Student honors are earned through academic excellence and achieving a minimum required GPA. Luther College students can earn honors through election to honor societies, completing a senior honors project, and being named to the Dean's List.
Students who earn a GPA of 3.5000 or above in a given semester are included on the Dean’s List for that semester. To qualify, students must complete at least 12 credit hours with 10 hours of conventional grades (A, B, C, D), may have no more than one “incomplete” credit hour, and may not have a grade of F or no credit.
Students who complete college work with a cumulative GPA of 3.9000 or above are awarded the degree summa cum laude, those with an average of 3.7000 to 3.8999 magna cum laude, and those with an average of 3.5000 to 3.6999 cum laude. All students must complete at least 64 hours of credit at Luther to be considered for honors recognition.
Department Honors and Prizes
Honors may be earned in a student’s major field by completing the major with a GPA of at least 3.5 (departments may stipulate a higher figure) and by completing a senior honors project or honors work in a senior seminar.
The senior honors project is a year-long independent research project. In the spring semester of the junior year, students with cumulative GPAs of at least 3.5 in their majors may apply to undertake senior honors projects. Those students who choose to do so prepare and submit detailed project proposals to the project advisors and department heads.
Approved projects carry four credits and are to be completed in the senior year; specific project schedules are worked out by the student and advisor. Upon completion, the senior honors project is evaluated by a review committee consisting of the advisor, another faculty member from the major department, and a third faculty member from another department. The project must earn a grade of A or A- to receive credit for honors; if a grade below A- is earned, it is recorded as a senior project.
Complete the Senior Honors Project Application to begin the proposal process. Applications must be submitted by the last class day of the semester preceding the term in which the project begins.
Many departments recognize special achievement within a particular discipline; the conveyance of these honors varies by department but may include recognition ceremonies, scholarships, and monetary awards.
Election to Honor Societies
Students who excel academically and who wish to explore the intellectual camaraderie of discipline-based national honor societies may be invited to join the following chapters at Luther.
Luther is one of the few higher education institutions in the Unites States with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, a scholastic organization that recognizes students who have achieved distinction in the liberal arts and sciences.
In accordance with the regulations of the national governing body of Phi Beta Kappa, members are elected on the basis of broad cultural interests, scholarly achievement, and good character.
The specific criteria for eligibility for election to Phi Beta Kappa at Luther include but are not limited to the following:
- A senior must have at least 94 hours of liberal arts work (of the 128 hours required for graduation) with a high standard of scholastic achievement
- Candidates must also fulfill the college requirements in mathematics and language
Under the auspices of the American Marketing Association (AMA), Alpha Mu Alpha recognition acknowledges outstanding scholastic achievement on a highly competitive basis. Luther College’s AMA Student Chapter has been active since 2014. Recognition is given to graduating seniors who are active chapter members and have earned a 3.25 or greater GPA.
The purpose of the Pi Rho chapter of Beta Beta Beta at Luther College is to recognize students for academic excellence and service in the fields of biology and biological research. Membership is open to biology majors and minors who have completed at least 12 credits of biology (from Bio 151, 152 and courses above 200) and have earned a cumulative biology course GPA of 3.5 or better.
The German Program at Luther College is the Sigma Kappa chapter of the National German Honor Society, Delta Phi Alpha, one of only four chapters in Iowa.
Eta Sigma Phi recognizes scholastic achievement and promotes interest in the history, literature, and culture of ancient Greece and Rome. Membership is by invitation of the Classics Department to classics, classical studies, and biblical languages majors and minors who have achieved academic excellence.
Lambda Alpha encourages and stimulates scholarship and research in anthropology by recognizing and honoring superior achievement in the discipline among students, faculty, and other persons engaged in the study of anthropology. The Luther College chapter of Lambda Alpha, Delta of Iowa, was chartered in 2000.
Lambda Pi Eta recognizes, fosters, and rewards outstanding scholastic achievement and encourages professional development among communication majors and minors. Membership is by invitation of the communication/linguistics department faculty.
Lambda Theta recognizes scholastic achievement in social work.
Omicron Delta Epsilon recognizes scholastic achievement and honors outstanding achievements in economics. Membership is by invitation of the economics and business department faculty.
Phi Alpha Theta seeks to bring students, teachers, and writers of history together both intellectually and socially through participation in campus, regional, and national activities. Students and professors are elected to members hip on the basis of excellence in the study or writing of history.
Pi Delta Phi recognizes scholastic achievement in French language and literatures and promotes knowledge and appreciation for the cultural contributions of the French-speaking world.
Pi Kappa Lambda recognizes and encourages the highest level of musical achievement and academic scholarship. The society is convinced that recognizing and honoring musicians who have enhanced their talents through serious and diligent study will stimulate others to do the same.
Pi Mu Epsilon promotes scholarly activity in mathematics by recognizing achievement and promoting activities outside the classroom. Membership is open to majors or minors who satisfy a tiered GPA requirement in their math coursework.
Luther College Political Science Department has established a chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society. The first induction ceremony took place in 2011.
Psi Chi was founded for the purpose of advancing the science of psychology and encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship. Membership is open to psychology majors who have demonstrated superior scholarship in the discipline.
Sigma Delta Pi recognizes the scholastic achievement of Spanish majors and minors. To be selected, a student must be a Spanish major or a minor with 25 or more credits in Spanish, have a GPA of 3.00 or above in Spanish, rank in the top 35 percent of Luther students overall, show genuine interest in things Hispanic, and be of good moral character.
Sigma Pi Sigma recognizes scholastic achievement in physics and promotes the spirit of endeavor in the field of physics and related sciences. Membership is open to students in the upper third of their class who have completed four semester courses in physics.
Sigma Tau Delta fosters the discipline of English, including creative and critical writing, by promoting social relations among its members, providing opportunities for service, and exhibiting high standards of academic excellence. Members must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in English courses, rank in the top 35 percent of their class, and have completed at least three semesters and six credit hours in English beyond Paideia 111 and 112.