To be eligible for undergraduate honors at graduation, a minimum overall grade point average of 3.5 for cum laude, 3.7 for magna cum laude and 3.9 for summa cum laude is required. Students must meet these averages, for both USC coursework and on combined transferred and USC coursework. University honors is then determined by either the USC GPA or the combined USC and transfer GPA, whichever is lower.
USC GPAs are calculated to the third decimal place, but are never rounded up or down.
In addition to receiving University honors, which are noted on academic transcripts and the diploma, it is also possible in some programs to earn Departmental honors related to the major upon graduation. Check the list below to see if departmental honors is available in your major:
- Art History
- Biological Sciences (B.A. and B.S.)
- Business Administration
- Chemistry (B.A. and B.S.)
- Cinematic Arts (Critical Studies)
- Comparative Literature
- Earth Sciences
- East Asian Area Studies
- East Asian Languages and Cultures
- Geological Sciences
- Human Development and Aging (B.S.)
- International Relations
- Mathematics (B.A. and B.S.)
- Middle East Studies
- Philosophy (Ethics, Law and Value Theory)
- Political Science
- Public Policy, Management, and Planning
- Public Relations
The minimal requirements for receiving departmental honors are that the student:
- Satisfactorily completes course work for an honors project, and
- Achieves no less than a 3.5 GPA (A = 4.0) in the major at the time of graduation
Each program, department, or school will designate what it considers the appropriate coursework and honors project.
Departmental honors are noted on academic transcripts but not on the diploma.
In most cases the project submitted for a Departmental Honors program would also be eligible for the Discovery Scholar honor from the University.