What Is the Dean’s List and How Can You Get on It?

The dean’s list is for full-time undergrads, although eligibility will vary by institution.


  • A top proportion of students who complete the term with a high GPA receive a position on the list.
  • Employers and graduate school admissions committees will take notice if you include the prize on your transcript.
  • Universities also give academic honors like the president’s and chancellor’s lists.
  • One of the greatest honors for academic excellence is being named to your college’s dean’s list. The students with the highest GPAs each term are given this honor.


The dean’s list’s requirements and frequency vary a little amongst institutions. Some colleges publish their dean’s list every quarter, while others may only do so once a year. Students should be pleased with themselves for making the dean’s list since it is a noteworthy achievement they may highlight on their resumes.


What Is the Dean’s List?


The dean’s list is an honorific given to pupils who thrive in the classroom. Although the requirements for reaching the dean’s list vary per institution and may alter each semester, the honor is based on GPA.


At many colleges, the dean’s list is a comparative honor given to the highest proportion of students rather than all those who achieve a particular GPA. The GPA required to be eligible for the prize may be greater during a highly competitive semester in which many students get good marks.


The dean’s list is made public every semester or quarter after posting final grades. Some institutions also compile a dean’s list yearly using your cumulative GPA.


How to Make the Dean’s List


The criteria for the dean’s list will vary per institution and may alter between award cycles. The highest percentile of pupils, such as the top 10% or 25%, get the prize. The specific GPA criteria for the dean’s list may vary depending on the student pool but are typically at least 3.5.


Additionally, you must be enrolled full-time and taking a certain amount of credits to qualify (often around 12 credits).


Pass/fail, or S/U grades do not go into the GPA computation. Furthermore, even if you have the required GPA, you will no longer be eligible for the prize if you have incompletes, no-shows, or late grades.


Occasionally, the requirements may change based on your degree program. For instance, a 3.88 GPA is required at the University of Connecticut, while a 4.0 GPA is required for admission to the social work degree.


How Can Make the Dean’s List Benefit You?


The advantages of being named to the dean’s list are the same as those of receiving any other prestigious award for academic excellence: a gold star on your resume and a sense of accomplishment on a personal level.


Making the dean’s list is a great way to recognize your efforts throughout the semester and prove that you were among the university’s top academic performers.


The prize on your resume could appeal to graduate schools. It would help if you highlighted your dean’s list of honors on your professional website, CV, and LinkedIn profile. Employers could be aware of the honor and appreciate the commitment, concentration, and effort needed to be named to the dean’s list.


What Other Academic Awards Can You Earn in College?


The dean’s list is not the only accolade a college student may get for excellence in the classroom. The honors list, the president’s list, and the chancellor’s list are typical distinctions for academic performance. Each institution will have different requirements for inclusion on each list and different availability of these prizes.


  • The Honors List


The honors list is similar to the dean’s list but requires a lower GPA. The dean’s list, for instance, may be given to students with a GPA between 3.7 and 4.0.


  • The President’s List


Undergraduates with a 4.0 GPA are given the president’s list honor. Part-time students are eligible for the president’s list, unlike the dean’s list. Each semester, the prize is presented.


  • The Chancellor’s List


Although less frequent, the chancellor’s list will typically rank higher than the dean’s list at universities that offer this award. Students who achieve a 3.8 or higher are eligible for the chancellor’s list award, while those who achieve a 3.5 or higher are eligible for dean’s list placement.


We advise speaking with an academic advisor or visiting your school’s website to learn more about the various award cycles and precise eligibility requirements.


Frequently Asked Questions About the Dean’s List


Can graduate students make the dean’s list?


The dean’s list is not open to graduate students. Graduate students who exhibit academic achievement may qualify for an extra graduate dean’s list at certain institutions.


Do online students qualify for the dean’s list?


Yes, most colleges allow online students to apply for the dean’s list. Students who study online must still fulfill the same GPA and class load requirements.


Do you have to apply to be considered for the dean’s list?


No, universities construct the list and distribute the rewards automatically. Once the final grades for the term have been turned in, the dean’s list is based on student GPAs.


When is the dean’s list announced?


After all of the semester or quarter’s final grades have been released, the dean’s list is often made public. Several colleges host ceremonies or informal gatherings for students who reach the dean’s list.


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