Amendments to the Undergraduate Dean's List, Honors and Awards Policy

To: Campus Community
From: Office of the Registrar
Subject: Amendments to the Undergraduate Dean's List, Honors and Awards Policy
Date: Apr 03, 2024

In the fall of 2023 and spring of 2024, the Office of the Registrar, and Arizona Online proposed amendments to the Academic Distinction, Dean's List, Honors and Awards policy, which applies to undergraduate students. The policy has been updated to better reflect the diverse courseloads of the University undergraduate population and provide meaningful and identifiable recognition for student academic success. 

The updated policy was approved by the Undergraduate Council, Undergraduate College Academic Administrators Council, and the Faculty Senate during the spring of 2024. 

Amendments to the policy include: 

Expanding the applicability of Dean's List and Dean's List with Distinction 

Recognizing the achievement and progress of half-time students, a new category has been introduced for inclusion on the Dean's List and Dean's List with Distinction, with eligibility starting at a minimum of 6 units. Additionally, in alignment with the University's full-time status policy, the unit requirement for the full-time Dean's List and Dean's List with Distinction has been revised to 12 credits. This update prompts the removal of the Honorable Mention category, as its requirements were identical to the newly updated full-time Dean's List requirements, making it redundant. These amendments enhance recognition while upholding academic standards.

Removing year-based Academic Distinction 

Academic Distinction served as the annual counterpart to the term-based Dean's Lists, with many students receiving both forms of recognition for grades earned during the same term. Emphasizing term-based accomplishments will simplify the process for both students and the institution. Additionally, for full-time and half-time students, Dean's List and Dean's List with Distinction will now be recognized for all terms—winter, spring, summer, and fall. 

Renaming policy name and headings for clarity:

  • The policy title is now Undergraduate Dean's List, Honors & Awards. This change reflects the removal of Academic Distinction and specifies that the policy applies exclusively to undergraduate students.
  • "Graduation with Academic Distinction" is replaced with "Bachelor's Degree Latin Honors." This term is chosen for its wide recognition across institutions, unlike "Graduation with Academic Distinction," which is less clear.
  • The section previously titled "University Academic Honors" is now "University Academic Recognition." This update helps differentiate between academic recognitions and the honors program.
  • The single section "Other Awards & Honors" has been split into two sections: "Commencement Awards & Recognition" and "Honor Societies." This separation clarifies that Commencement Awards are one-time recognitions given at the end of a student's academic journey, while Honor Societies may involve ongoing membership throughout their time as a student.

The amended policy is effective Spring 2024. Please note that the new Dean's List categories will be awarded for the first time in Spring 2024, and the Academic Distinction (academic year) will be awarded for the final time in Spring 2024 (based on coursework from Summer 2023 through Spring 2024). 

The amended policy can be read in full online (any personal bookmarks or direct links to the policy page should be updated to this new policy URL).

Questions about the updates to this policy should be addressed to the Office of the Registrar at

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