Deans' Honors Lists

According to Davis campus regulations, the quarterly Dean's Honors List includes names of students who have completed, for a letter grade, a minimum of 12 graded units in a specific quarter with a grade point average equal to or higher than the minimum grade point average attained by the upper 16 percent of those registered in the same class level and college during that quarter. Honors lists will be posted quarterly outside deans' offices or on the dean's office Web sites and a notation of these honors will be placed on each student's permanent record by the Office of the University Registrar.

Graduation Honors

Honors at graduation are awarded to students who have a grade point average in the top percent of their college as shown in the table below. The College of Letters and Science requires that additional criteria be met for high and highest honors; see the table below.

Total QuarterUnits at UC
next 2%
next 4%
next 3%
next 6%
next 4%
next 8%

Grade point averages from the winter quarter prior to graduation are used to determine the averages that will earn an honors designation. Following are the averages for winter quarter 2006. These averages will be used through winter 2007.

Grade Point Average by College

Percent Determining Cut-off Point
Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences
Letters and Science

An honors notation is made on students’ diplomas and on their permanent records in the Office of the University Registrar.

College of Letters and Science. Graduation with “honors” requires that a student meet the appropriate grade point requirement described in the above table for all UC courses completed. Students who meet the grade point requirement for graduation with honors, and who complete the Honors Program of the College of Letters and Science, may be recommended by their departments for graduation with high honors or highest honors on the basis of an evaluation of their academic achievements in the major and in the honors project in particular. A notation shall appear on the student’s official transcript indicating that the 194H Honors Thesis was completed. Graduating students will not be awarded honors with the bachelor’s degree if more than eight units of grade I (Incomplete) appear on their transcripts. The College Committee on Honors may consider exceptions to this condition. Petitions for this purpose should be submitted to the deans' office.

The Honors Program of the College of Letters and Science

The Honors Program in the College of Letters and Science permits students to pursue a program of study in their major at a level significantly beyond that defined by the normal curriculum. It represents an opportunity for the qualified student to experience aspects of the major that are representative of advanced study in the field. Successful completion of the College Honors Program is a necessary prerequisite to consideration for the awarding of high or highest honors at graduation.

Entrance into the honors program requires that a student have completed at least 135 units with a minimum grade point average of 3.500 in courses counted toward the major. Other prerequisites for entrance into the program are defined by the major. The program consists of a project whose specific nature is determined by consultation with the student’s major adviser. It may involve completion of a research project, a scholarly paper, a senior thesis, or some comparable assignment depending on the major. The project will have a minimum duration of two quarters and will be noted on the student’s record by a variable unit course number or special honors course designation. Successful completion of the honors program requires that a minimum of six units of credit be earned in course work for the project.

Davis Honors Challenge

(530) 752-2335;

The Davis Honors Challenge (DHC) is a campuswide program for highly motivated students who are interested in enhancing their education through special courses, closer contact with faculty and dynamic interaction with academic peers.

DHC courses are limited in size so that participants receive substantial individual attention from faculty. In return, students are expected to participate actively in analyzing real world problems. Honors courses and small honors sections of regular courses also encourage individual student participation and self-challenge. Students satisfactorily completing the program will receive transcript notation for each academic year of participation.

First- and second-year students take two honors courses and one problem-oriented interdisciplinary seminar per academic year. Second year students have the option to substitute an honors contract for an honors course. Third-year students are required to complete two honors contracts and one upper division honors seminar, a team-based project in conjunction with an outside interested party. Fourth-year students participate in a year-long team project to identify real world problems, apply research, critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills to develop viable solutions for their outside party.

Other components of the DHC include honors living learning communities, a mentorship program and a service learning program. Each of these programs is designed to enhance students' college experience.

Entering first-year students who file a “Statement of Intent to Register” at UC Davis will be mailed detailed information about the DHC application process. Continuing students may obtain information and an application from the DHC Office after the start of spring quarter. Integrated Studies Honors Program

(530) 752-9760

The Integrated Studies Honors Program is a campuswide, invitational, first-year residential honors program, now in its fourth decade. The Integrated Studies Honors Program offers specially designed, interdisciplinary honors courses that satisfy General Education requirements. Approximately 110 students live in an Academic Residential Community on campus and take three limited-enrollment honors courses (open only to Integrated Studies Honors Program students) and two seminars.

Holders of Regents Scholarships, the university's most prestigious scholarship awards, are guaranteed places in the Integrated Studies Honors Program. Other highly qualified students are also invited to participate and are selected to create a balanced community of students from all four undergraduate colleges.

Prizes and Awards

The University Medal is the highest campus honor awarded to a graduating senior in recognition of superior scholarship and achievement. A College or School Medal is also given to the outstanding graduating student in each of the colleges and professional schools.

Departmental citations, special awards and prizes are also awarded to students for superior achievement and scholarship.

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Each year, the outstanding graduating senior in the College is awarded a silver medal, known as the “Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Medal.” Scholastic excellence (in a minimum of six quarters at UC Davis) is the primary basis for choosing the recipient. The Mary Regan Meyer Prize is awarded to an outstanding graduate who has demonstrated expertise and an interest in serving humanity. The Charles E. Hess Award is awarded to the graduate with the most noteworthy record of public/community service while at UC Davis. The Kinsella Memorial Prize, in honor of John E. Kinsella, is awarded annually to an outstanding individual who submits his or her Ph.D. dissertation during the spring, fall or winter quarter immediately preceding the due date for nomination.

College of Biological Sciences. Each year the College Medal is awarded to one outstanding graduating senior. Academic excellence is the primary basis for selecting medal nominees. For additional information regarding college awards, please contact the Dean's Office.

College of Engineering. Each year, outstanding senior students in engineering are selected by their grade point averages as nominees for the M.S. Ghausi Medal. Academic excellence is the primary basis for selecting the recipient of the award. The Zuhair Munir Award is given to the student who has submitted the year's best engineering doctoral dissertation. Established in 1999, the award honors former Dean of the College, Zuhair Munir, who led the UC Davis College of Engineering from 2000 to 2002 and acted as its Associate Dean for Graduate Studies for 20 years. More than 25 faculty, staff and friends of the College of Engineering contribute to this endowed fund.

College of Letters and Science. Graduating seniors with a distinguished academic record may be recommended by the faculty as nominees for the College’s Herbert A. Young Medal. Each June, one medalist is selected from among the graduates of the current academic year. The Leon H. Mayhew Award is conferred upon the outstanding graduate majoring in the arts or humanities, preferably music, art, or literature. Academic excellence is the primary basis for selecting the recipients of these awards. The Lawrence J. Andrews prize is awarded to a student entering the senior year who not only has achieved academic excellence but who also has demonstrated interests outside of pure scholarship. Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research

This award recognizes students who have distinguished themselves through their excellence in and contribution to undergraduate research and encourages others to become involved in these types of efforts. Recipients of the award receive a certificate of commendation and inscribed plaque from the Chancellor of the university.

In conjunction with the Chancellor's Award, Professor Dean Simonton of UC Davis' Department of Psychology established an endowment for funding a cash prize for each year's student recipient. A research award is also given to a faculty mentor along with a certificate of commendations.

Also there are five Student Recognition Awards given out for students that display outstanding leadership and service to the University and community at large.

Honorary Societies

Election to an honorary society is one of the most prestigious awards a student can receive. At UC Davis, the following honorary societies are represented:

Alpha Kappa Delta (Sociology) Alpha Omega Alpha (Medicine) Alpha Zeta (College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences) Delta Phi Alpha (German) Gamma Sigma Delta (College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; College of Biological Sciences) Golden Key (All colleges and schools) Kappa Omicron Nu (Family and Consumer Sciences) The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (All colleges and schools) Omicron Delta Epsilon (Economics) Order of Omega (Fraternities–Sororities) Order of the Coif (Law) Phi Alpha Theta (History) Phi Beta Kappa (College of Letters and Science) Phi Kappa Phi (All colleges and schools) Phi Sigma (Biological Sciences) Phi Zeta (Veterinary Medicine) Pi Delta Phi (French) Pi Mu Epsilon (Mathematics) Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science) Prytanean Honor Society (All colleges—undergraduate women only) Psi Chi (Psychology) Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics) Sigma Xi (All colleges and schools—research) Tau Beta Pi (Engineering)