A: Baccalaureate academic honors/gold honors cord
A Buffalo State College academic honors designation is awarded to baccalaureate graduates who achieve a 3.50 or higher cumulative grade point average (GPA) for all work completed at Buffalo State. (Transfer students are required to have residency minimum of 54 hours taken at Buffalo State.) Graduates with cumulative averages of 3.80 to 4.00 are designated summa cum laude; 3.65 to 3.79 magna cum laude; and 3.50 to 3.64, cum laude and such will be recorded on their diplomas and academic transcripts once final grades are calculated. Major program averages alone do not qualify. No degree candidate with missing or incomplete grades, such as I, U, X, or N, may graduate nor be considered for academic honors designation.
To wear the gold honors cord at Commencement in May, degree candidates must meet the following criteria based on their term of graduation or degree candidacy.
►December 2017 graduates: Final cumulative GPA of 3.50 or above, minimum 54 Buffalo State hours completed, no outstanding grades of I, U, X, or N.
►January 2018 graduates: Final cumulative GPA of 3.50 or above, minimum 54 Buffalo State hours completed, no outstanding grades of I, U, X, or N.
► May 2018 degree candidates: Cumulative GPA of 3.50 or above for most recent term completed (December 2017 or January 2018), minimum 54 Buffalo State credit hours completed or in progress through May 2018, no outstanding grades of I, U, X, or N.
► August 2018 degree candidates: Cumulative GPA of 3.50 or above for most recent term completed (December 2017 or January 2018), minimum 54 Buffalo State credit hours completed or in progress through May 2018, no outstanding grades of I, U, X, or N.
Academic Affairs sends congratulatory letters of notification—separate from the Commencement informational mailing—to honors cord-eligible degree candidates at their permanent addresses during spring recess in March. Names will be on the honors eligibility list in the bookstore where qualifying candidates may each purchase one gold honors cord along with their cap, gown, and bachelor's stole. You may purchase a gold honors cord only if your name is on the eligibility list in the bookstore. Qualifying names will be noted in the Commencement program booklet.
Final cumulative GPA, which is calculated once all degree requirements are completed, will be recorded in the official transcript and may be different from that recognized at Commencement for May and August graduates.
See Commencement Honors Regalia Policy for additional information.
Q: I received a letter inviting me to Honors Convocation on April 13, 2017. Does this mean I qualify to wear the gold honors cord at Commencement?
A: Honors Convocation Explained
Honors Convocation is a recognition event held each April to honor Buffalo State undergraduate students who have completed 45 credit hours at Buffalo State (30 for transfer students) and achieved a 3.50 cumulative GPA or higher. This honors event is not exclusive to graduating seniors nor does it guarantee that when a student does graduate he/she will be eligible to wear the gold cord at Commencement.
A: No. High achievement is an expectation rather than the exception.
Buffalo State graduate programs are rigorous, and it is expected that graduate students demonstrate the highest levels of academic achievement. For example, a minimum GPA of 3.0 (B) is required for graduate candidacy and no grade lower than C is acceptable to meet graduate degree requirements.
With the exceptional quality and motivation of students accepted into our graduate programs, high academic achievement is the rule rather than the exception. In fact, the majority of graduate students at Buffalo State achieve GPAs in the A to A+ range, many achieving 4.0. Buffalo State’s policy is consistent with many other graduate schools. Certainly you should feel proud of your achievements, and Buffalo State commends you for your excellence.
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