The Catholic University of America

Honors Recognition at Graduation

Honors Convocation

Students who participate in the University Honors Program curriculum and meet our program requirements may graduate with Honors or as a University Scholar. 

After graduating with Honors, our alumni go on to many of the best graduate and professional schools in the country, participate in Fulbright and other post-graduate fellowships, and a variety of exciting careers.  


Honors for Track Completions

Honors Students who are not University Scholars may receive one or two of the following Honors at graduation upon successful completion of their requirements:

Honors in Liberal Studies: Successful participation in four approved courses from multiple tracks; for Architecture, Business and Economics, Engineering, Music, Nursing, Social Work, and Bachelor of Science students only.
Honors in Classical Philosophy: Successful participation in all four courses of an Aristotelian Studium
Honors in Environmental Studies: Successful participation in all four courses of The Environment, Energy and Policy track.
Honors in the Humanities: Successful participation in all four courses of The Christian Tradition
Honors in Social Sciences: Successful participation in all four courses of Critical Exploration of Social Reality.
Honors in Theology: Successful participation in all four courses of Tradition and Renewal in Contemporary Catholicism.
All students must have a minimum 3.5 unadjusted cumulative GPA at the time of commencement and a grade of B- or better in all courses of an Honors sequence in order to receive Honors recognition for that sequence.
Students who have transferred into the Honors Program after first semester of their freshman year should note that non-Honors Learning Community courses do not count towards the completion of Honors Course Sequences. Specific cases should be addressed with the Director.
Please see our curriculum page for more information on University Honors Program Course Sequences.

University Scholar Requirements

There are two categories of University Scholar requirements.  Students fall into their specific category based on their school and major.  Please see below for the breakdown:


-          Students in ARCH, ENGR, NURU, MUSU, BEU, NCSSS, or A&S with Math/Natural Science Majors. 

  • Must complete 2 tracks and the Honors Capstone Seminar in the spring of their junior or senior year.
  • May opt for independent project reflecting a liberal arts perspective in lieu of capstone (with permission).
  • Note: One of the two tracks may be liberal studies.  However, the courses which make up the liberal studies track may not overlap with the other completed track. (e.g. one cannot use HSPH to complete both the liberal studies and philosophy tracks.)


-          Students who are not in the above schools or majors must adhere to the following requirements:

  • Successfully complete 3 tracks with a grade of B- or better
  • Successfully complete a Capstone Seminar in the spring of Junior or Senior year.

-          Note: The Honors Capstone is open to non-University Scholars, if space allows.


Latin Title Honors Benefits

In addition, Honors students who have completed one or more tracks receive a GPA boost for the calculation of Latin title honors only. The GPA requirements for Latin honors are as follows:

Cum laude - 3.5

Magna Cum Laude - 3.7

Summa Cum Laude - 3.9

Determination of honors is made by the dean's office of the school in which the student has matriculated. The cumulative grade point average of University Honors Program students will be increased by .05 quality point for each track, up to a total of .15, for the purpose of Latin title honors. Program students must have fulfilled all requirements for each track in order to qualify. The additional quality points are not added to grade reports or to the permanent record.