Graduating with 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 baccalaureate degree.
  2. Must earn a minimum of 30 semester undergraduate credit hours from Minnesota State.
  3. Must have the appropriate minimum cumulative (including transfer credits) grade point average to satisfy honor requirements.
    • Cum Laude: minimum cumulative GPA of 3.4.
    • Magna Cum Laude: minimum cumulative GPA of 3.6.
    • Summa Cum Laude: minimum cumulative GPA of 3.8.

For the purposes of a commencement ceremony, honors designation is based on all work completed at Minnesota State University, Mankato, as well as applicable transfer credits, as of:

  • March 15 for May commencement
  • November 1 for December commencement.

*See total Cum GPA on MSU unofficial transcript, available via eServices


At the time of commencement, a final evaluation of academic records has not been completed. Once final evaluations and the posting of degrees takes place, the official university transcript will reflect the honors designation, based on all work completed as part of the degree.

Honor Medallions are available for purchase from Maverick Shop at Minnesota State Mankato.

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 throughout Minnesota and the nation. Graduating Presidential Scholars are listed in the Commencement program.

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 citizenship skills, such as second language competency and cultural awareness.

Contact 507-389-5191 for more information about the Honors Program.

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, promote intelligent living and a continued high standard of learning, and assist students in recognizing and developing meaningful goals for their unique roles in society. ALD members wear red and gold honor cords.

Contact the Office of New Student & Family Programs at 507-389-5498 for more information.

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 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.

Contact 507-389-2116 (Armstrong Hall 227) for more information.

Alpha Phi Sigma (Criminal Justice Honorary Society)

Alpha Phi Sigma is the only National Criminal Justice Honor Society of the four-year universities that recognizes the 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.

Contact the Alpha Delta Alpha Chapter advisor, Tamara Wilkins, (Morris Hall 109 | 507-389-1118) for more information.

Beta Beta beta

Members of the Pi Psi chapter of Beta Beta Beta, the National Biological Honor Society, wear green and red honor cords and/or gold medallions. Since its founding in 1922, more than 430 Tribeta chapters have been established in the United States. Membership in Tribeta is conferred to faculty and students dedicated to strong scholastic achievement, the understanding of biological study and extending the boundaries of human knowledge.

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.

Contact the advisor, Ann Kuzma, for more information.

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 solid gold and purple cords.

Contact the advisor, Shane Bowyer, for more information.

Education Minnesota

Education Minnesota is a nationally and state-recognized organization founded as a college-wide student organization in 1986. The members of the Education Minnesota Student Program believe that the active participation of students of education in the development of educational policy is essential for a sound education in a democratic society. Any student pursuing a degree or licensure in the teaching profession is eligible to join.

Apply today

Eta Sigma Gamma

This national health honor society strives in promoting 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.

Contact the advisor, Dr. Mary Kramer, (507-389-1422) for more information.

Gamma Sigma Alpha

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

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.

Contact the advisor for more information.

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.

Contact the advisor, John Bulcock, for more information.

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.

Contact the advisor, Don Friend, for more information.

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.

Contact the faculty advisor, Kathryn (“Jay”) Elliott PhD, (336 Trafton Science Center N | 507-389-6590) for more information.

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.

Contact the Lambda Pi Eta advisor, Beth Teigen, (Office Coordinator of Communication Studies | 507-389-2213) for more information.

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.

Contact the National Residence Hall Honorary advisor for more information.

National Student Nurses' association

Members of the National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA) wear royal blue and white honor cords. NSNA student leaders wear honor cords of royal blue, white and gold. The mission of NSNA is to mentor and prepare students for licensure as registered nurses and to convey the standards, ethics and skills that students will need as responsible and accountable leaders and members of the profession.

Northstar stem alliance

The mission of NorthStar STEM Alliance is to help underrepresented students receive a baccalaureate degree in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in a five-year period. The Alliance is a partnership with fourteen higher education institutions and three community partners. The NSSA members wear navy blue and white cords. 

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.

Contact John Bulcock for more information.

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. To become a member of the Phi Alpha Eta Alpha Chapter at Minnesota State Mankato, students must be identified as being in the top 35% of their class based on Grade Point Average. Early in each semester, the Phi Alpha advisor or designee will determine eligibility and invite students to join by email or other communication. Students in this group who choose to join will be provided with information to do so. Phi Alpha members participate in service activities during each semester. Students wear Phi Alpha honor cords to celebrate their academic accomplishments at graduation.

Contact the Phi Alpha advisor, Paul Mackie, for more information.

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.

Contact the advisor, Dr. Tamara Wilkins, for more information.

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.

Contact the Phi Upsilon Omicron advisor, Joye Bond, for more information.

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.

Contact the advisor, Evan Bibbee, to order a graduation honor cord or for more information about Minnesota State University's chapter.

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.

Contact the Pi Sigma Alpha advisor, Dr. Fred Slocum, (507-389-6935) for more information.

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.

Contact the advisor, Dr. Karla Lassonde, (507-389-5827) for more information.

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.

Contact the advisor, Carly Hopper, for more information.

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.

Contact the advisor, Candace Black, for more information.

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.

Contact the Mu Lambda Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International advisor, Julie Hebenstreit, for more information.

Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is a nationally recognized Human Resource association. Membership in SHRM presents commitment and dedication to professional development. Members of the Society for Human Resource Management chapter wear light blue, navy blue, and white.

Contact advisors Joseph Westlin or DeQuindre Spencer for more information.

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."

Contact the advisor, Tana Lamm, for more information.