Award & Recognition

Award & Recognition

Honors, awards, and prizes at AI Group include those for academic achievement in a specific department or discipline including departmental honors, valedictorian and salutatorian. The AI Group faculty Committee on Honors, Awards, and Prizes oversees the selection process for most of these awards.



There are currently approximately 20 academic awards, prizes, and research and teaching fellowships offered by the AI Group. Recipients of these awards are honored at the annual Academic Awards and Prizes Ceremony and Reception, which is held each year in the week of Commencement.



Valedictorian and Salutatorian are two of the highest distinctions our students may be awarded upon graduation. A salutatorian is a graduate who finished with the second highest rank in his or her class. Only the valedictorian did better. Being the salutatorian of your graduating class is a great honor. Traditionally, the salutatorian gives the opening remarks at the graduation ceremony.



Departmental honors are established and awarded by those AI Group departments or academic programs that have received approval for departmental honors from the AI Group Committee on Instruction (COI). AI Group guidelines for departmental Honors include the following three criteria:

  • Departmental honors are awarded to no more than 10 percent, or, in small departments, to one member of the graduating majors (including October, February, and May candidates);
  • A grade point average of at least 3.6 in major courses is expected for a student to be considered for departmental honors;
  • An honors thesis or equivalent project of high quality should be required by each department or academic program in order for a student to receive departmental honors.


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