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Baccalaureate Degree with Distinction

The Bachelor's Degree with Distinction is available for any degree program offered by Columbia College and requires a demonstration of excellence in a special two-semester project (excluding summer session) in addition to completion of degree requirements. If a project is successful, the student's transcript and diploma will reflect their achievement through a special Distinction designation. The program offers students an exciting opportunity to pursue a project of their own development, be formally recognized for their excellent work, while working closely with a faculty mentor. Honors Program students can receive academic credit for Distinction projects.

A Distinction project allows students to explore a wide range of interests. Successful projects of the past--and these below are only a few--reflect a diversity of topics within a variety of disciplines:

  • Anti-Semitism within Grimm's folktales
  • The Warren Court's handling of right-to-counsel issues
  • Shoulder-to-waist ratios as an indicator of female perceptions of male attractiveness
  • A redesign of the Art Department's website
  • Buddhism and its suitability to modern western societies
  • Original plays, poetry dossiers, and special music recitals
  • The British government and popular support for empire during the interwar period
  • Understanding mystical experiences claimed by women during pregnancy and childbirth
  • Designing an electronic grade book using Borland Turbo C++
  • The myth of the rational agent in philosophy
  • The turn-of-the-century European artistic avante-garde as prophets of a new cultural order
  • The relationship between adolescent relocation and substance-abuse

Eligibility requirements:

  • Current enrollment status with at least 75 credit hours completed
  • At least 15 of those credit hours must have been obtained from Columbia College
  • A 3.5 or higher cumulative GPA

To apply, the student submits a prospectus and preliminary bibliography to the Chair of the Academic Honors and Awards committee by end of the sixth week of classes during the semester before the student's final term. By the same deadline, the student's mentor must also submit a statement of support for the project. The deadline for application for students who intend to graduate in May is typically the beginning of October. The deadline for students intending to graduate in December generally occurs in mid-February.

Interested students can obtain contact information for the current Chair of the Academic Honors and Awards Committee by writing the Academic Affairs Office.