The process for Departmental Distinction eligibility review begins when the College of LAS sends the Department a list of students whose overall GPA is greater than 3.25 which occurs in the latter part of the Fall and Spring semesters.


In order to achieve distinction, high distinction, or highest distinction, a sociology major must meet the following requirements:

  • Have completed SOC 495 or 490*
    *SOC 490 is allowed if taken during a semester that SOC 495 is not offered AND if approved by the department.


  • Attain a UIUC GPA of 3.25 or higher

If both of these requirements are met, then the MAJOR GPA distributes as follows:

  • 3.25 - Distinction
  • 3.50 - High Distinction
  • 3.75 - Highest Distinction

Enrollment in Sociology 495 is restricted to juniors and seniors who have permission from the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Keep in mind that Sociology 495 is usually offered only in Spring semesters. Sociology 490 is an Advanced Independent Study course, which requires permission from the Director of Undergraduate Studies as well as coordination with a faculty member.

Departmental Distinction is represented on your transcript and diploma.


To be eligible to graduate with LAS College Honors, you must do one of the following:

  • Graduate with departmental distinction.
  • Complete 25 hours of honors courses (see the Timetable).
  • Earn 35 hours of advanced course work (see LAS Student Handbook).

About LAS Honors

Admission to LAS Honors

Information for James Scholars

Honors Credit Learning Agreement Guidelines

To actually receive college honors, you must graduate within the top 12% of your class. The three levels of college honors, and approximate GPAs needed are:

Summa cum laude Top 3% of graduating class 3.97
Magna cum laude Top 7% of graduating class 3.93
Cum laude Top 12% of graduating class 3.86


Campus Honors Program