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  Jul 14, 2019
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Honors & Graduation

Dean’s List and Honor Societies

The Dean’s List is published twice a year following each fall and spring semester and honors full-time Russell Sage College students with a cumulative term GPA of 3.500 or higher. In order to be eligible for Dean’s List honors, students must complete at least 12 semester hours with A-F letter grades in that semester and have no grades of “Incomplete” (I) or “Research Pending” (RP). A student with an incomplete may petition the Dean’s Office for recognition after the incomplete is satisfied.

Students enrolled part-time at Sage may earn Dean’s List honors as well. Students who are registered as part-time matriculated degree students will be evaluated for honors once for each 12 credit hours accumulated. Students are eligible for the Dean’s List if they have completed at least 12 credits over one to three terms (including summer) in which a grade point average of 3.500 or above is achieved.

Honor Societies: The 176th chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society was installed at Sage in 1975. Students in any major may be elected to the society in the spring term of the junior or senior year. To be eligible for election, juniors must rank in the upper 2 to 3 percent and seniors in the upper 10 percent of their class, with a cumulative average of 3.500 or better.

Junior students having an overall cumulative average of 3.400 for four consecutive semesters of full-time study are eligible for election to the Athenians, a campus honorary society dedicated to upholding academic excellence at Russell Sage. Faculty members who have done outstanding scholarly work may also be elected to this society.

For outstanding work in the individual disciplines, students may also be elected to national honor societies represented by Omicron Delta Epsilon in economics, Phi Alpha Theta in history, Sigma Theta Tau in nursing, Psi Chi in psychology, Alpha Psi Omega in drama, Beta Beta Beta in biology, Alpha Kappa Delta in Sociology,  and Sigma Tau Delta in English.


Sage awards Latin, project, and program honors to qualifying graduates.

Latin Honors: Students must have at least 45 credit hours at Sage above the 100-level and earn a GPA of at least 3.500 for all Sage credits. The baccalaureate degree is awarded cum laude to those with a Sage GPA between 3.500 and 3.699, magna cum laude to those who achieve a GPA of 3.700 to 3.899, and summa cum laude to those with a 3.900 or higher.

Project Honors: Departments may invite majors to undertake work in the senior year for a minimum of three and a maximum of six credits. Upon satisfactory completion of this work and of an oral examination, these students are awarded Project Honors. There is no GPA restriction on eligibility for project honors work.

Program Honors: Students who have attained a high degree of excellence in the work of their respective major subjects, and who have in addition satisfied the requirements prescribed by the department concerned, are awarded program honors. Note: The GPA requirement for program honors is 3.500 based on all required courses for a major program, including support courses, completed at Sage.
* A notation of Program Honors will be recorded on the permanent transcript.

Students may be awarded both project honors and program honors if both requirements have been satisfied.

Valedictorian and Salutatorian


The designation of valedictorian and salutatorian for undergraduates at Russell Sage College and Sage College of Albany is applied to students who have completed a minimum of 45 credits above the 100-level at the Sage Colleges and hold the highest cumulative GPAs, first to be awarded valedictorian and second to be awarded salutatorian status. If there is a tie, the designation is awarded to the students who have completed the most credits at the Sage Colleges.


Russell Sage College Honors Program

The Russell Sage College Honors Program offers highly-motivated students an innovative, rigorous, and participatory educational experience. The program challenges women to be engaged contributors and leaders within the academic community. A member of the National Collegiate Honors Council, the RSC Honors Program is designed to:

  • Enrich any course of study at Sage, including signature programs such as the Discovery Degree.
  • Deliver Honors coursework in a variety of pedagogical modes to foster intellectual and creative risk-taking, the examination of diverse knowledge, and trans-disciplinary approaches to problem-solving and research.
  • Provide Honors-related academic advising from the Honors director, faculty, and Associate Dean for Academic Services.
  • Promote women’s engaged scholarship and leadership on local and global levels through conference participation, service-learning, and study abroad.
  • Deepen the intellectual community at RSC through Honors-sponsored lectures, colloquia, and other events.

 The program requirements:

  • 15 credits of Honors Coursework / 12 credits for transfer students. Honors coursework includes Founder’s Seminar, Honors Seminars, Oxford-Style Tutorials, study abroad, or program-based Honors projects. Students are highly encouraged to take additional Honors coursework to enhance their Honors experience.
  • Presentation of research or creative work at a regional, national, or international conference or appropriate community venue.
  • Demonstration of “engaged scholarship” through participation, leadership, and service. Can include active participation and leadership in Honors Societies, student governance, service-learning, and events that promote the cultural and intellectual enrichment of the local community.
  • Maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.400

More Information:

  • To apply: contact the Honors Director to complete an Honors Enrollment Application. Contact Information is below. 
  • Students may apply at any time after the completion of one semester at RSC, but prior to the completion of 105 credit hours of coursework.  Applicants’ eligibility for the Honors program is based upon recommendations from faculty and/or academic advisers, a minimum G.P.A. of 3.400, and demonstrated potential for academic excellence. Honors students must maintain a “B” average in Honors coursework. 
  • Honors students receive priority enrollment in Honors Seminars. Non-Honors students who wish to enroll in an Honors course must carry a minimum G.P.A. of 3.000 upon registration and gain permission from the Honors Director.
  • Students receive a customized Honors sash for graduation.
  • In recognition of our institution’s founder and her commitment to the advancement of women’s education, Honors graduates receive the following distinction on their transcripts: “Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage Scholar.”

Direct all inquiries about the Russell Sage College Honors Program to:

Prof. Tonya Moutray
Director, Honors Program
Russell Sage College
65 1st Street
Troy, NY 12180
[email protected]


The Sage Colleges confers Bachelor’s Degrees three times each year: in August, December and May. However, Commencement ceremonies are held only in May. Students become candidates for degree conferral upon the filing of a completed “Graduation Application” with the Office of Student Services. The filing deadlines are:

February 1 for May degree conferral
June 1 for August degree conferral
October 1 for December degree conferral

Candidates for graduation in May of a calendar year may participate in the May Commencement ceremonies. Candidates for graduation in August or December may participate in the May Commencement ceremonies following degree completion. Those who have completed all requirements for the degree will receive their diplomas and be identified as graduates. A student may participate in Commencement ceremonies only once in connection with completion of a particular degree.

For conferral of the Bachelor’s Degree in May, August or December, students must have met all degree requirements by the end of the semester or summer session preceding degree conferral date. Students enrolled in internships, externships, clinicals, student teaching, practica, or courses at another institution which are scheduled to end within one month after conferral date must supply the Office of Student Services with documentation of satisfactory progress (a letter from the instructor on the college’s letterhead indicating an average of C- or better) to be eligible for degree conferral and receipt of a final transcript.

Participation in Commencement Exercises

For participation in Commencement, students must meet the requirements for graduation by Commencement day, OR be within two courses (including internships, externships, clinicals, student teaching or practica) of completing requirements and enrolled in the subsequent summer session(s) or semester at The Sage Colleges. Students with up to two courses worth of Incomplete and/or Research in Progress grades from the semester prior to Commencement day are normally eligible to participate in Commencement but are not eligible for degree conferral.

The Dean of Russell Sage College will consider petitions for exceptions to the above regulations, but they will be granted for only the most compelling reasons. The Dean will routinely report the reasons for any exceptions made to the RSC Academic Standards Committee.

Degree Requirements for Graduation

A minimum of 120 credit hours is required for the baccalaureate degree. Students must complete at least half the major at Sage. Furthermore, 30 of the last 45 credits must be completed in residence (i.e. at Sage or through a local or study abroad consortium).

Students must satisfy general education as well as major requirements and must maintain satisfactory standards of scholarship to be eligible for graduation.

A Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree must include a minimum of 90 credit hours in the liberal arts and sciences. A Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree must include a minimum of 60 credit hours in the liberal arts and sciences.  A Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) degree and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) must include a minimum of 30 credit hours in the liberal arts and sciences.

Finally, students must achieve a 2.200 grade point average in the major and a 2.000 cumulative grade point average. Some majors require a higher grade point average for graduation.

The ultimate responsibility for fulfilling graduation requirements rests with the individual student.

Students should regularly review their academic programs with their advisors to make certain that requirements for degrees are being met.