Recognition of Academic Achievement

[1] Awards and Honors

Dean’s List and Presidential Scholar honors are based on grades earned during each semester of the regular academic year (fall, spring).

Presidential Scholars. To qualify for Presidential Scholar honors in a given semester, a student must earn a 4.00 grade point average on a minimum of twelve hours of undergraduate degree credit with no incomplete (X) grades.

Dean’s List. To qualify for the Dean’s List in a given semester, a student must earn a 3.50 or higher grade point average on a minimum of twelve hours of undergraduate degree credit with no incomplete (X) grades.

Outstanding Students. Each year an outstanding student will be selected by each college. Each college sets its own criteria and procedures for this selection. In general, these students are expected to be above average scholastically and to have demonstrated exceptional leadership ability and rendered active service to the university through their activities. The university’s outstanding students are recognized at the appropriate commencement service. This recognition requires a minimum of 60 hours in residence.

Honors Graduates. A student earning a bachelor’s degree may be recognized as an honor graduate in one of the following categories of praise – summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude. The overall GPA will be based on all degree credit recorded by the University of Central Arkansas on the student’s transcript, including credit accepted in transfer. Below are the grade point averages used to determine graduation with “Latin honors.”

Category Overall GPA
Summa cum laude 4.000–3.900
Magna cum laude 3.700–3.899
Cum laude 3.500–3.699

Designation of Latin Honors in the commencement program and the cords distributed will be based on the overall GPA of the term preceding graduation. Official designation of Latin Honors will be placed on the student’s transcript based upon the overall GPA determined during the final graduation audit after all grades are officially recorded.


(1) The GPA ranges for Latin Honors presented in the table above were effective in Spring 2018. See the 2016-2017 Undergraduate Bulletin for GPA ranges used in earlier terms. (2) The scope of coursework included in the GPA considered for Latin Honors was changed effective for students graduating in Fall 2020, and the 60-hour residence requirement was removed at the same time, reverting to the general residence requirement for graduation with a baccalaureate degree.

[2] UCA Honors Programs

The University of Central Arkansas recognizes its responsibility to provide special opportunities for highly able and motivated students and provides three separate honors programs – the Honors in the Majors Program, the Norbert O. Schedler Honors College, and the University Scholars Program. More information is available on each program at

[2.1] Honors in the Majors Program

Upon completion of 60 hours, a student may be nominated by faculty or may request to pursue recognition in the Honors in the Majors program. To be eligible, a student must have at least a 3.25 grade point average overall, a 3.50 in at least 12 hours of courses required by the major, and have support from the department.

At the completion of 60 hours, students will file an Intent to Complete form with the UCA Honors College. The UCA Honors College will ensure that the student has received a commitment from an academic mentor and consent of the department chair before approving. This process is traditionally completed in the Spring of the Sophomore year.

The Honors in the Major Capstone Project is a scholarly experience that incorporates concepts and techniques learned throughout the undergraduate career, and allows students to make original scholarly or professional contributions to their field. Students will complete a faculty-approved project in order to fulfill the Honors in the Major Program criteria, thus earning the designation of “undergraduate scholar” upon graduating. Requirements include:

  1. All HIM capstone projects must have a component that is open to or could be shared with the public.
  2. Courses and projects appropriate to each major should be discussed with and pre-approved by faculty in the selected major.
  3. HIM capstone projects must demonstrate significant learning and rise to the expectations of exemplary performance as judged by the faculty.
  4. Regardless of the type of project, evidence of the HIM capstone project must be filed by the end of instruction (study day) for the semester in which the student will graduate.
  5. Before the end of the third full week of the semester in which the student intends to graduate, the student must submit a completed Honors in the Majors form to the Registrar. Download the form here: form link.

[2.2] Norbert O. Schedler Honors College

A student admitted into the Norbert O. Schedler Honors College fulfills certain UCA Core requirements during the freshman and sophomore years in specially designed classes that are interdisciplinary, limited in enrollment, and characterized by experiential pedagogies. Following the sophomore year, students in the Schedler Honors College enter into a minor in interdisciplinary studies.

The minor curriculum consists of fifteen hours of Honors Interdisciplinary Studies coursework. At the center of the curriculum is undergraduate scholarship. In the Oxford Tutorial a student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor, and in the Honors College Thesis Project the student produces a capstone project and presents it publicly. The student will designate by the end of Oxford Tutorial one of two options for the Honors College Thesis Project: (1) it may be an interdisciplinary thesis housed in the Schedler Honors College; or (2) it may be an Honors in the Majors thesis project that satisfies the Schedler Honors College Thesis requirement. Students pursuing the latter option will proceed through the department’s specified thesis process for that major, including enrolling in any required, honors-related coursework in the major department. In order to be awarded the Minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies, Honors College students must also complete the Senior Honors Capstone Project course.

In addition to special instruction, there is an Honors Center which provides a special place for students in the Schedler Honors College and the University Scholars Program to meet and share ideas, and a specially designated residence hall, Farris Honors Hall. The atmosphere and co-curricular programming in the Honors Center and Farris Honors Hall reinforce the learning and relationships developed through the Schedler Honors College and the University Scholars Program. Application to Farris Honors Hall is through the Housing and Residence Life department. Those students who have been accepted into the Honors College, at the time of housing assignments, will be placed in Farris Honors Hall based on space availability. See the Schedler Honors College section in this bulletin for more information.

[2.3] University Scholars Program

A student admitted to the University Scholars Program also fulfills certain UCA Core requirements during the freshman and sophomore years. The University Scholars Program embraces both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches to deliver its curriculum. All students will participate in small-group classes that integrate the best practices used within higher education today. The first of these classes is the gateway course, USCH 1300 Leading with Expertise. The remaining three lower-division courses are chosen from a variety of disciplines depending on individual students’ course needs, and are delivered as an honors-section of a traditional core course or as a contract course.

At the end of the sophomore year, students begin work on the completion of a capstone project in their major, following the traditions of the Honors in the Major program outlined above. The goal of disciplinary expertise remains critical to the mission of the junior and senior curricula, through which students are able to complete an Honors Capstone Project within their major. They are required to complete two courses dedicated to the completion of the Capstone Project, during which a student completes a project of their own choosing rooted in undergraduate research or creative work. These two courses — a research methods course designed to guide students toward the completion of a research proposal and a Capstone course — may be taken as part of the student’s major curriculum or, if the courses are not offered in the major, within the Honors College.

Like the students in the Norbert O. Schedler Honors College, students in the University Scholars Program have access to the Honors Center as well as Honors housing in Farris J. Honors Hall.

[3] Recognition of Honors Graduates

Students completing the Honors in the Majors Program, the University Scholars Program, or the Schedler Honors College minor in Interdisciplinary Studies will receive special recognition at graduation designating them as undergraduate scholars.

[4] Scholastic Societies

Students with intellectual and professional interests have founded scholastic societies, both general and specialized in purpose. The following are representative national organizations:

Alpha Chi (Scholarship)
Alpha Kappa Delta (Sociology)
Alpha Psi Omega (Theatre)
Beta Alpha Psi (Accounting)
Beta Gamma Sigma (Business)
Gamma Beta Phi (Scholarship/Service)
Gamma Theta Upsilon (Geography)
Eta Sigma Gamma (Health Education)
Kappa Delta Pi (Education)
Lambda Pi Eta (Communication)
Pi Kappa Delta (Forensics)
Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science)
Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics)
Sigma Theta Tau (Nursing)
Sigma Tau Delta (English)
Tau Kappa Alpha (Journalism)
Phi Alpha Theta (History)
Phi Delta Kappa (Education)
Phi Sigma Tau (Philosophy)
Phi Upsilon Omicron (Family and Consumer Sciences)
Psi Chi (Psychology)