Academia, Campus, News

BU looks to unify honors standards

Every college within Boston University has different requirements for what qualifies a student for the dean’s list, but that could all change with a plan that would standardize the minimum grade point average and other factors across all 18 colleges within the university.
Making the dean’s list at BU has never been an easy task, but for some students, the average GPA is slightly higher to account for discrepancies among various course schedules and material covered across different fields of study.
Of the approximately 8,000 College of Arts and Sciences undergraduates, roughly 2,000 ‘-‘- or 25 percent ‘-‘- are awarded the distinction of being on the dean’s list. These students all have a GPA of 3.5 or higher for the semester and carry at least 15 academic credits.
Similarly, College of Communication students are only awarded invitations to the dean’s list if they maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher over two consecutive semesters.
Colleges within the university that often see lower GPAs due to demanding courses and more time-consuming schedules require slightly lower overall averages to qualify their students for the list.
For instance, in contrast to both’ CAS and COM, the College of Engineering places the top 30 percent of its students onto the dean’s list each semester, according to the ENG Student Services website. The School of Management also grants between 30 and 40 percent of SMG students ‘-‘- provided they reach a minimum’ 3.3 GPA ‘-‘- the honors of being on the list.
With President Robert Brown’s ‘One BU’ initiative, which tries to integrate and connect the university as a whole, the requirements for making the dean’s list could be reduced to a single set of university-wide standards, leaving some students questioning whether this would be appropriate based on the differences between colleges.
Sophomore Jonathan Quinones is not on his school’s dean’s list because his grade point average is below a 3.3 However, he said the requirements to make SMG’s list are fair for the level of course-intensity and time-consuming schedules SMG students are expected to take on.
‘Having different requirements is fair, because some colleges are harder than others,’ he said.
CAS junior Ariel Morrison said she agreed that the current system is fair.
‘The requirements to make the dean’s list should be different because each college has different requirements within it for what you have to complete,’ she said.
The ‘One BU’ initiative is taking place in various areas of the university, and a uniform standard for making the dean’s list is one item on a long list of future endeavors under consideration and has not yet been formally discussed by administrators, Undergraduate Education Associate Provost Victor Coelho said.
Currently, the schools and colleges at BU have only a few standards in common regarding their respective dean’s lists: Students must be full-time, have no ‘incompletes’ and have completed at least four courses within the semester.
In the School of Education, which requires a GPA of 3.5 or higher to get on the list, a ‘good portion’ of students are invited to receive the honors, SED Student Services coordinator Jacqueline Boyle said.
In the College of Fine Arts, unlike many of the other schools, there are two levels for making the dean’s list, CFA spokeswoman Jean Connaughton said. Students with a GPA of 3.40 to 3.74 make the dean’s list, while those with a 3.75 or above for each semester receive the same honors with the addition of special distinctions.
CAS junior Rachel Geller said she thinks the idea of a unified standard for the dean’s list is a good idea.
‘I think it would put everyone at BU on an equal playing field,’ she said.

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