Honors at Graduation

Honors awarded at graduation to superior students are designated on the diploma as Honors, High Honors, or Highest Honors.

  • Honors:
    Students receive the designation Honors if they have a cumulative University of Illinois grade-point average of at least 3.5 at graduation (A = 4.0).
  • High Honors:
    Students receive the designation High Honors if they have at least a 3.8 grade-point average at graduation (A = 4.0).
  • Highest Honors:
    Highest Honors may be awarded to any student with at least a 3.8 grade-point average at graduation (A= 4.0). In addition, the ECE Department requires that a student complete a special project of superior quality. In most cases the student shows initiative by finding a faculty member and research area for the project and enrolls in ECE 397, 396, or 496/499. In rare cases, Highest Honors can be awarded based on outstanding leadership in campus organizations such as IEEE, HKN, etc.

Edmund J. James Scholars

The James Scholar Honors Programs run by the various colleges of the University are named after Dr. Edmund J. James, President of the University of Illinois from 1904 to 1920. Students who are admitted to the College of Engineering must be invited to participate as a first semester freshman in the James Scholar Program. No more than 20 percent of the admitted class are invited to participate the first semester.

Freshmen not invited to participate in their first semester upon admission may apply during the first two weeks of their second semester if they have achieved a 3.5 Grade Point Average or higher their first semester.

James Scholar Program Benefits:

Some of the benefits of participating in the James Scholars Program are

  • Formal recognition of participation is shown on your academic record;
  • Priority scheduling during registration;
  • A library stack pass (available at the Circulation Desk of the University Library, Rm. 203);
  • Invitation to the annual Engineering Honors Conference at Allerton Park and other special honors activities.

For further information see:

Campus Honors Program

The Campus Honors Program (CHP) offers special challenges and opportunities to a small number of academically talented and highly motivated undergraduate students. It fosters collaborative relationships between students and distinguished faculty through small intensive classes, a faculty mentor system for introducing students to the intellectual standards and methodologies of academic disciplines, and informal contacts encouraged by cocurricular offerings. CHP sponsors four series of noncredit cocurricular events: a "Scholar Adventurers" lecture series on faculty research; a "Study Abroad at Home" series of seminar-workshops centering on other cultures; a series of dress-rehearsal visits at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts; and an "International Tasting Club" lunch series. The aim is to encourage breadth and excellence from the outset of the student's college career, and to facilitate interaction with scholars at the cutting edge of their disciplines. Only approximately 125 new students can be admitted to the CHP each year as first-year students. A few additional students, however, may join the program on an off-cycle basis at the beginning of the sophomore year. Designated as "Chancellor's Scholars," CHP students may be enrolled in any undergraduate curriculum. Those who meet retention requirements continue as Chancellor's Scholars throughout their undergraduate career.

The Bronze Tablet

The Bronze Tablet is a recognition of continuous high academic achievement. The student's name is inscribed on the Bronze Tablet, which hangs on a wall in the Main Library Building. To qualify, undergraduate students must have at least a 3.5 (A= 4.0) cumulative grade-point average for all work taken at the university through the academic term prior to their graduation, and rank, on the basis of that average, in the top 3 percent of the students in their college graduating class. Transfer students must in addition, by the end of the term before graduation, have earned at least 40 hours at the UIUC and have cumulative UIUC grade-point averages as high as the lowest ones listed for Bronze Table students who completed all their work at UIUC.

Dean's List

Dean's List designation is given to the top 20 percent of students in each curriculum on the basis of grade point average in a semester. To be eligible, students must successfully complete 14 academic semester hours of which 12 hours are for a letter grade.

Eta Kappa Nu (HKN)

Founded at Illinois in 1904, HKN is the ECE honor society and is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing excellence in the fields of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Membership is open only the top 25% of the junior class and the top 33% of the senior class; invitations are sent at the beginning of each semester.

The primary purpose of HKN as a student organization is to serve the ECE body by providing resources and services to help all students succeed. Resources include past exams, review sessions, peer advising, course reviews, snacks, and more.

Phi Kappa Phi

The national honor society of Phi Kappa Phi recognizes and encourages superior scholarship in all academic disciplines. To be eligible, a junior (72 to 89 letter-graded hours) must have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.75 and a scholastic rank in the upper 5 percent of the junior class; seniors (90 or more letter-graded hours) must have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 and a scholastic rank in the upper ten percent of the senior class. Invitations are mailed to all eligible juniors and seniors and an initiation program is held near the end of each semester.