Students will have to hit the books a little harder if they want to get recognized for it this year. Schools within the University have re-evaluated the criteria and have raised the requirements for the dean’s list designation.
“The dean’s list was getting huge, in short,” said Paul Duff, associate dean for the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate studies. “In the 2005-2006 academic year, we had 35 percent of students on the dean’s list. If more than a third of the students are on it, we asked ourselves: how much of an honor is that?”
Under the revised policy, the top 20 percent of students in CCAS with 15 credit hours per semester will make the dean’s list. The CCAS associate dean said that the college wanted the GPA requirement to be about 3.75, which they concluded would be the approximate criteria if they took the top 20 percent for the dean’s list.
Previously, CCAS students needed a 3.5 GPA with 15 credit hours and no grade below a B-. The undergraduate studies committee at the end of the last academic year enacted the decision.
Duff said the large dean’s list was caused by grade inflation and the admission of more elite students to GW, and the changes will ultimately “enhance the value of a GW diploma.”
Hugh Agnew, associate dean for faculty and student affairs for the Elliott School, said the school’s dean’s council discussed changes for the dean’s list last year. Elliott School faculty voted to approve the recommended changes in May.
“The faculty decided that to ensure that inclusion on the dean’s honor list continued to represent truly exceptional academic achievement, it was necessary to revisit the criteria for inclusion,” Agnew wrote in an e-mail.
Elliott School students must now achieve a 3.75 GPA as a full-time student with 15 credit hours, or as a part-time student with 12 credit hours, in order to be on the dean’s list.
The School of Business has the same requirements for the dean’s list. Agnew said the business school re-evaluated their requirements at the end of the last academic year.
In addition to the changes in the Columbian College and the Elliott School, students in the School of Engineering and Applied Science must take at least 12 credits and receive a 3.5 to be on the dean’s honors list. Engineering students with a 3.0 GPA and 12 credit hours that apply towards graduation are placed on the dean’s commendation list.
Adrienne Bruins, a Columbian College sophomore, expressed opposition to the changes.
“(The changes) put more pressure on students, but it’s not necessarily good motivation,” she said. She added that the GPA and the dean’s list can be rather subjective based on what a student’s major is and what classes they take.
“Not all degrees are equal,” Bruins said. “I’d be way more impressed with an engineering student getting a 3.75 than someone studying the social sciences.”
Some students said they weren’t happy about the Columbian College dean’s list not having a set GPA for a requirement.
“If you maintain a high average, you shouldn’t be simply left out of the dean’s list,” said Jena Lenz, a Columbian College freshman.