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University Degree Honors

(Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude & Summa Cum Laude)

Undergraduate students who meet honors criteria for work completed prior to the semester in which they graduate will be given honorary recognition (honor cord) at the commencement ceremony. The UW Oshkosh official GPA will determine whether graduation is cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude. Students will need to have earned 60 UWO credits (including test and remedial credits) to be considered for degree honors.

Honors designations on transcripts will be based on the entire academic record (including your final semester). If you qualify for a gold University Degree honor cord, you will receive it before the ceremony when you check in at the registration table for your college, lower level Kolf. There is no charge for this cord.

Your honors designation will be read by the announcer as you cross the stage, and a symbol will appear by your name in the Commencement program according to the following legend:

* = Cum Laude

** = Magna Cum Laude

***=  Summa Cum Laude

If you have not earned honors by the end of the semester before you graduate, you will not receive honor cords to wear on Commencement day. To respect the academic achievement of those graduates who have earned these honors, there will be no exceptions made to this rule. 

College Honors

While our Undergraduate Honors policy is consistent with national and UW System honors policies, we continue to increase our transfer and articulation agreements with other universities and colleges in the region. As a result, we anticipate a growing number of students to graduate who have not accrued the 60 credits necessary to be eligible for University Honors at commencement.

Therefore, the four colleges and Lifelong Learning and Community Engagement Program will award College Honors to those students who have earned 30 to 59 credits at UW Oshkosh and have a 3.5 official grade point or higher.

If you qualify for a white College Honor cord, you will receive it when you check in at the registration table for your college, lower level Kolf, on commencement day. There is no charge for this cord.

Those who have met these standards will wear a white honors cord and be asked to rise so that they can be recognized by the audience at the Commencement ceremony.

College honors are not printed in the commencement program or read individually during the commencement ceremony.


Graduate Level Honors

UW Oshkosh does not designate academic honors at the university level for graduate students. Since all graduating graduate students must have a gpa of 3.00 or better, the UW Oshkosh Graduate Council believes awarding honors overstates what is already a higher level of achievement in comparison to undergraduate study. Further, the Graduate Council believes honors blur the distinction between undergraduate and graduate education if both were the same.

Some programs confer honors within their program, discipline or College. These honors are recognized every April at the UW Oshkosh Honors and Awards ceremony and are published in the official program of this ceremony. Please check with your program or College to find out if they confer honors and the requirements for such honors.

Be in touch with your program or the Graduate Studies office if you have any questions about this information regarding honors.


Other Academic Honors (Undergraduates)

Please check with your department or honor society regarding any academic honors that may be offered. In general, graduates are permitted to wear the following during the commencement ceremony:

  • Honor cords (gold University Honors cords or white College Honors cords) awarded for the current degree or for previous degrees granted by this University.
  • Insignia (honor cord, stole or medallion) granted by an academic unit within this University in recognition of scholarly achievement.
  • Insignia or stole associated with a student’s study abroad program.
  • Traditional insignia or stole considered appropriate for academic ceremonies in an international student’s native country.


Honors College at UW Oshkosh

Students who successfully complete the Honors College at UW Oshkosh’s curriculum along with their major requirements earn Honors College designations at either the Graduate or Associate level, depending on their cumulative GPA. Their achievements are celebrated at the Honors Graduation Ceremony, which is held each semester prior to Commencement.

Honors College Graduates (3.5 to 4.0 GPA) receive Honors Medallions, which are worn over their robes at Commencement, and Honors College Associates (3.2 to 3.49 GPA) are awarded Certificates of Recognition.

UW Oshkosh Special Events Office  
(920) 424-3300

Culver Family Welcome Center
625 Pearl Ave.
Oshkosh, WI 54901