McDaniel Honors Program
At a college recognized for changing lives, the McDaniel Honors Program challenges students to develop their intellectual potential as leaders for change in their local and global communities. Students with outstanding high school academic records (e.g. G.P.A., standardized test scores, class rank, honors or AP courses, language courses) are invited to apply to the McDaniel Honors Program. In addition, students who demonstrate strong academic performance and leadership in their first year at McDaniel may apply to join the program at the start of their sophomore year. Transfer students are invited on an individual basis. In terms of Program requirements, Honors students complete HON 1200: Honors A to Z and HON 2201: Great Works, in their first year. In subsequent years, students complete four honors modules by taking specially designed Honors seminars, creating an honors-enriched experience by modifying a non-honors course to meet the goals of the Program, or by study abroad. Students work with a faculty mentor to produce a College Scholars Project in their senior year, and present their work to their peers in the Senior Honors Colloquium. Honors students are expected to demonstrate academic excellence throughout their coursework by earning an overall G.P.A. of 3.50 or better by the point of graduation, at which time they are designated as College Scholars and receive this official recognition on their transcripts. Membership in the Honors Program includes privileges such as priority registration, extended library loan, access to a special study space, and suite-style honors housing. Questions regarding the Honors Program should be addressed to the Director of the Honors Program, or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Phi Beta Kappa Society
Phi Beta Kappa was established in 1776 as a philosophical society. Eventually, it evolved into the paramount honor society for the liberal arts in the United States and consists currently of 276 local chapters. Its goal is to support, foster, and recognize the excellence of liberal arts scholarship in the institutions of higher education in America. The Delta of Maryland Chapter at McDaniel College was established in 1980. The chapter consists of members of the society who conduct the business of the society and elect student members, usually in the second semester of their senior year.
The requirements for membership include a major in the arts and sciences, exceptional scholarly achievement, broad cultural interests, and good character. Candidates must present a program including no fewer than 96 credit hours of liberal studies (or at least 3/4 of the courses required for the B.A. degree) and have obtained a minimum grade point average specified by the chapter. Liberal studies shall be considered to be those designed principally for knowledge, understanding, or appreciation of the natural and social world in which we live. Grades earned in applied or professional work may not be counted in computing the liberal arts hours or the grade point average for eligibility.
In considering a candidate’s eligibility, weight will be given to the breadth of the program as shown by the number, balance, and variety of courses (including some at the upper level) taken outside the major. Also, as befits a liberal education, students must have demonstrated college-level knowledge of mathematics and knowledge of a second language or non-native language at the intermediate level. This knowledge is identified by an AP score of 4 or higher in mathematics, placement into Calculus, or completion of a college-level mathematics course (3-4 credits) and by completing or testing above the third semester of second language study. Election to membership in Phi Beta Kappa is wholly within the discretion of the local chapter, subject only to the limitations imposed by the constitution and by-laws of the chapter.
Eligible candidates will have completed at least three full semesters of work at the College and be registered as full time for the fourth semester. Students who complete their college studies at the end of the summer session or before the end of January will be considered for membership during the following spring. Questions may be directed to the president or secretary of the Chapter.
In addition to Phi Beta Kappa, there are numerous other honorary societies on campus. Three societies oriented toward general accomplishment are Omicron Delta Kappa, a national society recognizing leadership qualities; Alpha Lambda Delta, a national honor society for first-year students; and the Trumpeters, a local society honoring senior students dedicated to service. Two societies recognize Greek leadership: Gamma Sigma Alpha and Order of Omega.
National and international honor societies which recognize academic accomplishment in specific fields are Eikon Texnh E’ Ekphrasis (Art History), Beta Beta Beta (Biology), Gamma Sigma Epsilon (Chemistry), Lambda Pi Eta (Communication), Omicron Delta Epsilon (Economics), Kappa Delta Pi (Education), Phi Alpha Theta (History), Phi Sigma Iota (World Languages), Phi Alpha Delta (Pre-Law), Lambda Iota Tau (Literature), Kappa Mu Epsilon (Mathematics), Beta Alpha Chi (Music), Omicron Psi (Nontraditional Students), Phi Sigma Tau (Philosophy), Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics), Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science), Psi Chi (Psychology), Theta Alpha Kappa (Religious Studies, Theology), Pi Gamma Mu (Social Sciences), Phi Alpha (Social Work), Alpha Kappa Delta (Sociology), Lambda Pi Eta (Speech Communication) and Alpha Psi Omega (Theatre Arts).
The Dean’s List recognizes full-time (12 or more letter-graded credit hours) undergraduate students with outstanding academic performances each semester on the following basis:
- Highest honors, requiring a semester grade point average of 3.90 or higher.
- High honors, requiring a semester grade point average of 3.70-3.89.
- Honors, requiring a semester grade point average of 3.50-3.69.
- Students who receive a grade of Incomplete (I) or Not Reported (NR) in any of their courses are not eligible for the Dean’s List for that semester.
The President’s List recognizes full-time (12 or more letter-graded credit hours) undergraduate students who achieve a 4.0 grade point average over the entire academic year (fall/spring).
General Honors at Graduation
General honors citations are recognized at graduation and recorded on the diplomas and on the students’ permanent records. These honors are:
- Summa Cum Laude, for a cumulative grade point average of 3.90 or higher.
- Magna Cum Laude, for a cumulative grade point average of 3.70-3.89.
- Cum Laude, for a cumulative grade point average of 3.50-3.69.
Eligibility for general honors requires a minimum of 64 credit hours at the College or affiliated programs such as overseas programs, the Washington Semester, Gallaudet Visiting Student Program, and courses taken at the Budapest campus.
Departmental Honors at Graduation
Departmental honors are recognized at graduation and are recorded on the students’ permanent records. To receive departmental honors, students must:
- Have a grade point average of 3.50 in all courses taken in the major.
- Satisfy any departmental requirements, such as engaging in a seminar or in independent study, submitting an essay, or passing with distinction a comprehensive examination in the major field.
- Be recommended by the department.
This option is also available to those students with student-designed majors.
Edith Farr Ridington Phi Beta Kappa Writing Award
The Edith Farr Ridington Phi Beta Kappa Writing Award was established by the College’s Phi Beta Kappa Chapter to honor Edith Farr Ridington (Senior Lecturer Emerita, until her death), long-time member of the faculty and charter member and historian of the Delta of Maryland Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. The award goes to the graduating senior whose paper, written in consideration for honors in a major field, is judged to be the best of those submitted by the various departments or programs.
The Argonaut Award, named for the College’s original honor society founded in 1935 and superseded by Phi Beta Kappa in 1980, is given to the graduating senior or seniors with the highest cumulative grade point average in the class. For purposes of this award, the cumulative grade point average will be calculated based upon the student’s entire transcript, using both transfer and the College’s credits.