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02-03 LS&A Bulletin

Chapter IV: Academic Policies and Procedures

The policies and procedures described in this chapter govern the conduct of academic matters affecting students enrolled in the College. Exceptions to these policies may be granted only upon written petition to the Academic Standards Board. Honors students petition the Honors Academic Board; Residential College students petition the RC Counseling Office.


Honors and Awards for Superior Academic Achievement


The College acknowledges the superior academic achievement of its students in a variety of ways. These include the awarding of class honors, special awards, honors at graduation, election to national honor societies, the LS&A Scholarship Program, and departmental academic awards. Transfer credit does not count for honors.

Departmental Awards

Awards that recognize superior academic performance in the area of concentration are described in the departmental/program information in Chapter VI.

James B. Angell Scholars

James B. Angell Scholars are students who earn all A+, A, or A— grades for two or more consecutive terms in a calendar year based on a minimum of 14 credits in courses which include 12 credits elected on a graded (A-E basis elected each term); all other grades must be P, S, or CR. Terms of fewer than 14 credits completed with grades of A+, A, A—, P, S, or CR enable a student to maintain standing as an Angell Scholar. Any other grades earned during a full or half-term make a student ineligible for this honor. Angell Scholar Honors are posted on a student's transcript by the Office of the Registrar, and recipients of this honor are invited to attend the annual Honors Convocation. Angell Scholars are selected and honored annually.

University Honors

Students who earn a minimum of 14 credits in courses which includes 12 credits elected on a graded basis (A-E) and who earn a 3.5 grade point average are eligible for University Honors. This honor will be awarded each full term of classes (Fall & Winter terms). This distinction is posted on a student's transcript by the Registrar's Office. Students who receive this honor two consecutive terms will be invited to attend the annual Honors Convocation.

William J. Branstrom Freshman Prize

Freshmen students in the top 5% of their school/college class are eligible for this honor if they have earned at least 14 graded credits at Michigan. Advanced placement credit does not disqualify a student of this award. Students who have previously earned credit at another institution of higher education are ineligible. A book with an inscribed nameplate is presented to each student; a notation is made on the student's transcript by the Office of the Registrar, and recipients of this award are invited to attend the annual Honors Convocation.


Highest Distinction/High Distinction/ Distinction

Degrees with distinction are awarded on the basis of rank in class. Students who have completed at least 58 credits in residence, at least 45 of which are "graded" (A+ to D—), and rank in the top 3% of their class are recommended for a degree "with Highest Distinction." Those students who rank in the top 10% of their class but not in the top 3% are recommended for a degree "with High Distinction." Those students who rank in the top 25% of their class but not in the top 10% are recommended for a degree "with Distinction." A notation is made on the diploma and the transcript. The GPA ranges for the distinction notations are determined each May, based on the cumulative GPAs of LS&A graduates of the May degree period. Those same numbers are used for the August and December degree periods of that calendar year. The ranges for May 2001 were:

Highest Distinction: 3.908 - 4.000
High Distinction: 3.775 - 3.907
Distinction: 3.574 - 3.774

Highest Honors/High Honors/Honors

Students who have completed at least 58 credits in residence and have demonstrated high academic achievement and capacity for independent work in a department or degree program may be recommended for a degree "with Highest Honors," "with High Honors," or "with Honors" in the field of concentration. Capacity for independent work must be demonstrated in part by superior performance in an honors program or some achievement of equivalent character. A minimum overall grade point average of 3.2 is required. A notation is made on the diploma and the transcript.

Phi Beta Kappa

Phi Beta Kappa, founded in 1776, is the oldest scholastic society in America. Up to four per cent of each year's graduating seniors and a very few juniors of the highest scholastic ranking in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts may be invited to join Phi Beta Kappa. Seniors with outstanding achievements in the liberal arts in other schools and colleges of the University of Michigan may be invited to join if they have earned at least forty-five credits in LS&A. Transfer students with superior academic records in the liberal arts and at least forty-five credits earned in LS&A may also receive invitations to join.

Invitations to membership in the national Phi Beta Kappa Society are issued by the local chapter, taking into account achievement in the liberal arts as indicated by a student's cumulative grade point average, numerical rank, and percentile rank. Letter grades reported for Pass/Fail courses will be used in estimating such rankings.


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