Distinction & Honors Degrees

Degrees with Distinction and Degrees with Honors

Effective: January 3, 2011

Last Updated: Approved by EPC January 27, 2010; amended and approved by Campus Assembly November 9, 2010

Policy Owner: Academic Affairs

Baccalaureate degree candidates who have done outstanding work may be awarded special honors upon completion of all degree requirements through graduation with Latin honors, conferral of campus honors, conferral of department honors, or any combination of these.

Latin honors are designated as summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude. Fifteen (15) percent of students graduating in a collegiate unit will be awarded Latin Honors. Within each college Latin honors shall consist of no more than 3 percent summa cum laude, 5 percent magna cum laude, and 7 percent cum laude. The collegiate unit in which the student is enrolled determines the grade point average requirements for each level of Latin honors.

UMD offers a Campus Honors Program. Students are invited to apply to the program based on class rank, ACT scores, Advanced Placement courses, leadership experience and extracurricular activities. Requirements for graduation with Campus Honors include: a cumulative GPA of 3.3 at graduation; completion of at least three Honors designated courses; completion and presentation of an Honors Capstone project; participation in a minimum of six Honors Program activities events each academic semester.

Departmental honors programs are created by individual departments and approved by the dean. These departments are responsible for a) identifying the criteria for departmental honors, and b) students who, upon graduation, have met all of the requirements of the departmental program.

When the baccalaureate degree is conferred, these achievements are noted, as appropriate, on the student’s transcript in the following ways

  • Latin honors: summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude
  • Campus Honors: UMD Honors
  • Departmental honors: Distinction  

In addition, the achievement of Latin honors and departmental honors are noted on the diploma.