University sets one dean’s list standard for all schools

Media Credit: File Photo by Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer

GW's colleges will follow University-wide requirements for the Dean's List, a change from qualifications that varied by school in past years.

The University will streamline requirements for the dean’s list across campus next academic year after historically having different standards for each school.

That change could make it easier or more difficult for students to make the dean’s list depending on the current standards in their schools. All undergraduate students will need to earn a 3.75 GPA while completing a minimum of 12 credit hours and passing all non-graded credit courses, University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said this week.

“The advantage of a University-wide dean’s list is that students will know whether or not they make dean’s list without having to wait until grades are calculated for every student in their school,” Csellar said in an email. “The new University-wide dean’s list standard will also create new opportunities for some students to earn an academic distinction.”

The change, which was proposed after undergraduate associate deans evaluated each school’s current requirements, will standardize rules for all undergraduate programs. It is part of a major goal of the strategic plan, which aims for students in different schools to have more similar experiences and be able to more easily take courses throughout the University.

Currently in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, the top 20 percent of students who complete 15 credits of coursework and earn no grade lower than a B- are honored each semester. The school made it more difficult to earn the honors in 2007 after officials decided too many students were being placed on the list.

“The new standard means that for students in CCAS, their ability to get on the dean’s list will depend upon their own performance, rather than how other students in their school performed,” Csellar said.

The Milken Institute School of Public Health hasn’t had a dean’s list in the past, so next year will be the first time those students could earn the distinction.

Students in the School of Engineering and Applied Science must now earn a minimum of a 3.5 GPA for 12 credit hours related to their field of study to earn the honors, so it will become more difficult for incoming freshmen to be named to the list. Current students will still be eligible for the dean’s list based on the requirements now in place, Csellar said, but future students will need to meet the 3.75 GPA standard.

Students in the Elliott School of International Affairs and the GW School of Business won’t see a change in the requirements needed to make the dean’s list because they already need to earn a 3.75.

A campus-wide standard puts GW in line with peer schools such as Boston University, which forms its dean’s list based on requirements set for the entire university. Still, other schools, like New York and Duke universities, consider students for the dean’s list by individual school.

Alicia Rose, the Student Association’s vice president for academic affairs, said she has known about plans to change dean’s list standards since she gave input to officials who were forming the strategic plan. She said she didn’t think the University-wide standard would impact students’ academic performance, adding that the dean’s list is just one form of acknowledgement for students who do well academically.

“The people that are going to be succeeding in classes are still going to be the same people,” she said. “I don’t think the motivation for students to get good grades is going to change.”

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