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Academic Honors

Honors Program

The Columbia College Honors Program enhances a commitment to quality and excellence while providing academically stimulating opportunities to students seeking active participation in analytical thought, synthesis and creativity to acquire a broad and deep knowledge across academic disciplines. Honors Program graduates will have a knowledge of classical works and contemporary thought in disciplines outside their major field of study.

Admission to the CC Honors Program requires success in two of the following:

  1. a record of high school performance with a minimum GPA of 3.5;
  2. ACT or SAT composite score at the 78 or higher percentile level;
  3. a Columbia College cumulative GPA of at least 3.5. Students with prior college experience must have 30 or more semester hours of credit with an average GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale and one of the other criteria listed above.

Home-schooled or other non-traditionally schooled students are eligible for admission to the Honors Program upon presentation of an ACT, SAT, or GED score at or above the 78th percentile and demonstration of scholarship in high school level academic course work.

Students may also petition for admission to the Honors Program if they have completed a minimum of 30 hours of academic credit at Columbia College with a cumulative grade point average of 3.6. Credit transferred from another academic institution may not be used when petitioning to participate in the Honors Program. To petition for admission a student must complete a petition form and write a letter to the Honors Program Director which should include reasons for desiring admission to the Honors Program and anticipated benefits to the student. The student must also have two Columbia College faculty members submit letters to the Director supporting the petition.

Admission to the Honors Program is granted by the Honors Program Director who may seek advice from the Honors Program Committee.

Entering freshmen who qualify for the Honors Program are strongly encouraged to enroll in HNRS 110 Introduction to Honors and HNRS 111 Introduction to Honors II.

Honors students must maintain a minimum 3.25 GPA overall and a 3.0 GPA in Honors courses. The Honors student must acquire at least 21 semester hours of Honors credit in order to be recognized as a graduate of the Honors Program. Honors students may enroll in a maximum of 9 hours of Honors courses designated as General Education (G.E.). All Honors Program graduates must also complete HNRS 310 Honors Service prior to graduation. No Honors courses may be taken with the pass/fail option.

Following is a sample of courses offered through the Honors Program since 1997:

  • Allure of Pseudoscience
  • American Indian History
  • American Myths
  • Arts and Culture of Our World
  • Biomedical Ethics
  • Ethical Issues in Literature
  • Feminist Theory and Methodology
  • Hero and Anti-Hero in Film and Literature
  • The Holocaust
  • Honors English Composition II
  • Honors Seminar in the Sociology of Science and Knowledge
  • Honors Service
  • Individual, Family, and Community Behavior in the Social Environment
  • Introduction to Honors
  • Introduction to Honors II
  • Major Literary Periods: The Fifties
  • Men and Women: Gender Roles in Contemporary Autobiography
  • The New York Theater
  • The New York Theater Trip
  • Peace Studies
  • Perspectives in General Psychology
  • The Postmodern
  • Psychology and Media
  • Reading Michel Foucault
  • Rhetoric of Extremism
  • Social Issues in Literature

Recognition of academic achievement

Dean's List

The Dean's List is an honor accorded to students who achieve academic distinction. Students may be named to the Dean's List if

  1. they complete at least 12 semester hours of Columbia College credit in a given semester with a GPA of 3.5 or higher; or
  2. they complete a minimum of 6 semester hours during each of two consecutive evening sessions with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

A grade given to replace an Incomplete cannot be applied to Dean's List requirements. If students take ESOL 100, 101, 102, 103, 105, ENGL 107, MATH 105 or MATH 106 during these two sessions or one semester, they are not eligible for the Dean's List upon completion of the semester or sessions.

Courses elected by students as pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory are not included in the minimum requirement of at least 12 semester hours (day) or the minimum of six semester hours (Evening).

Awards Convocation

In the spring of each year, an Honors and Awards Convocation is held, a special occasion recognizing those students who have made exceptional contributions to Columbia College through outstanding scholarship and/or leadership. Students who have completed at least 15 semester hours at Columbia College with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher are eligible for these awards. Recipients of these awards are generally chosen from this pool.

Graduation Honors

Columbia College confers baccalaureate degrees with the following honors designations:

GPA Designation
3.9 and above summa cum laude
3.75 to 3.89 magna cum laude
3.5 to 3.74 cum laude

To receive a degree with these honors, students must have completed 60 hours of credit at Columbia College.

Dean's Academic Achievement Award

Students who graduate with at least 39 Columbia College hours and earn at least a 3.5 cumulative G.P.A. may be eligible for the Dean's Academic Achievement Award upon graduation. Students must meet the following criteria:

  1. Hold an Associate in Art or Associate in Science from a community college with an articulation agreement with Columbia College.
  2. Complete a bachelors degree at the ESD site of articulation.
  3. Earn a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.5 or higher.
  4. Complete 39 hours in residency with Columbia College.

Students seeking a second baccalaureate degree to whom a Dean's Academic Achievement Award was granted with a prior degree must complete an additional 39 hours in residency with at least a 3.5 cumulative G.P.A. to be granted a second Dean's Academic Achievement Award.

Students eligible for Latin Honors are ineligible for the Dean's Academic Achievement Award.

Graduation with Distinction

A student with excellent performance in course work is invited to complete a special two-semester project, directed by a faculty sponsor and approved by the Academic Honors and Awards Committee, which entitles the student to graduate with a bachelor's degree with Distinction.

The Presidential Award

Each Commencement, special recognition is given to the student with the highest GPA who has completed the entire course of study for the bachelor's degree at Columbia College.

The President's Honorarium for Academic Excellence (Overload Fee Waiver)

Columbia College students who have earned 30 institutional semester hours may take an overload to a total of 21 semester hours without additional cost if their cumulative grade-point average is at least 3.75.

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