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  Nov 30, 2020
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Honors & Graduation

Dean’s List, Kellas Scholars, and Honor Societies

At the end of each term, students who attain a 3.4 GPA are placed on the Dean’s List. Students who maintain this average for three successive terms are designated Kellas Scholars in honor of the first president of Russell Sage College, Miss Eliza Kellas, and the first dean, Miss Katherine Kellas. To be eligible for Dean’s List or as a Kellas Scholar in any semester, a student must carry a minimum of 12 credits with A-F letter grades in that semester and have no grades of “Incomplete” (I).

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 3.5 or better.

Junior students having an overall cumulative average of 3.4 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 3.5 for all Sage credits. The baccalaureate degree is awarded cum laude to those with a Sage GPA between 3.5 and 3.69, magna cum laude to those who achieve a GPA of 3.7 to 3.89, and summa cum laude to those with a 3.9 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 3.5 based on all required courses for a major program, including support courses and transferred courses. Electives are excluded.

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

Russell Sage College Honors Program - Honoring Women’s Voices

The Russell Sage College Honors Program is an academic program intended to enhance the student’s educational experiences at Russell Sage College. By focusing on women, the program brings scholarship by and about women into all courses; it also depends upon pedagogical styles that are consistent with meeting the program objectives. The program is designed:

  • to be a complement to general education and to majors;
  • to be cross-disciplinary;
  • to encourage self-directed learning;
  • to encourage independent work;
  • to examine diverse knowledge;
  • to foster critical thinking and writing.

The program has three options:

  1. General Honors: Enroll in a 12-credit program of honors courses and graduate with distinction as an Honors Scholar.
  2. Advanced Honors: Juniors and/or seniors enrolled in General Honors work in a one-to-one relationship with a faculty member on an Independent Honors Project. Students will design and carry out their own project in their major or in another area of interest.
  3. Honors Affiliate: Enroll in one or more honors courses in areas of particular interest to you. Receive “Honors” designation on your official transcript.

Students who have a high school average of 92 or above or who have maintained a college grade point average of at least 3.4 are eligible to participate in the program, and must complete a brief (one page) application to enroll officially.

All inquiries about the Russell Sage College Honors Program should be directed to:

Professor Jack Harris
Director, Honors Program
Russell Sage College
45 Ferry St
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 degree must include a minimum of 90 credit hours in the liberal arts. A Bachelor of Science degree must include a minimum of 60 credit hours in the liberal arts.

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.