Graduation with Distinction

We are pleased to be able to say that Program II students are exceptionally well-represented among the students in Trinity College who pursue graduation with distinction (GwD). In most years two or three times as many of our students graduate with distinction as the average number of students in a given graduating class in Trinity College. Since all Program II students are expected to include a two-semester Senior Capstone Project in their programs of study, it is often relatively easy for the capstone experience to meet the qualifications for graduation with distinction. Please consider this option seriously and contact the Program II office if you have questions or would like additional information about applying for graduation with distinction in Program II.

Why Pursue Graduation with Distinction in Program II?

Students who have graduated with distinction in the past have done so for a variety of reasons, among them:

  • Deep interest in an intellectual topic;
  • A wish to work closely and in depth with one or more experts in a field;
  • As a way of gauging whether to consider graduate school in a particular field;
  • In order to enhance their applications to graduate school;
  • The personal challenge of completing such a sustained academic project; and
  • The wish to distinguish themselves as scholars.

Whatever your reason(s), we hope you will explore the possibility of GwD with your Program II advisor and prepare yourself in ways that will enable you pursue GwD in your senior year.

Graduation with Distinction in Program II: Description

Procedure for selection of students

An overall GPA of 3.3, and a 3.5 in the core courses, is required for eligibility to apply to the honors program in Program II. The grade point average must be maintained from the time of acceptance into the distinction program through graduation. The Program does not limit the number of students who may qualify for distinction. Students who meet the eligibility requirements should complete an application form and submit it to the director of Program II by the last day of drop/add in the penultimate semester of enrollment at Duke.

Expected product

A significant project with the student's advisor or member of the honors committee is required with a written report or paper in the style of a publishable article. Students are encouraged to give a public presentation of their project along with other distinction students in their sponsoring department.

Evaluative body

A committee of three faculty members drawn from two or more departments and including the student's Program II advisor.

Evaluative procedure

The committee will evaluate the student's project to determine whether it merits distinction.

Levels of distinction

Three levels: Distinction, High, and Highest

Special courses, other activities required, comments

The student is expected to enroll in an independent study with his/her Program II advisor or another member of the honors committee. Alternatively, if permitted, the student may apply for acceptance into the senior honors course(s) of the sponsoring department. Information about graduation with distinction is mailed to all eligible Program II juniors in March or early April. A written project proposal must be submitted no later than the end of the drop/add period in the student's penultimate semester at Duke, usually the fall of the senior year.