Dean’s List
Eligibility for the Dean’s List is limited to the top 30 percent of students, based on semester grade point average as calculated by February 1 for the fall semester Dean’s List and by July 1 for the spring semester Dean’s List. To be named to the Dean’s List, a student with a qualifying average must have earned 15 or more credits in the semester, 12 or more of which are graded credits; he or she must have no mark of I (unless for medical reason or critical emergency), U, WF, or WU; and he or she must have no instance of academic dishonesty in that semester.

Distinction in the Major
This honor is awarded on the specific recommendation of the department. To be considered for the award, a student must have an average of at least 3.25 in the major; most departments stipulate a higher average.

Honors in [Department or Program]
Honors programs are offered in American studies; anthropology; biology; chemistry; computer science; East Asian studies; economics; education; English; environmental studies; French studies; geology; global studies; government; history; independent major; Latin American studies; mathematics and statistics; music; philosophy; physics; psychology; religious studies; science, technology, and society; sociology; Spanish; theater and dance; and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. Successful completion of an honors program, as determined by the department or program, will enable a student to graduate with “Honors in [Department or Program].” Independent majors may apply for honors to the chair of the Independent Study Committee.

Latin Honors
The degree of bachelor of arts with honors is awarded in three grades: summa cum laude to those whose grade point averages are within the top 5 percent of the graduating class; magna cum laude to those within the top 6-10 percent; and cum laude to those within the
top 11-20 percent.

Named Scholarships
Academic excellence is recognized for the Julius Seelye Bixler, Ralph Bunche, Charles A. Dana, and Strider scholars. Bixler Scholars are the top-ranking students as determined by the cumulative academic record at the end of the preceding year. Dana Scholars are selected on the basis of strong academic performance and potential leadership. The first-year student with the best academic record at the end of the first year is named a Strider Scholar for his or her sophomore year.

Phi Beta Kappa
Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest and most respected undergraduate honor society. The Colby College chapter—Beta of Maine—was chartered in 1896 and has, every year since, elected to membership in the society many of Colby’s most engaged and outstanding students. For more information, visit

Senior Scholars
This honors program permits a limited number of seniors to devote eight credit hours per semester to a project approved by the Independent Major Committee and pursued under the guidance of a faculty member. Students applying to the Senior Scholars Program will normally be expected to have a grade point average of at least 3.3 in their major. Students submit a midyear report on the project; their final report is judged by three faculty readers. Upon successful completion of the program with a minimum grade of B+, the senior scholar’s report is deposited in the College library. Application must be made during the student’s junior year. Inquiries should be directed to the committee chair.

Other Honors
Academic departments may recognize students’ achievements, according to departmental guidelines, with certificates or other awards.

The names of students who graduate with Latin honors, honors or distinction in the major, Senior Scholars status, election to Phi Beta Kappa, or status as Bixler, Dana, or Bunche scholars are printed in the annual commencement program.