Graduation with Distinction

Distinction at graduation (policy 88-00) is awarded to baccalaureate degree candidates with:

  • at least 60 credits (30 credits for associate degree candidates) earned at Penn State
  • minimum of a 3.5 cumulative grade-point average
  • are in the top 12% of a college's graduating class

A student's distinction level is determined based on the final cumulative grade point average in the semester in which the student's degree is conferred. Preliminary distinction (based on the cumulative grade point average as of the semester prior to degree conferal) may be acknowledged at the commencement ceremony.

The distinction table is created in September for the coming fall, spring semesters and summer session, based on the grade-point average information of previous graduates.

Baccalaureate Degrees Conferred Fall 2019 - Summer 2020

Distinction table for baccalaureate degrees
College Cum Laude Magna Cum Laude Summa Cum Laude
Arts and Architecture 3.83 3.90 3.96
Abington College 3.76 3.87 3.97
Agricultural Sciences 3.74 3.86 3.96
Altoona College 3.75 3.88 3.96
Smeal College of Business 3.81 3.90 3.96
Behrend College 3.72 3.85 3.96
Berks College 3.84 3.92 3.98
Capital College 3.82 3.91 3.98
Communications 3.73 3.82 3.92
Education 3.90 3.95 3.99
Earth and Mineral Sciences 3.76 3.88 3.96
Engineering 3.79 3.88 3.97
Health and Human Development 3.79 3.88 3.96
Intercollege 3.79 3.86 3.92
Information Sciences and Tech 3.76 3.87 3.95
Liberal Arts 3.79 3.89 3.97
Nursing 3.88 3.93 3.99
Science 3.86 3.94 3.98
University College 3.80 3.90 3.96

Associate Degrees Conferred, Fall 2019 - Summer 2020

Distinction table for associate degrees
Cum Laude Magna Cum Laude Summa Cum Laude
3.76 3.88 3.97