Academic Awards


Dean's List

An undergraduate student will be awarded Dean's List honors if he or she earns a 3.70 grade point average (GPA) while completing 12 gradable units (letter grades of A through F) in the fall or spring terms. No Dean's List honors will be awarded for summer or January terms.

Distinction in the Major

The Whittier College faculty believes that students who have achieved excellence in their majors should receive recognition at graduation. Because this is an award for academic achievement, rather than service, the criterion will be either a superior grade point average in the major (3.5 minimum, at the discretion of the department) or other extraordinary academic achievement (published or publishable papers, presentation at a conference, significant research or creative project).

Annual Departmental Awards

Each year at Honors Convocation, students who have met significant academic leadership within their fields of study will be recognized, named to any of the following:

  • Outstanding Student in the Discipline
  • Outstanding Academic Achievement in the Discipline
  • Outstanding Research in the Discipline
  • Excellence in Academic Performance, Research, or Service in the Discipline

Additionally, a number of honors named for distinguished members of the Whittier College community are awarded for individual achievement.

  • Whittier Awards in Prose and Poetry
  • Martin Ortiz ’48 Award for Academic Excellence in Spanish
  • Charles J. Browning Prize in Sociology
  • Tara Molloy Service & Leadership Award in Spanish
  • C. Milo Connick Award for Outstanding Scholarship  in Religious Studies
  • W. Roy Newsom Award in Chemistry
  • Pyle Mathematics Prize
  • Paul Moore '68 and Allison Moore-Smith Teaching Scholarship 
  • Richard T. Clawson Service & Leadership Award in Business
  • John A. Murdy Writing Award
  • Ben G. Burnett/Pi Sigma Alpha Award for Outstanding Academic and Leadership Contributions by a Senior 

Honors at Commencement

Each year, Whittier College grants academic honors to deserving seniors at Commencement. The determination is based on grades received throughout all undergraduate studies at Whittier College. Honors at Commencement are based on students' cumulative grade point averages. Students will receive the highest level of honors for which they are eligible. Those students with the following grade point averages will receive the corresponding honors at Commencement:

  • 3.70 - 3.79: Cum Laude
  • 3.80 - 3.89: Magna Cum Laude
  • 3.90 and above: Summa Cum Laude

In order to graduate with academic honors, a student must have earned at least 60 credits at Whittier College. No less than two-thirds of the total credits earned must be letter grades.