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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Graduating with Honors

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Graduation Honors

To qualify for Graduation with University Honors (Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude or Summa Cum Laude), a student:

  1. Must meet all requirements for a bachelor’s degree.
  2. Must earn a minimum of 40 semester undergraduate credit hours from Minnesota State.
  3. Must have the appropriate minimum cumulative (including transfer credits) grade point average to satisfy honor requirements.
    1. Cum Laude: minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3.
    2. Magna Cum Laude: minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5.
    3. Summa Cum Laude: minimum cumulative GPA of 3.8.

For a student’s name to be listed in the Commencement Program as graduating with honors, the GPA requirements must be met the semester BEFORE graduation. While the number of credit hours earned during the graduation term does not affect the determination of graduation honors for recognition at Commencement, quality points earned during the graduation term are considered in calculating the final GPA which determines the graduation honors for the transcript and diploma. To be recognized in the Commencement Program as achieving graduation honors, students must be graduating the term in which commencement is held.

Honor Medallions are available for purchase from Barnes and Noble at Minnesota State Mankato Bookstore.

Presidential Scholars

This program supports some of the University's most talented students. Minnesota State Mankato looks for top academic performance; strong leadership skills; and commitment to community involvement. These students benefit from scholarship dollars as well as leadership development opportunities throughout their careers at Minnesota State Mankato. Funding for Presidential Scholarships comes from businesses, estates, and individuals through Minnesota and the nation. Graduating Presidential Scholars are listed in the Commencement program.

Golden Key International Honour Society

Members of the Golden Key International Honour Society wear solid blue and gold honor cords. Membership in Golden Key is conferred upon students who exhibit exceptional scholarship and leadership potential.

For further information contact

Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

Committed to a constant observance of the injunction expressed in its motto, "Let the love of learning rule humanity", the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi recognizes and promotes academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others. Being interdisciplinary, Phi Kappa Phi elects from all recognized branches of academic endeavor seeking thus to reward excellence wherever it can be identified in every institution that has a chapter of the Society. The constitution of Minnesota State University, Mankato's chapter, operating within the framework of the by-laws of the national society, specifies certain criteria and limits to be observed each year in electing new members. These conditions are summarized as follows: undergraduates in the last term of their junior year are eligible if they are among the top 7.5 percent of their class; graduating seniors are eligible if they are among the top ten percent of their class; graduate students who are determined to be in the top ten percent of those receiving their degrees during the year and have been recommended by their advisors and program leaders are also eligible for election to membership. If you are eligible under these criteria, you will receive a letter from us inviting you to join the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. During the graduation ceremony members of Phi Kappa Phi wear white satin ribbons decorated with an ancient Greek pattern to symbolize the classical roots of the society.

For further information contact Dr. Mark Zuiker.

Honors Program at Minnesota State University, Mankato

The mission of the Honors Program is to create future leaders, researchers and global citizens by providing high ability and motivated students with exceptional learning opportunities, mentoring relationships, and a community of scholars that foster their development as future leaders in a global society. Upon graduation, honors students will have demonstrated leadership skills, especially the ability to utilize personal leadership values and to guide groups toward a common goal. They will also have demonstrated research skills, such as the ability to exhibit information literacy skills, synthesize and integrate ideas, produce original research or creative works, and contribute to their field of knowledge. Lastly, they will have demonstrated effective global citizenships skills, such as second language competency and cultural awareness.

For more information about the Honors Program, please contact 507-389-5191.

Alpha Lambda Delta

Alpha Lambda Delta is an honor society for first year students earning a 3.5 or higher grade point average in their first year. Alpha Lambda Delta’s mission is to encourage superior academic achievement, to promote intelligent living and a continued high standard of learning, and to assist students in recognizing and developing meaningful goals for their unique roles in society. ALD members wear red and gold honor cords.

For further information contact the Office of New Student & Family Programs at 507-389-5498.

Alpha Mu Gamma (Foreign Language Honor Society)

Alpha Mu Gamma is a national collegiate honor society for students majoring or minoring in world languages. It was established in 1931. Minnesota State’s Beta Zeta chapter was established in 1961. The purposes of the Society are to recognize achievement in foreign language study; nurture an interest in the study of foreign languages; stimulate a desire for linguistic attainment; and to foster sympathetic understanding of other peoples through the medium of languages. Membership is generally offered to students who have a 3.0 GPA and who have earned two A’s in one foreign language. Students may be admitted at any stage in their college career.

For further information contact the advisor:

Greg Taylor
Armstrong Hall 227

Alpha Phi Sigma (Criminal Justice Honorary Society)

Alpha Phi Sigma is the only National Criminal Justice Honor Society of the four-year universities which recognizes academic excellence of students of criminal justice. Students must exhibit exceptional scholarship and leadership qualities, maintain an overall GPA of 3.2, a 3.2 GPA in "criminal justice" classes, and be in the top 35 percent of their class in order to be conferred as Alpha Phi Sigma members. Alpha Phi Sigma members may wear one of the following: Gold and blue honor cords, a gold sash with blue lettering, or a gold and blue medallion.

For further information contact the Alpha Delta Alpha Chapter advisor:

Tamara Wilkins
Morris Hall 109

Beta Gamma Sigma

This international honor society recognizes the outstanding academic achievements of students enrolled in collegiate business and management programs accredited by AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Membership in the Society is the highest recognition a business student anywhere in the world can receive. Members of the Mankato Chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma wear blue and gold honor cords.

For further information contact the advisor:

Kirsten Rosacker

Delta Sigma Pi

Delta Sigma Pi is a professional fraternity organized to foster the study of business in universities; to encourage scholarship, social activity, and the association of students for their mutual advancement by research and practice; to promote closer affiliation between the commercial world and students of commerce; and to further a higher standard of commercial ethics and culture and the civic and commercial welfare of the community. Members of Delta Sigma Pi, wear the solid gold and purple cords.

For further information contact the advisor:

Queen Booker

Eta Sigma Gamma

This national health honor society strives in promoting the discipline by elevating the standards, ideals, competence and ethics of professionally prepared men and women in Health Education. We support the planning, implementation and evaluation of health education programs and resources as well as stimulating and disseminating scientific research. We also work to motivate and provide health education services around the Minnesota State Mankato community. We recognize academic achievement and support health education advocacy initiatives. Our members promote professional standards and ethics as well as networking activities among health educators and related professionals.  Members of Eta Sigma Gamma wear green and gold cords.

For more information contact the advisor:
Dr. Judith Luebke

Gamma Phi Beta

Gamma Phi Beta is an international undergraduate collegiate sorority for women. The mission of Gamma Phi Beta is to inspire the highest type of womanhood. Gamma Phi Beta’s vision is to build confident women of character who celebrate sisterhood and make a difference in the world around us. As individuals, we all strive to live Gamma Phi Beta’s Core Values of Love, Labor, Learning and Loyalty in our daily lives. Living our Core Values demonstrates to the outside world what it means to be a Gamma Phi Beta. Members of Gamma Phi Beta wear pink and white cords.

For further information contact the advisor.

Gamma Sigma Alpha

Gamma Sigma Alpha National Academic Greek Honor Society is committed to the leadership, academic achievement, and excellence of Greek members everywhere. We see to promote success in all academic achievements among the Greek Community at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Gamma Sigma Alpha members wear red and gold honor cords.

For further information contact the advisor John Bulcock.

Gamma Theta Upsilon

The International Geographical Honor Society was founded in 1928 and became a national organization in 1931. Regular members of GTU have completed a minimum of three geography courses, have a grade point average of at least 3.3 overall and in geography, and have completed at least three semesters of college course work. GTU honor cords (one each of blue, gold, and brown) represent the three domains of geography: brown for the Earth, light blue for the Sea, and gold for the sunlight in the Sky. GTU activities support geography knowledge and awareness.

For further information contact the advisor Don Friend.

Lambda Alpha

Lambda Alpha is the National Collegiate Honor Society for Anthropology. The purpose of this society is to encourage and stimulate scholarship and research in Anthropology by recognizing and honoring superior achievement in the discipline among students, faculty and other persons engaged in the study of Anthropology.

For further information contact the faculty advisor:

Kathryn (“Jay”) Elliott, Ph.D.
336 Trafton Science Center N

Lambda Pi Eta

Lambda Pi Eta is the official communication studies honor society of the National Communication Association (NCA). Founded in 1985, Lambda Pi Eta stands for Logos (logic and reasoning), Pathos (emotion) and Ethos (personal ethics and character). These are the ideals the Lambda Pi Eta upholds. Lambda Pi Eta seeks to:

  • recognize, foster, and reward outstanding scholastic achievement in communication studies
  • stimulate interest in the field of communication
  • promote and encourage professional development among communication majors
  • provide an opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas in the field of communication
  • establish and maintain close relationships and understanding between faculty and students
  • explore options for graduate education in communication studies

Lambda Pi Eta honor graduates wear scarlet and white honor cords as symbols of their commitment to scholarship and their demonstrated leadership in communication studies.

For further information contact the Lambda Pi Eta advisor:

Beth Teigen
Office Coordinator
Communication Studies

National Residence Hall Honorary

Members of the Maverick Chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary wear royal blue and white honor cords. The purpose of this organization shall be to provide recognition for those students living in the residence halls who have shown outstanding service and who have provided important leadership in the advancement of the residence halls.

For further information contact the National Residence Hall Honorary advisor.

Order of Omega

Order of Omega is a Leadership Honor Society that recognizes students that have attained a high standard of leadership in interfraternity activities, and to encourage them to continue along this line, and to inspire others to strive for similar conspicuous attainment; to bring together outstanding fraternity men and women to create an organization which will help mold the sentiment of the institution on questions of local and intercollegiate fraternity affairs. Order of Omega members wear ivory and gold honor cords.

For further information contact John Bulcock.

Phi Alpha (Social Work Honor Society)

The purposes of Phi Alpha are to provide a closer bond among students of social work and promote humanitarian goals and ideals. Phi Alpha fosters high standards of education for social workers and invites into membership those who have attained excellence in scholarship and achievement in social work. Students maintain a minimum 3.3 grade point average for membership in the Eta Alpha Chapter at Minnesota State Mankato and participate in service activities during each semester of membership. Students wear gold honor cords to celebrate their academic accomplishments at graduation.

For further information contact the Phi Alpha advisor Robin Wingo.

Phi Delta Theta

Phi Delta Theta is an undergraduate college fraternity organized with three principle objectives: the cultivation of friendship among its members, the acquisition of knowledge, and the attainment of a high moral standards. The Fraternity teaches men that these areas of commitment are not to be viewed as separate ideals, but as areas of discipline for daily life. Members support one another as they develop their minds, their leadership skills, and their service to the community. Members of Phi Delta Theta wear Azure and Argent cords.

For further information contact the advisor Dr. Tamara Wilkins.

Phi Sigma Pi

Members of the Epsilon Lambda chapter of Phi Sigma Pi, the National co-educational Honor Fraternity, wear purple and yellow stoles. This honor fraternity is for students earning a 3.0 or higher grade point average after the completion of 12 credits. Membership in Phi Sigma Pi is conferred upon several academic majors with the mission to uphold the three values of scholarship, leadership and fellowship.

For further information contact the advisor Kellian Clink.

Phi Upsilon Omicron

Members of Phi Upsilon Omicron, an Honor Society in Family Consumer Science, wear purple, yellow, and white honor cords. Membership in Phi Upsilon Omicron is conferred upon Family Consumer Science majors who exhibit superior scholarship and leadership potential.

For further information contact the Phi Upsilon Omicron advisor Joye Bond.

Pi Delta Phi (National French Honor Society)

Pi Delta Phi was founded as a departmental honor society at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1906. The Mankato chapter, NU ALPHA, was installed on November 9, 2001. This honor society recognizes outstanding scholarship in the French language and its literature, increases the knowledge and appreciation of Americans for the cultural contributions of the French-speaking world, and stimulates and encourages French and francophone cultural activities. Regular members include graduate and undergraduate students who shall be nominated in recognition of their academic achievement in at least one semester or quarter of upper division French, with a minimum GPA of 3.00 in French. Graduate students who are candidates for an advanced degree in French are eligible for regular membership. Dues for regular members are $35.00. Each member receives the official key, a certificate and a card indicating life membership in the organization. Students wear a red, white, and blue honor cord at graduation.

To order a graduation honor cord or for more information about MSU's chapter please contact the advisor Evan Bibbee.

Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honor Society)

Pi Sigma Alpha is the only nationally recognized honorary society for political science students. Its objectives are to promote beyond-the-classroom activities, experiences and social opportunities for students in political science, international relations and publication administration; to recognize and encourage excellence of scholarship in political science and related fields; and to promote student interest in political science and related fields. Membership is open to both undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of major. For undergraduates, membership requires completion of 10 or more semester hours of coursework in political science, including at least one course at the 300 or 400 level. For graduate students, membership requires completion of 9 or more semester hours of graduate level coursework in political science. For all students, an average grade of B or higher (GPA of 3.0 or higher) in political science courses is required.

For further information contact the Pi Sigma Alpha advisor:

Dr. Fred Slocum

Psi Chi (Psychology Honor Society)

Psi Chi, the national honor society in psychology, at Minnesota State, Mankato encourages, stimulates, and maintains excellence in scholarship as it endeavors to advance the science of Psychology. Psi Chi is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and is an affiliate of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Psychological Society (APS). Membership in Psi Chi is open to eligible graduate and undergraduate students for whom psychology is one of their major interests. Students may attend a Psi Chi/ Psychology Club meeting or email for additional information and application materials. To signify their membership in Psi Chi, graduates wear gold cords during commencement.

For further information contact the Advisor:

Dr. Karla Lassonde

Sigma Nu

Sigma Nu is an undergraduate college fraternity with a mission to develop ethical leaders inspired by the principles of Love, Honor and Truth, to foster the personal growth of each man’s mind, heart and character, and to perpetuate lifelong friendships and commitment to the Fraternity. Because of its military heritage, Sigma Nu retains many military trappings in its chapter ranks and traditions, and places much importance on the concept of personal honor. Members of Sigma Nu wear gold, Black, and White cords.

For further information contact the advisor Carly Hopper.

Sigma Tau Delta (International English Honor Society)

Members of the Chi Iota chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society, wear cardinal and black honor cords. Sigma Tau Delta has conferred distinction upon outstanding students of the English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies since 1924.

For further information contact the advisor Candace Black.

Sigma Theta Tau (School of Nursing Honor Society)

Members of the School of Nursing Honor Society Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, (STTI), wear orchid and white honor cords. The mission of STTI is to support the learning, knowledge, and professional development of nurses committed to making a difference in health worldwide. Criteria include high grade point average and class rank, academic integrity, and professional leadership potential.

For further information contact the Mu Lambda Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International advisor Julie Hebenstreit.

Tau Sigma

Tau Sigma National Honor Society is an academic honor society for transfer students who earn at least a 3.5 GPA during their first full-time semester at Minnesota State Mankato.  The mission of Tau Sigma is to "recognize and promote the academic excellence and involvement of transfer students."

For more information contact the advisor, Tana Lamm.