University Honors & Graduation Awards

University Honors

Students majoring in Communication are eligible for a number of academic honors conferred by the School of Arts and Sciences and the University.

The Dean’s List is awarded annually to any student who achieves a combined GPA of 3.7 for the fall and spring semesters, provided that during the semesters the student has:

  • Completed 6 or more course units for letter grades
  • Received no grade lower than C
  • Completed all courses with no Incompletes or designations of NR or GR

Dean’s List awards are indicated on a student’s transcript.

The Delta Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was founded at the University of Pennsylvania in 1892. Each spring the Electoral Board meets to elect new members who have distinguished themselves through independent research, participation in honors programs, advanced work in the major and cognate disciplines, and evidence of intellectual rigor in an undergraduate program. Juniors with a GPA of 3.85 or higher and seniors with a GPA of 3.75 or higher at the end of the fall semester are automatically considered. Students do not apply for Phi Beta Kappa.

Graduation Honors for distinguished academic achievement and high standards of academic integrity are awarded by the University to students with the following minimum cumulative GPA’s at the time of graduation:

  • Summa cum laude - 3.80
  • Magna cum laude - 3.60
  • Cum laude - 3.40

The Degree in Communication with Honors

Communication majors who have at least a 3.5 overall GPA at the end of the junior year are eligible to complete a Communication Honors Thesis and graduate with the degree in Communication with Honors. To complete the Communication Major with the Honors designation, students must successfully complete the two course senior thesis seminar (as indicated here) and have at least a 3.5 overall GPA upon graduation.

Annenberg Graduation Awards

Annenberg annually presents graduating Communication majors with a number of awards during its undergraduate commencement ceremony. These may include the following:

The Michael X. Delli Carpini Award for Communication and Public Service recognizes a graduating senior who is part of the Communication and Public Service program and has completed an outstanding thesis on a topic related to either public policy or public service issues.

The George Gerbner Award honors the School’s former Dean (1964 – 1989) and is presented to a graduating senior for the honors thesis that best demonstrates an original and comprehensive application of both research skills and a thorough understanding of communication scholarship.

The Charles Morris Price Prize acknowledges an outstanding graduating senior in the Communication major who, in the view of the departmental faculty, has most distinguished themselves through a combination of academic excellence, research accomplishments, and/or contributions to the department's academic objectives. Includes a cash prize of $500.

The C. Nicole Dickerson Award, named in memory of undergraduate adviser C. Nicole Dickerson, is the Annenberg School's award for public service. It is awarded to a graduating Communication major who has made a significant contribution to our neighbors in the West Philadelphia community.

The Honorable Walter H. Annenberg Award, named in honor of the School's founder, is granted to the student who has strengthened and improved the University of Pennsylvania's student community through Communication service activities.

The Kathleen Hall Jamieson Award honors the graduating senior with the highest cumulative grade point average in the major.

The Phyllis C. Kaniss Award is presented in memory of Phyllis C. Kaniss, former Assistant Dean and Adjunct Faculty Member of the Annenberg School for Communication. This award is presented to a graduating Communication major who has demonstrated a commitment to civic participation through meaningful action around issues of public concern.

The Carolyn Marvin Award for Free Speech and Assembly is given to a graduating Communication major who, through their curricular, co-curricular, or extra-curricular activities has done the most to advance our understanding of the importance of free speech and assembly in a democratic society.