/her designee; and

b) to maintain a cumulative grade point average greater than or equal to 3.3; however, Colleges/Departments may establish a higher g.p.a. for retention in a College/Department program.

A student whose cumulative grade point average is below 3.3 and is, for that reason, dropped from the Honors College, may reapply when his/her cumulative g.p.a. is 3.3 or higher.

Graduation: For graduation, students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.3, and 3.3 in Honors course work, and must complete a minimum of twenty per cent of their degree credits (but no less than twenty-four credits) in honors-designated courses (including credits in an independent research project, essay or thesis) with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.3 for University Honors. Students must complete a minimum of sixty credits in residence at Wayne State University. Graduates of the University-wide Honors College will be so recognized on the transcript and diploma.

Honors Curricula, College or Department

Undergraduate departments in Colleges and Schools have developed programs leading to honors degrees. Details of these programs are included in the College and Department sections of this Bulletin.

Admission: Students must be admitted to the major or program for which honors is sought. A minimum grade point average of 3.3 is required for enrollment in College/Department programs; however, Colleges/Departments may establish a higher grade point average for admission.

Program Requirements: College or Department Honors Curricula usually require no more than twelve credits in honors-designated course work of which at least three credits may be in an independent research project, essay, or thesis in the student's College/Department. Students also must meet the requirements of their major fields. The honors requirements for the major may include approved modifications of normal major requirements.

Honors Retention: To remain in a College or Department Honors Program, a student normally shall be expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average greater than or equal to 3.3; however, Colleges/Departments may establish a higher g.p.a. for retention in College/Department programs.

Graduation: For graduation with honors, students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.3; but College or Department Honors Programs may establish a higher g.p.a. Normally, the grade point average of honors graduates should be among the top twenty-five per cent of the seniors in a particular College.

Graduation with Distinction

Wayne State University bestows upon students completing the baccalaureate degree three separate designations for scholastic excellence reflected in the cumulative grade point average: Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Summa Cum Laude. Graduation with distinction will be indicated on the student's diploma and on the transcript.

Graduation with Distinction will recognize at each graduation the top twenty per cent of students in each College who have earned the highest grade point average in their Colleges, with the following approximate distribution:

Summa Cum Laude: Top five per cent

Magna Cum Laude: Next five per cent

Cum Laude: Next ten per cent

The specific minimum grade point averages will be determined each year in the following manner, but graduation with distinction will not be awarded in cases of any g.p.a. less than 3.0:

Based on the grade point average distributions of the previous year's senior class, the grade point average cut-offs for each College will be established to provide for recognition of the top eighteen to twenty per cent of the graduating students.

The criteria for Graduation with Distinction include:

1. A minimum of sixty credits in residence at Wayne State University.

2. A qualifying minimum grade point average (calculated as explained above) on all course work at Wayne State University must be completed by the end of the semester of graduation. (For notation in the commencement program, the grade point average on all course work completed prior to the semester of graduation will be used.)