Each department and interdisciplinary program at St. Olaf College may award distinction to selected graduating senior majors for outstanding performance in the major. Indication of distinction appears in the commencement program and on the academic transcript.

Distinction recognizes the academic or artistic excellence of a student’s work. …. Distinction recognizes consistent excellence in the major field or concentration … (as well as) excellence in a particular academic undertaking: normally, the recognition is based in part on student work beyond the minimum requirements, usually in the form of a distinction project or thesis representing a considerable achievement… Faculty members of the department or program determine specific criteria for distinction. Not every candidate receives distinction. (St. Olaf College Academic Catalog)

Eligibility for Distinction in the Individual Major

The criteria and application process for distinction vary by academic area. To be eligible for distinction in the Individual Major, students must have developed and successfully completed a coherent, creative, integrative major, which includes an ambitious and well-executed senior project and a richly interconnected web portfolio. The major, project, and portfolio must demonstrate significant achievement of the program’s goals for integration of disciplines, methodologies, experiences, and resources. Consult the CIS web page “Components of a successful integrative major” for more details.

Students must also have achieved a 3.3 overall GPA, and a 3.7 GPA in the individual major.

Recommendations for distinction are discussed by students’ advisors during the May senior certification meetings. Advisors who want to recommend their advisees for distiction write a 1-page recommendation for consideration by the Distinction/Bonde Award committee.