Academic Honors

Dean’s List

A student whose semester grade point average is at least 3.600 on a registration of 12 or more gpa-inclusive graded credit hours, with no outstanding incompletes or grades not reported, is eligible for Dean’s List.

Phi Beta Kappa

Phi Beta Kappa was installed at Drew in the spring of 1980. The Drew chapter, Gamma of New Jersey, elects a limited number of seniors and occasionally exceptional juniors on the basis of scholarly achievement in the liberal arts and good character. Those who are awarded this high distinction are inducted into the society at a ceremony each spring, and are listed in the Commencement program. Eligibility for Phi Beta Kappa includes completion of one 4-credit course in mathematics (or the equivalent from a designated list of alternative courses) and demonstration of foreign language competency through the intermediate level.

Latin Honors

Latin honors, based on the cumulative grade point average, at the time of graduation, are awarded in three levels: cum laude (3.600–3.749), magna cum laude (3.750–3.899), and summa cum laude (3.900 and higher). A student must complete at least 48 credits of study at Drew and have received no more than one grade of F or the equivalent to be eligible for graduation with Latin honors.

Specialized Honors in the Major

Specialized Honors is typically awarded in only one major field or area, but may be awarded in two, if the student is a double-major, with approval of both major departments. The diploma shall carry the designation “With honors in (a specific major field or area/two specific major fields or areas).”

The requirements for specialized honors shall be:

a) Cumulative Grade Point Averages: An overall cumulative average of 3.400 or higher and a cumulative average of 3.500 in the courses included in the major or area.

b) Residency: Completion of honors work during the student’s last two semesters at Drew.

c) Invitation: In the spring of the junior year, the Dean and the Director of the Specialized Honors Thesis shall invite qualified juniors to apply to work toward honors during the senior year. A student who does not meet the GPA requirement for honors may, with the strong support of the major department or program, petition to begin honors work. However, if the petition is granted the student must, by graduation, have met the GPA requirement for honors in the major to be awarded.

d) Application: Using the honors application form, a candidate for Specialized Honors must present to the Honors Advisory Committee the subject of his or her proposed thesis approved by an adviser in his or her major. This proposed topic shall be subject to reasonable change if the candidate and his or her adviser deem it necessary as the work progresses.

e) Fall Honors Thesis Colloquium: Honors candidates must participate in the Fall Honors Thesis Colloquium, the purpose of which is to bring young scholars together and to encourage the development of theses of high quality. The Honors Thesis Colloquium shall be administered by the Director of the thesis program.

f) A thesis voted, at the completion of the defense, by the thesis committee as “worthy of honors.”

i. A final draft of the thesis shall be due to all members of the Committee toward the end of the spring semester. The thesis shall be read by all members of the candidate’s thesis committee. Committee members shall take into account substance, documentation, organization, and style. If a thesis is unsatisfactory in any one of these areas, it may be rejected on that ground alone. The thesis shall be expected either to give fresh statement to a subject of intellectual importance upon which there is room for difference of opinion, or to report an investigation of some magnitude and difficulty and to explain the significance of the findings to general knowledge in the area of the investigation. It should demonstrate the student’s intellectual comprehension of the subject of the thesis and mastery of writing skills appropriate to the discipline.

ii. The thesis in its final form shall conform to the requirements of a style manual appropriate to the field of research. A PDF copy of the thesis must be uploaded to the library. The PDF shall be accompanied by a 200-500 word abstract of the thesis. Once the thesis has been submitted, advisers will indicate to the library that the thesis is approved, and notify the student and the Director of the Specialized Honors Thesis. Requirements for specialized honors in the major have not been met until this final step is completed.

g) Honors Thesis Defense: The conduct of the honors defense required of candidates for honors shall be the responsibility of the thesis adviser. Requirements for the defense include the following:

i. Scheduling of the defense: The defense shall occur between the date on which theses are due and the date on which the final copies must be submitted to the Library for honors to be awarded. The defense must be scheduled no sooner than one week after the date on which a final draft of the thesis is received by the Committee. The honors candidate is responsible for scheduling the defense at a time convenient to all members of the Committee. The defense date shall be announced publicly to the University community.

ii. Composition of the Thesis Committee: The Thesis Committee shall consist of three members: the adviser and two additional members selected by the student in consultation with the adviser, one of whom must be from a different department or program without regard to division. Honors candidates must submit to the Honors Advisory Committee the names and signatures of the three members they have selected on a form also signed by the program director or chair of the department in the area in which specialized honors will be awarded; this form must be submitted by the fourth week of the first semester. Students who have any concerns about their thesis committee are able to seek the assistance of the Director of the Thesis Program, who can intervene on their behalf in the Thesis Committee discussions. Students will be informed of this resource on the Specialized Honors website and in informational meetings at the beginning of the Fall semester. Students also retain the right to appeal Thesis Committee decisions to the Committee on Academic Standing.

iii. Length of the defense: The defense shall be approximately one hour in duration unless, in the judgment of the Committee, more time is desirable, in which event the defense may be extended. Defenses shall be open to members of the faculty and to students in the College and, with the permission of the chair, to guests of the candidate. At the conclusion of the defense, all who are not members of the faculty shall leave the place of examination.

iv. Successful defense: Two of the three members of the Committee must vote the thesis “worthy of honors” for honors to be awarded.

h) Lack of Completion: Honors candidates who do not complete their work or who fail to meet the GPA requirement for honors to be awarded may, with the approval of the adviser, petition the Committee on Academic Standing to receive independent study credit for the honors work. The amount of credit awarded shall be determined by the adviser.

For information on the Specialized Honor Program, consult the program page.