Graduation with Honors

female Student gradating


The Spring 2023 W.A. Franke Honors Convocation Ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 11 at 1:00 PM in McKale Center.

McKale Map           Digital Program          LIVESTREAM THE CEREMONY

We do not require tickets for this event. You are welcome to invite family and friends! We do ask that you provide an estimated number of guests when you RSVP, for planning purposes. 

In an effort to reduce waste, we will only print three programs per graduate—one for the graduate and two for family or friends. A digital program will be available for those who wish to follow along on their phones. If you or your guests would like additional print copies as keepsakes, we will provide a QR code where you can easily order copies of the program at no cost to you. The programs will be delivered to the address you provide after the ceremony. 

Ceremony Details


  • Free parking is available at the Cherry Street Garage. Surface lots are only available for those with the appropriate permit.


  • Graduates should plan to arrive between 12:00 and 12:45 PM for check-in. Guests can arrive any time after 12:00 PM. The ceremony will begin at 1:00 PM. 
  • Graduates will enter through the media entrance at the northeast ground-level entry of McKale. There will be signage and greeters for guidance. 
  • Guest should plan to enter through Gates A & B to the south, adjacent to the ticket office. Gate C at the Cherry avenue garage bridge will also be open. 
  • Guests can sit anywhere they'd like, aside from the floor. Wheelchair accessible seating can be found on the main/middle concourse or upper concourse in the ADA bays. 


    The University of Arizona 2023 convocation ceremonies celebrated in McKale Center will enforce game-day rules at all guest entrances including enforcing the clear bag policy and using metal detectors for screening. All guests must abide by the University’s clear bag policy for entry into the arena. No large bags, backpacks, or parcels will be permitted. All in-hand items must be placed in the appropriate and approved clear bag. Please see the link below for more information or visit the UABookStores website to purchase one today!


  • Cameras, drinks, small food items, and flowers will be permitted. Helium balloons, tortillas, and confetti are not allowed. 


  • Graduates will have the opportunity to have their photo taken by Grad Images after they cross the stage. Grad Images is a third-party vendor, and students will have the option to purchase photos directly from them if they would like. 
  • The Franke Honors College will be taking general pictures throughout the ceremony, but will not be taking and sending individual photos of every graduate. 
  • If you would like a discount on your Grad Images photos, you can register here


For questions regarding graduation requirements and thesis submission, contact your Franke Honors Advisor

For questions regarding the May 11 event at McKale Center, contact Megan Noli

For information regarding University of Arizona Commencement, click here


Information for Graduating Seniors

Honors Medallions

Graduates receive the distinguished Franke Honors College medallion at the ceremony.

Students must satisfy the following requirements for Graduation with Honors:
  1. Minimum graduating GPA of 3.4. 

  1. Completion of a minimum Honors Unit Requirement (specified on the Advisement Report) including 6 units of Honors Thesis (or equivalent such as Engineering Senior Design).  

  1. Submission of the Honors Thesis (or Senior Design Project), approved by the Thesis Faculty Advisor, to the Franke Honors College. 

Degree Audit Process  

You will be invited to “Apply to Graduate” when you complete 90 total units (Senior Standing). You can find information about applying for graduation in UAccess Student Center under “To Do List”. 

After Applying to Graduate, you will contact your Major Advisor to begin the Degree Audit Process. Please note that the W.A Franke Honors College no longer signs the Degree Audit Worksheet. Instead, your Franke Honors Advisor will reach out to you to confirm your status by email. If you have questions, please make an appointment with or email your advisor. 

Your thesis should be saved as a single pdf document that will include the following components:

  1. Thesis Title Page. Please refer to our sample title here: Sample Title Page for detailed formatting instructions. Follow the guidelines very carefully - THIS FORMAT IS REQUIRED when submitting your title page. The body of your thesis can be in any format you choose. No signatures should appear on your title page. Your Thesis Faculty Mentor will approve it through Qualtrics.
  2. An Abstract of roughly 200 words.
  3. Thesis paper/final report
  4. If your thesis was a group project, (i.e. Engineering Senior Design Projects) please include a list of group members and a summary of each group member's contribution to the project as a whole.
  5. If your thesis is of an artistic/creative nature, please include an artist's statement to accompany the final project.
  6. Submit your Honors Thesis to the Franke Honors College through this LINK

When you submit your Honors Thesis you will have the option to release your work to the UA Campus Repository for public reference, please check it out. Your Honors Thesis Faculty Mentor will have to approve this release, so please discuss this option with them prior to submission.

Your Honors Thesis Faculty Mentor will be asked, by email, to approve your Honors Thesis submission, so please allow them plenty of time to read your work and suggest revisions or edits.

If you plan to graduate in Spring 2023 your Honors Thesis is due by 11:59 PM on Wed, April 26, 2023. If you plan to graduate in Summer 2023 your Honors Thesis is due by 11:59 on Wed, Aug 9, 2023. Either way you will be included in the Spring 23 Convocation Ceremonies.


August candidates will be listed in the Commencement Program for the preceding May. December candidates, whose degrees have been awarded, will be listed in the following Spring Commencement Program. Students should visit the eligibility site or contact their major advisor with questions about graduation eligibility. 

Graduation regalia can be purchased through the UA Bookstore. Cap and Gown will be required for ceremony attendance. Other graduation regalia such as Stoles and Cords are optional. Students should contact their academic college’s Dean’s Office for more information about Honors Cords. They are not provided by the Franke Honors College. 

Franke Honors students will receive their medallion at the W.A. Franke Honors College convocation ceremony. If a student is unable to attend the ceremony there will be set times to come to the Franke Honors College to pick up the medallion. Set days and times TBD.

If you are taking graduation photos and would like to borrow an Honors Medallion for your photo session, please reach out to Ms. Sarah Minson, the Honors Village Building Coordinator, at

Spring 2023 GradFest at the UA Bookstore. Students can get their commencement regalia, diploma frames, announcements, etc. to celebrate this milestone in their academic journey.

Honors Students will be invited to participate in at least three ceremonies. In addition, various cultural centers on campus may have their own graduation celebrations.  

  1. The University Commencement Ceremony  

  1. Their Academic College Convocation Ceremony

  1. The W.A. Franke Honors College Convocation Ceremony.  

Students graduating with Honors will receive an email asking them to RSVP for the W.A. Franke Honors College Spring 2023 Convocation Ceremony, taking place  5/11/23, at 1:00 pm in McKale Center. If you have not received the RSVP email by 3/24/23, please contact

Students will be asked to RSVP and provide some information to personalize the ceremony. Each graduate will help build a slide that will appear on screen as they cross the stage at Convocation. Students will be asked to provide the following:  

1. A picture or headshot of themselves (not a group shot) to be included in the Convocation Ceremony presentation. Below are the photo requirements:

  • Please provide the largest image size possible. These images will be cropped to a 4:4 aspect ratio. 
  • Images should be at least 150-300 DPI (Dots Per Inch). 
  • For image editing and resizing, please use either Adobe Photoshop, Pixlr or PicMonkey. 
  • The images will be displayed on a large screen during Convocation. If they are not high resolution files, they will appear pixelated. 
  • Candid shots are acceptable but pictures of you looking at the camera are preferred. 
  • If you choose not to provide a picture, a generic image will appear with your name on it as you walk across the stage of the Honors Convocation. 
  • For assistance with your photo, please contact Joel Harris at

2. The title of their Franke Honors Thesis

3. Special “Thank You” message to family, friends and/or UArizona faculty or staff

4. Post-graduation plans and other information for Franke Honors College informational purposes. 
(This information will not appear during the ceremony)

Each Franke Honors Graduate will be awarded their Honors Medallion at the W.A. Franke Honors College Convocation Ceremony. In addition, there are several other W.A. Franke Honors College Awards that will be distributed at the Convocation Ceremony. If a student cannot attend the ceremony, their medallion and any other awards can be picked up afterward at the Honors Village. Info TBA 

Honors Achievements
  • The Silver Award is presented to Franke Honors Graduates who maintains a 4.0 GPA through graduation.
  • The da Vinci Award is presented to Franke Honors Graduates who graduate with honors in more than one discipline by completing two or more Honors Thesis Projects. 

Nominated Awards

Franke Honors Faculty & staff nominated awards

  • The Outstanding Senior Award - The outstanding senior embodies a spirit of inquiry and discovery, has pursued their passion with a deeper sense of wonder and purpose, and has excelled in their academic pursuits. Awardees are nominated by Honors thesis advisors, faculty, or staff. 
  • The Outstanding Transfer Student Award - The outstanding transfer student embodies a spirit of inquiry and discovery, has pursued their passion with a deeper sense of wonder and purpose, and has excelled in their academic pursuits. They have transferred to the W.A. Franke Honors College from a two-year institution. Awardees are nominated by Honors thesis advisors, faculty, or staff. 
  • The Dean’s Award of Excellence - The recipient of the Deans Award for Excellence has achieved academic and personal success after overcoming significant obstacles in their life. Awardees are nominated by Honors thesis advisors, faculty, or staff. 

Self Nominated Award
  • The W.A. Franke Honors Thesis Ethical Reasoning Award - This Award was created to promote the inclusion of ethics related to students’ honors thesis projects. The goal is to stimulate students to consider and contextualize the role that ethics and ethical reasoning plays in their area of study. Ultimately, we hope that students are encouraged to engage with a diversity of ethical perspectives while gaining greater insight into their own views, values, and beliefs in a culturally thoughtful way. Students submit a self-nomination online TBD. Incomplete entries will not be considered.
  • $750 will be awarded to three students graduating in the spring or summer semesters and one student graduating in fall semester commencement.

Eligibility and Requirements

  • Graduating in the award term (i.e., spring and summer graduate applying for the spring award, fall graduate applying for the fall award)
  • Submit an original 500-word maximum Award Application Statement detailing:
    • Brief plain language summary of the thesis (no more than 100 words)
    • The incorporation of ethics and ethical reasoning in the thesis
    • Explanation as to why the thesis should be considered for this award as it pertains to the student’s field of study
  • Letter of support (PDF format) from an Honors Faculty Member or their Honors Thesis Advisor
  • All participants must agree to the posting of their name to the University of Arizona website if declared one of the winners
Evaluation of submissions will be based on the following criteria:

Clear Identification of the Topic and the Role of Ethics: The student clearly describes their topic and how ethics was incorporated into their thesis in a way that is understandable to non-experts.

Discussion of Ethical Reasoning: The student should discuss how their thesis fits into ethical frameworks and current conversations surrounding ethics within their field of study (e.g., the consideration of underrepresented stakeholders and voices).

Overall: All guidelines were followed and completed in a well-organized and well-written application that clearly presented the student’s thesis and their meaningful consideration of ethics therein.


Three categories are awarded for superior scholarship in work leading to the bachelor's degree. This honor, based upon graduation grade-point-average, becomes part of the official record, is awarded upon graduation and appears on the 
transcript  and diploma of the recipient. 

  1. Summa Cum Laude — is awarded to candidates whose grade-point-average is 3.900 or higher. 

  1. Magna Cum Laude — is awarded to candidates whose grade-point-average is 3.700-3.899. 

  1. Cum Laude — is awarded to candidates whose grade-point-average is 3.5000-3.699. 

To be eligible for distinction at graduation, bachelor's degree candidates must have completed at least 45 graded units with letter grades that carry the required grade-point-average. Also, in computing the above grade-point-averages, only  University Credit  is considered. Honors College participation is not required for this type of distinction. This policy applies to all students graduating in December 1998 or later. 

This special event on April 18th, 2023 from 1:00 - 3:00 pm in the Bear Down Gym highlights Honors Student Research, particularly the Thesis work of our Honors Graduating Seniors and the work of Quest Project participants. As a Graduating Senior, you can participate in two ways: by video and/or with a poster. Cash prizes will be awarded for outstanding submissions. To participate, submit a presenter registration form by 11:59pm on Tuesday, April 4th, 2023.