Academic Honors and Awards


IC Scholars, the honors program at Illinois College, is designed to encourage academic achievement by providing opportunities for research, interdisciplinary learning, and creative challenges through enhanced coursework, supervised research, and travel. We ask students to enter a community of scholars willing to take intellectual risks and engage with the complex global issues confronting our diverse world. Admitted students will be considered for the IC Scholars program based upon academic achievement in high school and an interview with faculty during the Bright Blue scholarship program.

Successful completion of the IC Scholars program includes completion of an honors First-Year Seminar in the first semester; completion of four honors-designated course assignments by the end of junior year; completion of an honors project during senior year; and maintaining a 3.5 GPA.

Students will be eligible for a fully-funded BreakAway in their junior or senior year if they are in good standing and have completed requirements to that point. Contact the IC Scholars director for more information.


Each semester students who have completed and received graded credit for at least 14 hours with a grade point average of 3.5 or above, have no grade below ‘C’, have no more than one ‘C’ grade, and no ‘Incomplete’ grades are placed on the Dean’s List.


The grade point standards for graduating from Illinois College with honors are:

Summa Cum Laude 3.9000 - 4.0000
Magna Cum Laude 3.7500 - 3.8999
Cum Laude 3.6000 - 3.7499

The cumulative grade point will be based on grades received at Illinois College alone and must cover at least four semesters of full-time attendance. Students with fewer than four semesters at Illinois College are not eligible for graduation honors. (Note: These standards are effective for all students who graduate in the academic year 2020-21 and later.)


Phi Beta Kappa is a national honor society that recognizes high scholarship. The first chapter was formed at the College of William and Mary in Virginia in 1776. Colleges merit a local chapter of Phi Beta Kappa on the basis of their high scholastic attainments, and membership in the society is a mark of distinction. Four universities and seven colleges in the state of Illinois have chapters of Phi Beta Kappa; the Illinois College chapter is the Epsilon of Illinois. During the second semester of each year the faculty members of the chapter, who are solely responsible for selection, elect to membership a limited number of graduating seniors whose scholastic records show marked attainment and promise in the liberal arts and sciences tradition of Phi Beta Kappa. Grades in internships, field work and the professional semester are not included. Students entering in fall 2003 or later must have a broad program in the liberal arts and sciences, including at least 90 hours of liberal arts coursework, successful completion of a language course at the 200-level or beyond, successful completion of a mathematics course at the 200-level or beyond, and must have completed at least 75 semester hours at Illinois College to be considered as candidates. Membership in Phi Beta Kappa is the highest scholastic distinction which undergraduates can receive.


Two juniors are selected on the basis of high scholarship and effective leadership in college activities to serve as Student Marshals in the academic processions at commencement and other special occasions.