Honors and Awards

Academic Honors

Departmental Honors

Many departments at the University of Oregon offer a bachelor’s degree with honors in the academic major. Students may graduate with honors in the following majors:

College of Arts and Sciences—anthropology; biochemistry; biology; chemistry; Chinese; cinema studies; classics; comparative literature; computer and information science; earth sciences; economics; English; environmental science; environmental studies; ethnic studies; French; general science; general social science; geography; German; history; humanities; human physiology, international studies; Italian; Japanese; linguistics; marine biology; mathematics; medieval studies; philosophy; physics; political science; psychology; religious studies; Romance languages; Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies; sociology; Spanish; theater arts; women's, gender, and sexuality studies.

Charles H. Lundquist College of Business—accounting; business administration.

College of Design—art history; planning, public policy and management.

School of Journalism and Communication—journalism: advertising; journalism: media studies; journalism: public relations.

Specific requirements of departmental honors programs are listed in the departmental sections in this catalog.

Honors Lists

Dean’s List

The Dean’s List is announced after each fall, winter, and spring term. To qualify, a student must be an admitted undergraduate, complete at least 12 credits taken for a letter grade during the term, and have a term GPA of 3.75 or better. Credits deducted do not count toward the minimum number of credits. Grade changes recorded through the second week of the subsequent term resulting in a change to the term GPA may affect the Dean's List notation (removal or addition).

Junior Scholars

The 100 undergraduates with 90 to 134 credits, the last 45 taken at the UO, and the highest GPAs are named junior scholars by the Mortar Board senior honor society during winter term.

Latin Honors

Graduating seniors who have earned at least 90 credits in residence at the University of Oregon and have successfully completed all other university degree requirements are eligible for graduation with Latin honors. These distinctions are based on students’ cumulative GPA levels for each academic year, determined by rounding the previous five-year running average to the first decimal point. Postbaccalaureate students are not eligible for Latin honors. The Office of the Registrar computes Latin honors upon graduation.

Honor Societies

One means of recognizing outstanding students at the University of Oregon is through election to membership in a chapter of a local, national, or international honor society. Criteria for membership and the scope of activities vary. Some focus on scholastic achievement; others consider grades and other factors such as community service and leadership. Some honor societies select members by invitation only; for others, students must submit applications.

Initiation Fees

Many honor societies charge initiation fees. The Olwen William Harris Endowment Fund has been established to help students who cannot afford to pay initiation fees. To receive money from this fund, students must complete a request form, available from the Office of the Dean of Students. An advisory committee reviews all requests and dispenses the awards.

Honoraries Based on Scholarship

(membership by invitation)

Golden Key

Golden Key national honor society recognizes scholastic achievement in undergraduate fields of study. Eligibility is limited to the top 15 percent of juniors and seniors. Students must have a 3.70 GPA and a minimum of 45 credits at the university to be invited. A membership reception is held in the spring, and two scholarships are awarded annually to outstanding junior and senior initiates. Initiation fee: $95.

Phi Beta Kappa Society

Kevin Hatfield, President

Founded in 1776, the Phi Beta Kappa Society is the oldest and most prestigious honor society in the nation. The UO has the only Phi Beta Kappa chapter in the Oregon University System.

The society honors students whose undergraduate academic records fulfill the objectives of a liberal arts education. Selection for Phi Beta Kappa is not automatic, but students do not have to apply or be nominated for consideration.

After screening academic records, a committee of Phi Beta Kappa members makes recommendations to the membership at large. Following an election meeting in late May, elected students are invited to join. Also elected are the Oregon Six—six students voted the most outstanding of those elected to membership that year. Students who accept the invitation to join are initiated before spring commencement. Initiation fee: $85.

Criteria for membership are listed on the Phi Beta Kappa website. Students are typically invited to join the society shortly before they graduate.

Honoraries Based on Scholarship, Leadership, and Service

(membership by invitation and application)


Established in 1910, Friars is the oldest honorary on campus. Membership is composed of faculty members and of students who have completed at least three years of study. Criteria are contributions to the university, potential for community leadership, and commitment to the university as alumni. No application is required. Prospective members are nominated by the active membership. New members are selected each spring.

Mortar Board

A national honor society for seniors, Mortar Board emphasizes excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, and service. To be eligible for membership, students must have at least a 3.00 GPA, must be a full-time student at the University of Oregon, and must have attained junior academic standing as of fall term. Selection and initiation of qualified candidates takes place spring term. Fee: $90.

Professional Organizations

Alpha Kappa Delta

C. J. Pascoe, Advisor

An international sociological honor society, Alpha Kappa Delta is open to juniors and seniors who meet the following criteria: a cumulative GPA of at least 3.30, a cumulative GPA in UO sociology courses of at least 3.00, and completion of at least five sociology courses at the University of Oregon, at least four of which must be graded. Members investigate sociological issues and problems through social and intellectual activities that lead to improvement of the human condition. Initiation fee: $55.

Alpha Kappa Psi

Chuck Kalnbach, Advisor

Alpha Kappa Psi is a national, professional fraternity for majors and minors in business, computer and information science, and economics. Founded to enhance the business education of men and women, the organization’s mission is to develop well-trained, ethical, skilled, resourceful, and experienced business leaders. To achieve this, each chapter supplements the traditional classroom experience with business field trips, seminars, career activities, research surveys, and other professional events. A cumulative GPA of at least 3.00 is required for membership. Alpha Kappa Psi stands for the highest ideals of conduct and achievement in university and professional life. Initiation fee: $100.


Megan Weiler, Advisor

Asklepiads is for students interested in careers in the health sciences. Activities include dispensing prehealth sciences literature, maintaining information files on medical schools, supervising preceptorships in health fields, and arranging tours of the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. Information and applications are available on OrgSync.

Beta Alpha Psi

Shannon Dolan, Advisor

Beta Alpha Psi is a national scholastic and professional accounting and finance fraternity. Its primary objectives are to encourage and recognize scholastic and professional excellence in the field, to provide members with opportunities for self-development and association with practicing accountants and finance professionals, and to encourage in members a sense of ethical, social, and public responsibility. A cumulative GPA of at least 3.00, with a 3.00 in the upper-division accounting and finance courses, is required for membership. Additional requirements include 10 volunteer hours and 10 professional hours. Initiation fee: $100.

Beta Gamma Sigma

Jonathan Moulton, Advisor

Beta Gamma Sigma, a national scholastic honor society in business administration, promotes the advancement of education in the art and science of business and fosters integrity in the conduct of business operations. To be eligible for membership, a student must rank in the top 10 percent of the junior class, the top 10 percent of the senior class, or the top 20 percent of a master’s degree program, or be a graduating doctoral candidate. Membership is by invitation only. Selection is by a faculty committee. Beta Gamma Sigma is strictly an honorary organization with no formal meetings other than the social functions accompanying initiation. Initiation fee: $75.

Delta Phi Alpha

Chartered in 1936, Delta Phi Alpha is a national honor society dedicated to promoting the study of German language, literature, and civilization; to furthering an interest in and a better understanding of German-speaking people; and to fostering a sympathetic appreciation of German culture.

Membership is open to graduate and undergraduate students who have completed two years of college German. Students must have an overall GPA of 2.70 and a GPA of 3.30 in their upper-division German courses. Initiation fee: $25.

Kappa Kappa Psi

Kappa Kappa Psi is an honorary band fraternity, a brotherhood dedicated to the betterment of bands and ensembles at the University of Oregon. The fraternity provides service around the School of Music and Dance, the campus, and the community, and honors high-quality musicians and students with membership. Initiation fee: $110. Active dues: $100 per year.

Kappa Tau Alpha

Kappa Tau Alpha is a national honor society that recognizes and encourages high scholastic and professional standards among journalism majors. Membership is by invitation to undergraduate and graduate students in the top 10 percent of their classes. Faculty members in the School of Journalism and Communication select new members. Initiation fee: $30.

Mathematics Association of America

The student chapter of the Mathematics Association of America sponsors films and talks on subjects that are not usually encountered in the classroom. The talks, by students and faculty members, are geared to undergraduates. Students are welcome to attend events regardless of whether they choose to join the chapter.

Mu Phi Epsilon

An international music fraternity, Mu Phi Epsilon members gain experience in public performances. Music majors who have reached second-term freshman standing in the music-major curriculum are eligible for election on the basis of scholarship, musicianship, character, and personality. Activities include presenting musical programs on and off campus, organizing receptions at musical events, and hosting guest artists. Initiation fee: $43.

Order of the Coif

Margaret L. Paris, Advisor

Chartered at the UO in 1934, Order of the Coif is a national law school honor society that recognizes superior scholarship and promotes the ethical standards of the legal profession. The School of Law faculty selects members from the top 10 percent of each graduating class. Initiation fee: $25.

Phi Beta


Phi Beta is a professional fraternity for students of music, speech, drama, dance, or art. It aims to encourage high professional standards and support for the creative and performing arts. Membership criteria are based on scholarship and intellectual achievement, career development, and the use of students’ talents to serve other students, schools, and communities. Initiation fee: $25.

Pi Alpha Alpha

Pi Alpha Alpha, a national honor society, promotes scholarship and recognition among students and professionals in public affairs and administration and fosters integrity and creative performance in government and related public service. To become members, past or present students or teachers must display high academic achievement or outstanding public service in public-affairs or public-administration programs of universities that belong to the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. Initiation fee: $30.

Psi Chi

The purpose of the national Psi Chi society is to encourage, stimulate, and maintain scholarship among psychology undergraduate and graduate students. Potential members must be in the top 35 percent of their class and have at least 12 credits in psychology. A 3.00 GPA is required of graduate students. Selection by application takes place throughout the year. Initiation fee: $35.

Sigma Tau Delta

Corbett Upton, Advisor

Sigma Tau Delta is the international English honor society, an organization that confers distinction for high achievement in English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies. Sigma Tau Delta also recognizes the accomplishments of professional writers who have contributed to the fields of language and literature. A member of the Association of College Honor Societies, Sigma Tau Delta began in 1924 at Dakota Wesleyan University. There are more than 800 active chapters located in the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Middle East. To be eligible to apply, students must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.25 and a minimum English GPA of 3.50, and have completed at least three semesters or five terms of college course work and four English courses by the spring term. Initiation fee: $45.

Upsilon Pi Epsilon

Michal Young, Advisor

Upsilon Pi Epsilon is the only existing honors society in the computing and information disciplines. Its mission is to recognize academic excellence at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Criteria for membership are available from the advisor. Initiation fee: $15.

Service Organizations

Alpha Phi Omega


A service honorary organization for undergraduate and graduate students, Alpha Phi Omega develops leadership skills and promotes friendship by serving the local community. Applications are accepted year-round in Suite 4 of the EMU. Initiation fee: $15.

Awards and Prizes

Individual and Organization Awards

Listed are major university awards presented during Family Weekend in May. Selection criteria are available from the honors and awards coordinator in the Office of the Dean of Students.

  • American Association of University Women Senior Recognition Award (senior woman)
  • Arts and Advocacy in the Lesbian Community Award (art or music student)
  • Bess Templeton Cristman Award (junior woman)
  • Burt Brown Barker Vice Presidential Cups (men’s and women’s living organizations)
  • Centurion Awards (undergraduate and graduate students)
  • Robert and Opal Clark Scholarship (any student)
  • Dean’s Award for Service (senior)
  • Doyle Higdon Memorial Trophy (sophomore student-athlete)
  • Ella Travis Edmundson and Mercy Travis Davis Scholarship (sophomore, junior, and senior women)
  • Emerald Athletic Award (senior student-athlete)
  • Friendship Foundation Awards (international student)
  • Frohnmayer Award (fifth-year senior)
  • John Moore Scholarship (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trangender concerns)
  • Gerlinger Cup (junior woman)
  • Gherty-Moore Nontraditional Student Scholarship
  • Golda Parker Wickham Scholarship (any student)
  • Graduate Service Awards (master’s or doctoral students)
  • R. J. Hoyman Scholarship (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender concerns)
  • International Student Awards (any student)
  • Jackson Athletic Trophy (senior woman athlete)
  • Jewel Hairston Bell Award (person of color)
  • Jim Buch Award (junior)
  • Koyl Cup (junior man)
  • Mary Hudzikiewicz Award (freshman)
  • Maurice Harold Hunter Leadership Scholarship (junior man from Oregon)
  • Mother’s Club Scholarships (any student)
  • Nontraditional Student Award
  • Osher Scholarship (reentry nontraditional students)
  • Paul Olum Award (senior)
  • Ray Hawk Award (senior)
  • School of Music and Dance (music students)
  • Theresa Kelly Janes Award (any student)
  • Vernon Barkhurst Award (sophomore)
  • Wilson Cup (senior)

Fellowships and Scholarships

For information about other fellowships and scholarships, see Student Financial Aid and Scholarships and departmental sections of this catalog.

  • Neil D. Blackman Memorial Scholarship (political science award to undergraduate and graduate students studying humanities or political philosophy relevant to human rights and the responsibilities of individuals to democratic institutions)
  • Thomas Condon Fellowship in Paleontology (graduate student of paleontology)
  • Eric Englund Scholarship (senior or first-year graduate student in English or history)
  • Alice Henson Ernst Scholarship (first-year graduate student in English)
  • Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship (sophomore or junior math and science majors)
  • Fulbright Grants for Overseas Study (graduate students)
  • Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Research Abroad Program (doctoral candidates)
  • German Academic Exchange Service Study Grant
  • Walter and Nancy Kidd Scholarships (undergraduate students)
  • Marshall Scholarship
  • Rhodes Scholarship
  • Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship (junior or senior-year undergraduate or graduate)
  • Stanley Maveety Scholarship (first-year graduate student in English)
  • Lloyd Staples Fellowship (undergraduate and graduate students in geological sciences)
  • Truman Scholarship (junior-year undergraduate student)
  • James C. Stovall Fellowship Fund (awards to undergraduate students of geological sciences)


Several cash prizes are awarded for student essays and other competitions. The Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies administers the Bruce M. Abrams Award in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Studies. The winning undergraduate project, which may be from any discipline, is honored with a $500 prize.

The Department of Mathematics administers the William Lowell Putnam examination, a national competition offering prizes to top finishers.

The George W. Cherry Speech Award is a scholarship given to the best public speaker in the forensics program.

The Department of Philosophy oversees the George Rebec Essay Contest. Two prizes—$100 gift certificates to the Duck Store—are awarded for the best undergraduate and graduate essays on any area of philosophy. Walter and Nancy Kidd Writing Prizes for undergraduate students are administered by the Creative Writing Program.

Students should inquire at their home departments about additional contests or competitions for expository or creative writing or other student projects.