Academic Honors and Awards

Policy Number: II.04
Policy Level: Operating Policy

Originally Issued: December 12, 2012
Implementation Date: August 19, 2013
Revised: January 13, 2016
Revised:  February 18, 2019

Policy Owner: Provost/ VP Academic Affairs
Policy Implementation: Registrar

I. Policy Statement and Purpose

In accordance with Athens State University’s educational mission, this policy establishes the standards for the recognition of outstanding undergraduate academic achievement at the University. These standards are based on comparable practices at other institutions of higher education, and also recognize the unique status of the University as an upper-division institution.

II. Outstanding Academic Achievement in a Given Semester

Athens State University recognizes outstanding undergraduate academic achievement accomplished during a given academic semester/term in two categories:

  • President’s List – The President’s List is published each semester and includes the names of undergraduate students who have achieved an institutional GPA of 4.0 on at least 12 semester hours of coursework for that semester.
  • Provost’s List – The Provost’s List is published each semester and includes the names of undergraduate students who have achieved an institutional GPA of 3.50 or above (but below 4.0) on at least 12 semester hours of coursework for that semester.

III. Outstanding Academic Achievement upon Graduation

Athens State University recognizes outstanding undergraduate academic achievement throughout a student’s academic career at the University in two ways:

  • Highest Scholastic and Outstanding Academic Achievement Awards – Graduates with outstanding undergraduate academic achievements are recognized in the spring semester each year. To be eligible for nomination for these awards, undergraduate students must have completed 18 semester hours in residence at Athens State University. All undergraduate students graduating in a given academic year are eligible for consideration. Undergraduate students may be nominated by faculty members based on their GPA and other exemplary considerations.
  • Degrees with Honor – Degrees with honor are based on performance in all undergraduate academic work completed at Athens State University, with the exception of any coursework excluded by course forgiveness or academic bankruptcy. To be eligible for a degree with honor, a student must have completed at least 45 undergraduate semester hours at the University, not including coursework excluded by course forgiveness or academic bankruptcy.

The following honors may be awarded to undergraduate students:

  • Summa Cum Laude – Awarded to graduating students with institutional GPAs of 3.9 to 4.0.
  • Magna Cum Laude – Awarded to graduating students with institutional GPAs of 3.70 to 3.89.
  • Cum Laude – Awarded to graduating students with institutional GPAs of 3.50 to 3.69.

Since all grades for the final semester may not be available in time for commencement ceremonies and printing of commencement programs, degree with honor designations for a commencement ceremony are unofficial. Final academic honor designations are determined after grades for the final semester have been posted. Final, official honor designations will be reflected on the Athens State transcript and on the Athens State diploma.

IV. Responsibility for this Operating Policy

Policy Owner

As part of the initial approval of this policy by the President and subsequent to the original dissemination of the policy, the President has assigned the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs as the policy owner for the ongoing evaluation, review, and approval of this policy. Subsequent reviews and revisions to this policy must be in accordance with approved operating policy procedures and processes.

This policy will be reviewed every three years or more frequently as needed and updated/published in the University’s Policy Library.

Responsibility for Policy Implementation

The President has assigned the responsibility of implementing this policy to the Registrar, under the direction of the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Support Services, and the Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management.