Academic Honors

An Academic Honors Convocation is held the Sunday prior to Commencement in May.  School/division deans will contact candidates for graduation who are eligible to be recognized for outstanding academic performance during this event and thus wear honor cords during the Commencement ceremonies. 

  • Honors Cords will be distributed at the Academic Honors Convocation at the Stem Concert Hall on Sunday preceding the Commencement ceremonies.
  • If you believe that you are entitled to wear a cord and have not been contacted to participate in the Academic Honors Convocation two weeks prior to Commencement, please contact your school/division office immediately.
  • It is University policy that no other items other than the honor cords be worn on or over the academic gown or cap.
  • The wearing of an honor cord during Commencement does not automatically guarantee the awarding of degree honors.

Honors Recipients and Cords: Indiana University recognizes three levels of distinction for undergraduate degrees:

  1. Highest Distinction - Red and White Cord (3.95 GPA or higher)
  2. High Distinction - White Cord (3.80 GPA to 3.94 GPA)
  3. Distinction - Red Cord (3.60 GPA to 3.79 GPA)


  • Grade Point Average is determined by Program GPA and it is not rounded up or down; the GPA is truncated. 
  • Bachelor’s degree candidates must have completed a minimum of 60 credit hours at Indiana University to be eligible to graduate with distinction.
  • For Academic Honors convocation, the GPA does not include the current (spring) semester grades.
  • Final degree honors do include the current semester grades.  In addition, degree candidates must rank among the top 10 percent of their graduating class in each of the separate degree categories.