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Honors Programs

Societies, scholarships and research


The University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus offers a wide variety of honors programs and experiences for exceptional students who want to get the most out of their college education—including honor societies, prestigious research, departmental honors, athletic distinctions, scholarships and a university-wide honors program. We encourage you to take advantage of the access to excellence that we provide throughout your college experience.

 
University Honors and Leadership Program 

University Honors and Leadership Program

The University Honors and Leadership (UHL) program—a university-wide undergraduate honors program—allows students of exceptional abilities to unleash their full potential through a unique combination of a traditional academic honors program and an honors program in leadership studies.

 
Academic Athletes 

Academic Athlete Awards

A University of Colorado Denver Academic Athlete is an undergraduate student who attends the Denver Campus and is currently enrolled for 12 or more credit hours, and who has maintained a 4.0 grade point average for the past two semesters (excluding the summer semester) while carrying 12 or more credit hours each semester.

 
Experiential Learning Center 

Experiential Learning Center

Students have the opportunity to work side-by-side with university faculty members on original research projects in laboratories, studios and beyond. Engage in an exciting world of discovery, with creative activities both on and off campus.

 

School/College Honors Programs

 College of Architecture and Planning

As a professionally oriented school, the College of Architecture and Planning provides an atmosphere for study and creative investigation in which the attainment of quality is held in the highest esteem. The College of Architecture and Planning recognizes outstanding student achievement through academic honors such as the Dean's List, Honors at Graduation, Outstanding Graduates and membership in honor societies.

Graduating with Honors

In recognition of high scholarship and professional attainment, the college grants honors at graduation in two categories: honors and special honors. Students achieving a GPA of 3.50 to 3.74 (honors) and 3.75 to 4.00 (special honors) are recognized at commencement. Honors are based on course work completed at the University of Colorado.

Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society, Beta Lambda Chapter

Tau Sigma Delta is the only nationally recognized honor society in architecture, landscape architecture and the allied arts. Membership is granted to the top 20 percent of each graduating class.

Golden Key International Honour Society

The purpose of Golden Key is to recognize college students based on academic achievement and to encourage community service. Members include the top 15 percent of juniors and seniors and graduate students in 350 campuses around the world. Incorporated as a non-profit organization, Golden Key provides opportunities for personal growth and in the development of leadership skills.​​​​​

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 College of Arts and Media

Graduating with Honors

A student can be awarded honors based upon cumulative GPA at the time of graduation. To be eligible for honors, a student must have completed a minimum of 45 semester hours at the University of Colorado (on any CU campus). A cumulative CU GPA of 3.65-3.749 will receive cum laude, 3.75-3.849 magna cum laude and 3.85 and above summa cum laude honors designations on degrees.​

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 Business School

Graduating with Honors

Students who demonstrate superior scholarship are given special recognition at graduation. Students must achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.50-3.649 in all business courses taken at the University of Colorado to be considered for cum laude, achieve a cumulative GPA 3.65 and 3.749 in all business courses taken at the University of Colorado to be considered for magna cum laude and achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.85 or higher in all business courses taken at the University of Colorado to be considered for summa cum laude.

Beta Alpha Psi Honor Society

The professional business and financial information fraternity, Beta Alpha Psi recognizes academic excellence and complements members’ formal education by providing interaction and networking among students, faculty and professionals.

Phi Chi Theta, Gamma Iota Chapter

Phi Chi Theta is the premier national professional co-ed fraternity for students in business and economics. It provides a local and national network to share resources, ideas and concepts, as well as an opportunity to practice leadership skills necessary to succeed in a business community.​

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 School of Dental Medicine

Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Dental Honor Society

Founded in 1914, this society promotes and recognizes scholarship and character among students of dentistry. Members are dental students who have distinguished themselves by excellence in scholarship, while demonstrating exemplary traits of character and potential qualities for future professional growth and attainments.​​​​​​​

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 School of Education and Human Development

Chi Sigma Iota chapter Beta Alpha Omega

Chi Sigma Iota chapter Beta Alpha Omega is the counseling academic professional honor society. To qualify, a student must have completed two semesters or nine credit hours with a 3.5 GPA. The purpose of this group is to promote scholarship, leadership, professionalism and excellence in counseling in the field of mental health. The group provides a forum for students in the CU Denver Counseling Psychology and Counselor Education program to network with others, share common concerns and receive recognition for outstanding academic performance.​​​

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 College of Engineering and Applied Science

Graduating with Honors

In recognition of superior scholarship, academic honors are awarded at the time of graduation based on the cumulative University of Colorado undergraduate GPA, including the final semester of coursework. To be eligible for honors, a CEAS student must have completed a minimum of 60 semester hours at the University of Colorado (on any CU campus). Grades earned at institutions outside of the CU system will not be considered. For Special Honors, a student must have earned a cumulative CU GPA of at least 3.80, and for Honors, a GPA between 3.60 and 3.79 is required. Since grades earned during the semester of graduation are considered, academic honors are notated in the commencement program as “pending” and are officially recorded on the diploma and transcript.

Honor Societies

The college is working to reactivate connections with both Xi Sigma (chemical engineering national honor society) and Tau Beta Pi (national engineering society). For more information, contact the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.​

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 College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences recognizes outstanding achievement through academic honors. Academic Honors can be separated into four distinct categories: college honors, departmental honors, Dean's List and outstanding undergraduate.

College Honors

Students who perform exceptionally well academically in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will qualify for College Honors and will be awarded a bachelor's degree accompanied by the statement "With Distinction." To be eligible for College honors, a student must have completed a minimum of 45 hours at the University of Colorado (at any campus), including the final semester, with a 3.75 GPA. The 45 hours must be completed in the student's junior and senior years. A maximum of six semester hours may be completed with a grade of P (on P/F option) and included in the 45 semester hours.

Departmental Honors

Departments within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offer programs through which students can qualify for Latin Honors: cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude. Determination of the level of honors is made by the major department. Detailed information about specific criteria pertaining to Departmental Honors can be obtained from the individual departments.

Departments within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offer programs through which students can qualify for Latin Honors: cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude. Determination of the level of honors is made by the major department.

Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology

This society works to advance the science of psychology and to encourage, stimulate and maintain scholarship of the individual members in all academic fields, particularly in psychology.

Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta) Biological Honor Society

The society focuses on undergraduate research and provides opportunities for students to both participate in research and present their work. The society's objectives are to promote undergraduate research and scholarship in the biological sciences and to disseminate biological knowledge.

Golden Key International Honour Society

The purpose of Golden Key is to recognize college students based on academic achievement and to encourage community service.​

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 School of Medicine

Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Medical Society

The only national honor medical society, AOA's mission, developed over the past 100 years, has been to recognize and enhance professionalism, academic excellence, service and leadership within the profession. A lifelong honor, membership in the society confers recognition for a physician's dedication to the profession and art of healing. Find information for the university's AOA chapter on Blackboard.

Silver Society Chapter, American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)

Associated with the University of Colorado Child Health Associate/Physician Assistant Program (CHA/PA), the Silver Society chapter of the Student Academy of the AAPA works to build leadership; foster professional development; encourage diversity, student life and community service; and promote the PA profession in the community and throughout the campus. The chapter is involved in a variety of community service projects, campus events and student social activities each year.

Gold Humanism Society (GHHS)

The Gold Humanism Honor Society honors senior medical students, residents, role-model physician teachers and other exemplars recognized for “demonstrated excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion and dedication to service.” Organized to elevate the values of humanism and professionalism within the field of medicine and its constituent institutions, GHHS is fast becoming integrated into the educational environment. Find information for the university's GHHS chapter on Blackboard.

Colorado Rural Health Scholars Program (CoRHSP)

The Colorado Rural Health Scholars Program is a non-profit, residence-based science and medical program primarily designed for rural students interested in careers in the health sciences. Special consideration is given to minority and underprivileged students.​

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 College of Nursing

Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)

The Denver metropolitan-area Alpha Kappa chapter at large members carry out STTI’s mission to support the learning, knowledge and professional development of nurses committed to making a difference in health worldwide. Chapter members honor the nursing profession in countless ways. Undergrads must complete half their program before receiving an invitation. Graduate students must complete 10 credits before receiving an invitation.

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 School of Pharmacy

Rho Chi Society, Alpha Theta Chapter

The Society's vision is to achieve universal recognition of its members as lifelong intellectual leaders in pharmacy. As a community of scholars, the Society will instill the desire to pursue intellectual excellence and critical inquiry to advance the profession. The mission of the Society is to encourage and recognize excellence in intellectual achievement and to foster fellowship among its members. Further, the Society encourages high standards of conduct and character and advocates critical inquiry in all aspects of pharmacy.

Phi Lambda Sigma Pharmacy Leadership Society (PLS), Alpha Xi Chapter

The purpose of PLS is to promote the development of leadership qualities, especially among pharmacy students. By peer recognition, PLS encourages participation in all pharmacy activities. Since membership crosses fraternal and organizational lines, PLS does not compete with other pharmacy organizations.

Phi Lambda Sigma Honors Leadership

Members are selected by peer recognition. No greater honor can be bestowed upon an individual than to be recognized as a leader by one’s peers. Such recognition instills and enhances self-confidence, encourages the less active student to a more active role and promotes greater effort toward the advancement of pharmacy.​

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 School of Public Affairs

Graduating with Honors

Students who perform exceptionally well academically in the School of Public Affairs (SPA) will qualify for SPA Honors and will be awarded a bachelor's degree accompanied by the statement "with distinction." To be eligible for SPA Honors, a student must have completed a minimum of 45 hours at the University of Colorado (at any CU campus), including the final semester, with a 3.75 cumulative GPA. The 45 hours must be completed in the student's junior and senior years. A maximum of six semester hours may be completed with a grade of P (on P/F option) and included in the 45 semester hours.


The School of Public Affairs (SPA) participates with two national honor societies, Pi Alpha Alpha (PAA), National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration and Alpha Phi Sigma, National Criminal Justice Honor Society.


Alpha Phi Sigma, Kappa Xi Chapter

The mission of Alpha Phi Sigma – Kappa Xi is to promote critical thinking, life-long learning and change in the criminal justice system. This group works to motivate members to take part in the advances of scientific research, to evaluate the ethical standards of the criminal justice professions and to sustain in the public mind the benefit and necessity of education and professional training.

For information and questions contact Dr. Sheila Huss (Sheila.Huss@ucdenver.edu)


Pi Alpha Alpha (PAA)

Pi Alpha Alpha (PAA) is the National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration. The purpose of Pi Alpha Alpha is to encourage and recognize outstanding scholarship and accomplishment in public affairs and administration. Its objectives, such as fostering integrity, professionalism, and effective performance, promote the advancement of quality in the education and practice of the art and science of public affairs and administration. PAA membership identifies those with the highest performance levels in educational programs preparing them for public service careers.

For information and questions contact Dawn Savage (Dawn.Savage@ucdenver.edu), Student Services Coordinator


Students who are members of these honor societies may be eligible to wear regalia during commencement. Emails will be sent to graduating members with order information and directions.

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 Colorado School of Public Health

Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health, Alpha Upsilon Chapter

Delta Omega is the honorary society for graduate studies in public health. The society was founded in 1924 at then Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. There are currently 65 chapters throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Each chapter conducts the principal Delta Omega activities. The chapters elect new members each year from four groups:

  1. Students who are candidates for a graduate degree in public health
  2. Faculty members at the school of public health
  3. Alumni actively engaged in public health work
  4. Honorary members possessing exceptional qualifications

Election in all four groups is based on outstanding performance: scholarship in students, teaching and research in faculty members and community service in alumni. Election to membership in Delta Omega is intended not only to recognize merit but also to encourage further excellence in, and devotion to, public health work.​

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