Graduation with Distinction

Colorado State University recognizes outstanding scholarship by granting the baccalaureate degree "Cum Laude", "Magna Cum Laude" and "Summa Cum Laude" to those students in each college who have achieved unusually high academic excellence in their undergraduate programs..

To be eligible for graduation with distinction, students must:

  • Meet the minimum grade point average required for graduation with distinction, as outlined below.
  • Complete a minimum of 60 credits at Colorado State University. Students who have been granted Fresh Start must have completed 60 credits after the Fresh Start designation.

  Transfer credits are not considered when determining:


  a) candidacy for graduation with distinction, or


  b) graduation with distinction.

The Current Breakdown of Acceptable GPA’s for a Distinction Designation:

College Summa
Cum Laude
Cum Laude
Cum Laude
Agriculture Sciences 3.980 3.850 3.710
College of Health and Human Sciences 3.960 3.840 3.660
Business 3.960 3.850 3.720
Engineering 3.960 3.910 3.700
Liberal Arts 3.960 3.870 3.700
Natural Resources 3.980 3.850 3.740
Natural Sciences 3.980 3.900 3.760
Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences 3.990 3.950 3.890

These minimum cumulative grade point averages will be reviewed every four years and may be changed if needed to maintain appropriate academic standards. Each of the minimum grade point averages needed to graduate with distinction will be adjusted at the end of each four-year period only if the percentage of students graduating with distinction in a distinction category and college has shown a statistically verifiable deviation from the following target percentages:


Summa Cum Laude 1%
Magna Cum Laude 3%
Cum Laude 6%

Candidates for graduation with distinction are recognized at the time of commencement. A student's candidacy is determined by their cumulative grade point average through the semester preceding graduation. "Candidacy" for graduation with distinction does not guarantee graduation with distinction. Graduation with distinction is based on the student's cumulative grade point average at the time of graduation.

Students seeking a second bachelor's degree are eligible for distinction designation. To qualify for graduation with distinction, a minimum of 60 credits at Colorado State is required after the first degree. In determining the grade point average of the student, only grades earned after the first degree are considered.