BBA Academic Honors

Academic Honors

Achievement of various kinds is recognized through special designations in the granting of degrees and offers of membership in several organizations.

Graduation Honors (for students admitted as Freshmen in Fall 2017 and later and students admitted as Sophomores in Fall 2018 and later)

Beginning with all Fall 2018 Sophomore BBA students, graduation honors will be as follows:

Graduation honors are awarded based on cumulative grade point average.  Students who have been approved for graduation and place in the top 5% of their class will receive a degree with “Summa Cum Laude.”  Those who place in the top 15% of their class, but not in the top 5%, will receive a degree with “Magna Cum Laude.”  Those who place in the top 30% of their class, but not in the top 15%, will receive a degree with “Cum Laude.”  The University posts the award on the transcript and diploma when the degree is conferred. 

Summa Cum Laude: Top 5%
Magna Cum Laude:  Top 15% (includes Summa)
​Cum Laude:  Top 30% (includes Summa and Magna)

The GPA ranges for the Graduation Honors are determined at the end of each May based on the cumulative GPAs of Ross’s Winter term graduating class.  The same ranges are used for any students graduating at the end of Summer and Fall.

Below are the lowest GPAs that qualified students for Honors distinction during the 2022-2023 academic year: 

Summa Cum Laude: Top 5%:    3.945
Magna Cum Laude: Top 15% (includes Summa):   3.872
Cum Laude: Top 30% (includes Summa and Magna):    3.787

Please be reminded that these are estimates only.  The actual GPA needed to achieve Honors could be higher or lower since it is based on a percentage of the graduating class, which will not be known in advance. 

Graduation with Distinction/High Distinction (for students admitted between Fall 2014 and Fall 2017 as Sophomores)

For the purpose of determining academic honors for BBAs, two calculations are done – one with all courses taken during residence at Ross, and one with only Ross business courses taken during residence at Ross. Students who qualify for honors under either calculation will receive their degree “With High Distinction” or “With Distinction.” The University posts the award on the transcript and diploma when the degree is conferred. The point conversions for honors for all BBA students range as follows:

• High Distinction: 3.600 and above
• Distinction: 3.200 to 3.599

Note that grades earned on a Pass/Fail grading basis are not included when calculating academic honors. Class rank is not computed.

Honor Societies

Beta Gamma Sigma

Beta Gamma Sigma is an international honorary business administration society. Membership in Beta Gamma Sigma is the highest international recognition a student can receive in an undergraduate or master’s program in business or management accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

To be eligible for membership, a student must meet one of the following requirements:

  • upper 10 percent of the Junior class
  • upper 10 percent of the Senior class
  • upper 20 percent of the graduating Master class

GPA calculations are completed in February of each year and students are notified by early March via email of their eligibility. Students who wish to join the society must fill out the on-line application attached in the email and forward the required fee to the address provided. Beta Gamma Sigma contacts eligible candidates for admission. 

Phi Beta Kappa

Phi Beta Kappa, founded in 1776, is the oldest honorary scholastic society in America. Up to four percent of the year’s graduating seniors in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts are elected annually. Transfer students with superior academic records in the liberal arts may also receive invitations to join.

Outstanding BBA seniors are likewise eligible, as are outstanding seniors in other schools and colleges who have earned a minimum of 60 Michigan term credits taken in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and who have achieved a GPA of 3.800 and above in both LSA and the Ross School of Business. Invitations to membership in the national Phi Beta Kappa Society are issued by the local chapter, taking into account achievement in the liberal arts as indicated by a student’s cumulative grade point average, strength of curriculum, demonstrated proficiency in foreign language and mathematics, and other factors.

The selection committee looks for evidence of both breadth and depth of interest in the liberal arts and sciences. A very high GPA alone is not a guarantee of election to Phi Beta Kappa. Fourth term proficiency in a language other than English (the equivalent of the LSA language requirement) is required, as is graded work in a sufficiently advanced quantitative area. Elements that can mitigate against an invitation include a large amount of pass/fail work, an entire distribution area taken pass/fail, more than one or two semesters of fewer than four academic courses of at least three credits each, and repeated semesters with light course loads.

Recommendations of eligible students are forwarded in February of each year to the LSA Honors selection committee for their final evaluation. For information, email