Graduation with Honors

A Franke Honors graduate crosses the stage at McKale Center


No matter your path to the stage, graduation with Honors from the University of Arizona is a remarkable achievement. It represents the completion of a highly successful and academically rigorous undergraduate career, but it also represents something more—a sustainable and cultivated perspective fueled by our values. We seek. We connect. We create. We evolve. And, especially on this day, WE CELEBRATE!

Graduation Ceremony Details


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. 
  2. 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).  
  3. Submission of the Honors Thesis (or Senior Design Project), approved by the Thesis Faculty Advisor, to the Franke Honors College. 
  4. Completion of at least one Franke Honors Seminar. 

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. 

Wondering what goes into the thesis submission requirements? View the Submitting Your Thesis webpage for more details.  

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, you can do so at the Franke Honors College front desk, in the Honors Village. 

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  
  2. Their Academic College Convocation Ceremony
  3. The W.A. Franke Honors College Convocation 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. 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

Deadline for the Ethical Reasoning Award self nominations will be Friday, April 12 at 11:59 PM.  

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. 
  2. Magna Cum Laude — is awarded to candidates whose grade-point-average is 3.700-3.899. 
  3. 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 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. 

Franke Honors Pinnacle | April 24| Bear Down Gym | 1:00 - 3:00 PM