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  Oct 24, 2020
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Graduation & Honors

Graduation Requirements - Undergraduate

The ultimate responsibility for fulfilling graduation requirements rests with the individual student. Students should regularly review their academic information with their advisors to make certain that requirements for degrees are being met. Students become candidates for degree conferral upon the filing of a completed “Graduation Application” with the Registrar’s Office. See Graduation & Honors section for more information including graduation application due dates.

  • Cumulative GPA: 2.000 or higher is required (minimum). *Note: some major programs require a higher cumulative GPA. See specific program pages for more information.
  • Total Credits Required: 120 completed credits (minimum) are required for the baccalaureate degree. *Note: some major programs require more than 120 credits. See specific program pages for more information.
  • Thirty of the last 45 credit hours must be completed in residence (as Sage institutional credits).
  • General Education: Students must satisfy all General Education requirements
  • Major Requirements: in order to earn a bachelor’s degree, students must successfully complete a major program of study.
    • GPA in Major: 2.200 or higher (minimum) is required for all courses required in major, including required support courses. *Note: some major programs require a higher major GPA. See specific program pages for more information.
    • Students must complete at least one half of the major requirements at Sage (as Sage institutional credits). *Note: for transfer students this may mean taking additional courses in the major department to ensure 1/2 of major is completed at Sage.
    • The determination of standards of performance acceptable for continuance in a major is the responsibility of the appropriate academic department and the Dean of the College.
  • Liberal Arts & Sciences Requirement: in order to earn a bachelor’s degree students must successfully complete liberal arts & sciences courses.
    • Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) must include a minimum of 90 credit hours in the liberal arts and sciences.
    • Bachelor of Science degree (BS) must include a minimum of 60 credit hours in the liberal arts and sciences.
    • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) must include a minimum of 30 credit hours in the liberal arts and sciences.
    • Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (BFA) must include a minimum of 30 credit hours in the liberal arts and sciences.
    • Bachelor of Professional Studies degree (BPS) must include a minimum of 30 credit hours in the liberal arts and sciences.

Graduation/Degree Conferral

Russell Sage College 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 Registrar’s Office. The application filing deadlines are:

  • February 15 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 Registrar’s Office 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.


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 Sage. 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 Academic Dean 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 Academic Standards Committee.

Dean’s List

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 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.


Latin Honors: Students must have at least 45 credit hours at Sage above the 100-level and earn a cumulative GPA of at least 3.500 for all Sage credits. The baccalaureate degree graduation honors is awarded as follows:

Cum Laude: Sage GPA between 3.500 and 3.699
Magna Cum Laude: Sage GPA of 3.700 to 3.899
Summa Cum Laude: Sage GPA 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. 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 undergraduate students is applied to students who have completed a minimum of 45 credits above the 100-level at Sage 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.

August, December, and May graduates will be considered. The final semester will not be considered.

Students at SPCE are eligible if they have completed a minimum of 45 credits above the 100-level at Sage.

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.
  • 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 and faculty.
  • 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.

 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 GPA 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 GPA of 3.000 upon registration and gain permission from the Honors Director.

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]

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 Sage. Faculty members who have done outstanding scholarly work may also be elected.

For outstanding work in the individual disciplines, students may also be elected to national honor societies represented by:

Alpha Kappa Delta in sociology
Alpha Psi Omega in drama
Beta Beta Beta in biology
Omicron Delta Epsilon in economics
Phi Alpha Theta in history
Psi Chi in psychology
Sigma Tau Delta in English
Sigma Theta Tau in nursing

Alpha Sigma Lambda

Since 1982, Alpha Sigma Lambda at Sage recognizes the special achievements of adults matiruclated in School of Professional and Continuing Education who achieve academic excellence while balancing the competing interests of home, work, school and community. Through leadership born of effort, both scholastically and fraternally, Alpha Sigma Lambda inspires its candidates to give of their strengths to their fellow students and communities through their academic achievements.

Matriculated School of Professional and Continuing Education bachelor’s degree candidates who qualify may be invited to become members of Alpha Sigma Lambda Gamma Nu Chapter. Members must rank in the highest 10 percent of those students and must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Matriculation in a bachelor’s degree program in School of Professional and Continuing Education
  • 3.700 minimum cumulative grade point average
  • At least 24 completed Sage credits (institutional credits)
  • Completion of 75 or more credits
  • Liberal arts: at least 15 semester hours of a student’s total hours should consist of credits in liberal arts and sciences
  • Experiential learning credits are not graded and may not be used

Each spring, School of Professional and Continuing Education inducts new members from among selected outstanding students. For more information, contact the Office of Academic Advising at [email protected].