If you are going to graduate school then you may want to do so with a splash. You may want to start off this part of your education on a high note. If so, you may be wondering if you can graduate with honors.
You will be able to answer this question once and for all right here:
Do Graduate Programs Have an Honors System?
It is possible for you to graduate with your Masters or Ph.D. “With Distinction” but there is no honors system as with the undergraduate program – “With Distinction” will be mentioned on your transcripts but it isn’t necessarily represented in the same way at graduation.
What Does “With Distinction” Mean?
In high school, if you performed really well, you would be awarded with cum laude, summa cum laude, or magna cum laude, depending on your level of excellence.
This honors system doesn’t exist in graduate school. Instead, you have the With Distinction honor. So, what does this mean?
Well, it means that you performed better than the minimum standards set by your graduate program. In some cases, you will be given this award if you have done marginally better. In other instances, only those who have cleared this standard by quite a bit will be given the distinction.
How Do You Get a With Distinction Honor?
This depends on the school that you are attending. Every college has its own standards for what deserves a With Distinction honor.
It could mean that you simply have to maintain a high GPA. This would mean that your GPA would have to be a few points higher than the minimum passing point.
In some schools, you may be in direct competition with other students. Therefore, your academic performance and GPA will be compared to one another to determine who deserves the honors more.
More exclusive graduate schools may consider other conditions as well. You may have needed to complete a certain number of units for your residency. Your thesis, dissertation, or other achievements may also be considered here.
In some schools, the honor may not be automatically given to any student who meets the requirements. You may only receive the With Distinction honor after the Dean or a committee has discussed your academic career.
If the vote is unanimous or if a majority feels like you deserve this honor then you will be given it. Once again, you should bear in mind that you may be in direct competition with other students.
What are the Benefits of Getting a With Distinction Honor?
Well, this does depend on a few factors. For one thing, the weight of this honor can depend on the school that you go to.
If your college is known for demanding coursework and competitive students, then this honor will be more impressive. On the other hand, if your college hands out honors to students who do the bare minimum then it will not carry as much weight.
In general, though, this kind of distinction can work in your favor. This is especially true if you are entering a highly skilled and competitive workforce. Such honors can help to give you an edge.
There is also the fact that some exclusive companies may only hire people who have gotten distinctions. So, if you even want to be considered for the job, then this type of honor can really help you.
How to Graduate from Grad School with Distinction?
As it is graduate school can be quite demanding. Due to this, it is best to focus on passing rather than getting any special honors. After all, you don’t want to put too much pressure on yourself.
That being said, there are a few things that you can do to graduate with honors.
This starts with preparing yourself for grad school so that you aren’t caught off guard. Prepare to do far more self-study and reading than you did as an undergraduate.
Plan your time wisely so that you will be able to expend as much effort as possible. This includes presentations, projects, a thesis, dissertations, examinations, and more.
Make sure that grad school and the associated work are a priority. Understand that you may have less time to party or enjoy a social life. However, this will be temporary and you will eventually be able to get back to your life.
Grad school is also about networking. Make yourself known to professors, members of committees, and others involved in your education. Make an effort to get to know them and build connections with them as well as other professionals in your field.
Can You Graduate from Grad School with Honors?
When graduating from grad school, the truly distinctive students will be given a With Distinction accreditation – unlike in grad school, this is the only honor that exists and there aren’t categories within it – the terms for getting this distinction can vary from one school to another.