The Catholic University of America

Archived 08/17/05

Commencement and Honors



Each candidate who has fulfilled all degree requirements and has been recommended to the Academic Senate by the faculty is required to attend the commencement exercises, unless excused by the provost of the university. A student so excused must notify the dean and registrar that he or she will not be in attendance. Arrangements must be made with the registrar for forwarding the diploma.

The list of candidates for degrees approved by the Academic Senate and deposited in the Office of the Registrar is the official record of students who have graduated from the university.


At the commencement exercises, the university awards a diploma to each student upon whom a degree is conferred provided a diploma application has been filed. The diploma is awarded under the name specified on the diploma application. Subsequent requests for issuance of replacement diplomas will be honored only upon submission by the student of a notarized statement that the original has been lost, stolen, or destroyed and upon payment of the required fee.

A graduating student who has an outstanding bill with any department of the university will not receive a diploma until such balance is paid in full.


A dean's list is published for each semester to recognize those students who in a normal program have achieved at least a 3.5 grade point average in a full-time course load for that semester.

Effective Sept. 1, 1997, the bachelor's degree will be conferred with honors upon a student who has earned a cumulative grade point average at the university 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 shall be increased by .05 quality point for each sequence, up to a total of .15, for the purpose of Latin title honors. Program students must have fulfilled all requirements for each sequence in order to qualify. The additional quality points are not added to grade reports or to the permanent record.

Transfer students who have completed at least the junior and senior years at this university as defined in each school are eligible for honors if the cumulative grade point average in courses taken at this university meets the criteria listed above.

The criteria for honors will be periodically reviewed and adjusted so that honors will be awarded to approximately 20 percent of the graduating class.*

*Approved by the Academic Senate, April 14, 1977; revised, April 10, 1991; revised, Nov. 14, 1996.