Alma's most prestigious award for graduating seniors, the Barlow Trophy is awarded on the basis of scholarship and leadership. Candidates must rank in the top 10 percent of the graduating class, and the recipient is elected by a vote of the College faculty and Student Congress.
Students who achieve a 3.5 term CPA while carrying a minimum load of 13 credits (eight of which must be graded A-E) qualify for the Dean's List. The Dean's List is compiled at the end of both the Fall and the Winter terms.
To graduate with Departmental Honors, students must demonstrate superior performance in the departmental comprehensive evaluation, present a thesis of honors calibre and achieve a CPA of at least 3.5 in the major field. Each department has autonomy over the comprehensive evaluation and the thesis.
The following Graduation Honors are awarded to graduating seniors who have completed at least 60 credits at Alma College:
- Summa cum laude to students who have achieved a 3.8 CPA (and 3.6 in credits outside the division of the major)
- Magna cum laude to students who have achieved a 3.6 CPA (and 3.4 in credits outside the division of the major)
- Cum laude to students who have achieved a 3.4 CPA (and 3.2 in credits outside the division of the major)
President's Outstanding Senior Award
The President of Alma College may select a senior who has completed seven full (Fall or Winter) terms and demonstrated scholastic superiority to receive the President's Outstanding Senior Award.
Juniors, sophomores and freshmen who attain the highest academic ranks in their classes based on CPA receive President's Cups.
Academic achievement is recognized through membership in honorary organizations affiliated with a student's area of academic specialty. Many of Alma's honor societies are local chapters of national and international organizations, providing social and professional contacts which supplement classroom experiences.
Membership standards for these honor societies are available at the Provost's Office:
- Phi Beta Kappa National Honorary Society
- Omicron Delta Kappa National Honorary Society
- Gamma Delta Alpha Senior Women's Honorary Society
Membership standards for the following organizations are available from each academic department:
- Alpha Mu Gamma-Foreign Language
- Beta Beta Beta-Biology
- Chi Epsilon Mu-Chemistry
- Exercise and Health Science Honor Society-EHS
- Lambda Pi Eta-Communication
- Omicron Delta Epsilon-Economics
- Phi Alpha Theta-History
- Pi Mu Epsilon-Mathematics
- Pi Sigma Alpha-Political Science
- Psi Chi-Psychology
- Rho Chi Epsilon-Business
- Sigma Pi Sigma-Physics
- Sigma Tau Delta-English
- Theta Alpha Kappa-Religious Studies