Honors

Except as noted, the opportunities displayed in the following sections are open to all qualified undergraduates. Honors available through the colleges and schools, and the interdisciplinary programs and activities offered by the School of Undergraduate Studies, are described in the Undergraduate Catalog.

British Marshall, Rhodes, and Truman Scholarships

British Marshall scholarships allow young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the system of higher education of their choice in the United Kingdom. Each scholarship offers two years or more of postgraduate study. Up to forty new awards are offered every year in the United States. Students should apply in their senior year. Applications are due in the Liberal Arts Honors Program office in early September.

Rhodes scholarships are for outstanding United States citizens who are between eighteen and twenty-four on October 1 of the year of application. Students should apply in their senior year. Each scholarship offers two years or more of postgraduate study at the University of Oxford. Thirty-two scholarships are assigned annually to the United States. Applications are due to the Liberal Arts Honors Program office in CLA 2.104 in early September.

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation awards sixty to sixty-five $30,000 merit-based scholarships annually to college students who wish to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or elsewhere in public service. Applicants must be in the top quarter of their class, with a grade point average of at least 3.80, and must be United States citizens or nationals. Truman Scholars receive leadership training, graduate school counseling, preferential admission and merit-based aid at some premier graduate institutions, and internship opportunities with federal agencies. Students who will be seniors the following academic year should apply to the Liberal Arts Honors Program office in CLA 2.104 in September.

College Scholars

On Honors Day each spring, the University designates outstanding students as College Scholars and Distinguished College Scholars, on the basis of registration and grade point average requirements for courses taken in residence at the University, as specified below. Students who are eligible for recognition receive invitations to the Honors Day convocation about three weeks before Honors Day.

To be designated a College Scholar, a student must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. The student must be registered as an undergraduate in the current semester. Students who hold a bachelors degree or are registered in-absentia are not eligible.
  2. The student must have completed at least thirty semester hours of coursework in residence at the University, and at least sixty semester hours of college coursework, including transferred work and credit by examination.
  3. The student must rank in the top 20 percent of their class in each college or school in which he or she is pursuing a major, based on in-residence cumulative grade point average.
  4. The student must have an in-residence University grade point average of at least 3.50.

To be designated a Distinguished College Scholar, a student must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. The student must meet the first, second, and fourth College Scholar requirements stated above.
  2. The student also must rank in the top 4 percent of their class in each college or school in which they are pursuing a major, based on in-residence cumulative grade point average.

Graduation with University Honors

To be eligible to graduate with University honors, an undergraduate must have completed at least sixty semester hours at the University of Texas at Austin. Graduation with University honors is based on the average of all grades earned in courses taken in residence at the University, whether the courses were passed, failed, or repeated. Courses taken pass/fail are counted in the sixty-hour minimum, but only letter grades (including Fs in pass/fail courses) are used to determine the grade point average.

The faculty of each college or school determines the percentage of the graduating class of that division to receive honors, high honors, and highest honors and the minimum grade point average for each category, subject to the following requirements:

  1. No more than 20 percent of the May graduating class of each college or school may receive honors, high honors, and highest honors. No more than 10 percent of the class may receive high honors and highest honors. No more than 4 percent may receive highest honors.
  2. Honors graduates must have a grade point average of at least 3.30 in courses taken in residence at the University.

The faculty may adopt college- or school-wide standards or may designate grade point average and percentage requirements for each program within the college or school, but the percentage of the college or school class receiving honors, high honors, and highest honors may not exceed those above.

Percentage requirements are not applied to August and December graduating classes. The grade point averages established for May graduates are applied to the following August and December classes to determine honors, high honors, and highest honors.

  Honors High Honors Highest Honors
College or School Rank Min. GPA Rank Min. GPA Rank Min. GPA
School of Architecturetop 20%3.30top 10%3.30top 4%3.30
McCombs School of Businesstop 20%3.50top 10%3.65top 4%3.80
Moody College of Communicationtop 20%3.465top 10%3.665top 4%3.865
College of Educationtop 20% 3.50 top 10%3.65top 4%3.80
Cockrell School of Engineeringtop 20%3.50top 10%3.70top 4%3.85
College of Fine Artstop 20%3.30top 10%3.60top 4%3.85
Jackson School of Geosciencestop 20%3.30top 10%3.667 top 4%3.867
College of Liberal Artstop 20%3.30top 10%3.667 top 4%3.867
College of Natural Sciencestop 20%3.30top 10%3.667top 4%3.867
School of Nursingtop 20%3.30top 10%3.30top 4%3.30
College of Pharmacytop 20%3.30top 10%3.30 top 4%3.30
School of Social Worktop 20%3.30top 10%3.30top 4%3.30

Each grade point average listed is the minimum required for graduation with honors, high honors, or highest honors. Because only a certain percentage of the class may receive honors, the average required for each category may be higher.

In the McCombs School of Business, the Moody College of Communication, the Cockrell School of Engineering, and the College of Fine Arts, a student must have completed at least sixty semester hours of coursework in residence at the University to graduate with University honors.

In the Cockrell School, a student may receive only one bachelor’s degree with University honors.

In the College of Fine Arts, to graduate with University honors, a student must rank in the indicated percent of students graduating that semester from his or her academic unit (art and art history, music, or theatre and dance) and must have no outstanding delay of grade (symbol X). A student may receive only one bachelor’s degree with University honors from the College of Fine Arts.

Honor Societies for Freshmen

Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Eta Sigma are national honor societies that recognize scholastic achievement during a student’s first-year at The University of Texas at Austin. Their purpose is to encourage superior academic achievement among students beyond their first year at institutions of higher education, to promote intelligent living and a continued high standard of learning, and to assist men and women in recognizing and developing meaningful goals for their roles in society.

Membership is by invitation only to students who earn a grade point average of at least 3.50 during their first semester or first year at the university, while completing at least twelve semester hours of coursework. Eligible students are notified by the School of Undergraduate Studies each fall and spring. More information can be found on the Honors Societies website.

Junior Fellows Program

The Junior Fellows Program provides recognition for outstanding students who have completed four semesters, or approximately sixty semester hours of coursework. Chosen annually from the best students across the campus, junior fellows are given the opportunity to participate in independent study and research with distinguished professors of their choice, and to have that research supported by small grants, if necessary. The program is administered by the College of Liberal Arts, but undergraduates in all colleges and schools are eligible to take part. Students who wish to be considered should apply in February. Application forms are available in the Liberal Arts Honors Program office in CLA 2.104.

Phi Beta Kappa

Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest honorary society in America, was founded by students at the College of William and Mary in 1776. The Alpha of Texas chapter was organized at The University of Texas at Austin in 1904. Membership is by invitation only to upper-division students who achieve distinguished scholastic records in disciplines that Phi Beta Kappa designates as liberal arts and sciences. To be eligible for consideration, a student must have completed at least sixty semester hours of coursework at the University.

All eligible students are notified by the School of Undergraduate Studies after the fall and spring chapter elections. More information can be found on the Honors Societies website.

Phi Kappa Phi

Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest, largest, and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines. The University of Texas chapter was established in 1962. Phi Kappa Phi awards more than $800,000 annually through graduate and undergraduate scholarships, member and chapter awards, and grants for local and national literacy initiatives.

Membership is by invitation only to the top 7.5 percent of second-semester juniors, the top 10 percent of seniors, and graduate students with a grade point average of 4.00. Students are eligible for membership if they have completed the minimum required hours and have the required grade point average. Eligible students are notified by the School of Undergraduate Studies in the spring. More information can be found on the Honors Societies website.

University Honors

Each fall and spring semester, undergraduates who complete a full course load and earn outstanding grades are recognized by inclusion on the University Honors list. Each time a student is included on the list, his or her official record also shows the award of University Honors for that semester. The list is compiled at the end of each fall and spring semester; it is based on the student’s work in that semester only. To be included, a student must earn at least 45 grade points and a grade point average of at least 3.50 on courses completed in residence and must have no incomplete grades (symbol X).

Students are notified on the semester grade report of their inclusion on the list.