Dean's List & Honoraries FAQs

Fall 2015 Dean's List

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I know if I qualify for the Dean's List (undergraduates)?
  • Is information on the Dean's List sent to my hometown paper?
  • What GPA do I need to graduate with distinction (undergraduate)?
  • I was just inducted into an honorary. Will it show on my transcript?

Dean's List

To qualify for the Dean's List, a student must have been enrolled for 12 or more credit hours (excluding "P" and "I" marks) during the semester and have earned a term grade-point average of 3.50 or higher. "S" grades and designated repeats are counted in the 12 credits. R-credit courses with "S" grades do not count into number of credit hours. No Dean's List is issued for the summer session.

The Dean’s List information is sent to the parent’s hometown newspaper approximately three weeks after the term. It is up to the discretion of the newspaper editor at what point they wish to publish the information.

For more information, contact Amita Dayal, records area, Office of the Registrar, 214 Enrollment Services Center, (515) 294-1843; or News Service at (515) 294-4777.

Graduation with Distinction

At Iowa State University, candidates for graduation with distinction must have completed 60 semester credits of coursework at ISU at the time they graduate, including a minimum of 50 graded credits. Those graduating summa cum laude (with highest distinction) have earned a grade-point average of 3.90 or higher; magna cum laude (with great distinction) have a grade-point average of 3.70 to 3.89; or cum laude (with distinction) have a grade-point average 3.50 to 3.69. Grade-point averages are based on a 4.0 scale. In addition to the notation in the commencement program, this recognition appears on the official transcript and diploma.
The University Honors Program is an individually planned program of study designed to provide greater depth and breadth of scholarship than the regular curriculum.

For more information, contact the graduation area, Office of the Registrar, 210A Enrollment Services Center, 294-9372.


The top 2% of graduating seniors receive a notation on the transcript. In addition, many honoraries also are noted on the transcript. The current list is available from the Student Activities Center .

Criteria for inclusion of honors society on the transcript:

  • needs to be a registered student organization at ISU
  • must base their membership on academic achievement
  • must promote and recognize academic achievement and related standards of excellence on campus
  • must be recognized by the Association of College Honor Societies

Requests for honor societies to go on transcripts are reviewed by a committee appointed by the Provost (includes the Registrar). Honoraries are placed on the transcript as notations in the following format:

CARDINAL KEY 2009 - 2010