Who Gets on the Dean’s List? And Does It Matter?

Did you know that the Dean’s list is one of the most sought-after academic awards?

That’s right! It is a very exclusive distinction: only the top 1-5% of college students get on the Dean’s list!

So you want to know what it takes to get on this prestigious list?

Keep reading and you’ll find out: who gets on the Dean’s list and why it matters.

What is the Dean’s List?

The Dean’s List is an academic award given to students who can achieve and maintain a GPA of 3.7 and above. 

Some schools are more forgiving, while some are more rigid. 

This award system is prevalent throughout the US and in Canada. Other countries have them as well, but it’s not as popular or as established. 

In some countries, the Dean’s List is synonymous with honor roll or honor list. 

In the US, however, both of the aforementioned are still an award given to students who can achieve and maintain a 3.2 GPA and above but no more than the required GPA for Dean’s List. 

One thing to also take note of is that elite universities may increase the GPA requirement depending on the semester’s competitiveness. 

To elaborate, if the majority of students in a particular semester is gaining good GPAs and getting high marks, e.g., 50% of students are achieving 3.5 GPA, the institution will resort to filtering them through a percentage system. 

Who gets on the Dean’s List (requirements)

As I’ve mentioned earlier, only students who can achieve and maintain a high GPA are eligible for this award. 

Universities will differ from one another. 

Here, I’ve compiled a few universities and their requirements:

  • Rasmussen University — requires students to earn a 3.75 GPA or higher to be placed on the Dean’s List.
  • Columbia University — requires students to earn a minimum GPA of 3.6 in 12 or more points of letter credit in the preceding term to have a place on the Dean’s List. 
  • New York University — requires students to achieve an average of 3.65 or higher for that academic year (September to May) in at least 28 graded points.
  • The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) — requires students a 3.75 GPA in any one term, with at least 12 letter-graded units or a 3.66 GPA and at least 56-grade points during the term.
  • Notre Dame de Namur University — requires students to attain a semester GPA of 3.5 or higher in a program of 12 units or more of letter-graded courses in the previous semester.

As you can see, who gets into the Dean’s List are those who are taking their studies seriously. 

Other than that, it also shows that each university has its own set of rules. 

Also, take note that most universities will disqualify the student if he/she has a subject with a failing grade. Even if the GPA has hit the requirement, the student is still not eligible due to the failing mark. 

Is there a university that doesn’t have a specific GPA requirement?

Well, one of the most prestigious universities in the world doesn’t, and that’s MIT.

According to a forum, MIT will consider you to be a candidate for the Dean’s List if you can manage to have a higher grade than 75% of the graduating class.

To make it even more challenging, you need to be in the top 10% of those who are considered candidates. 

In a nutshell, if there are 1,000 students in your class, you need to be in the top 250 before they can consider you as eligible. 

Of those 250, they will only select 25 students to get the award. 

How important is Dean’s List

Getting a Dean’s List award or being recognized isn’t that important. 

To be clear, it is only an award.

The school will only conduct a ceremony to hand the award to you. 

If you’re unable to attend, they’ll mail it to you. 

What’s truly important is that you continue your study with the intent to learn and become proficient and reliable in your field of expertise. 

However, there are benefits to being part of the Dean’s List, and that’s something that will make this achievement worthwhile. 

Benefits of being on the Dean’s List

  • Personal achievement

Being part of the Dean’s List is tangible evidence that you have been serious about your studies. You will receive a certificate for your superb performance during the academic year. 

Getting this award will boost your morale and motivate you to push even harder to attain your aspirations.

  • Access to prestigious events

Some universities will make Dean’s Listers more active in school events and even turn them into representatives. 

Being a Dean Lister means that you have more opportunities to travel and even attend seminars that will benefit your future career.

  • Recognition and fame

Since you’re a Dean’s Lister, your school website and magazine will publish a story about you. It will instantly boost your credibility and make your university life a little bit cooler.

  • You will be more inviting to employers

With the current competition in the professional world, you have to stand out. Being part of the Dean’s List is one sure way of actually stepping into the spotlight. 

Employers and talent scouts will immediately see you as a person that’s worth their while as it shows character, determination, and perseverance to be part of the list. 

  • Better financial aid

Last but not least is the fact that you get financial aid. Although the university won’t be handing it to you directly or formally, you will have a better chance of actually getting accepted into scholarship programs. 

Furthermore, successful alumni who are willing to help are going to select Dean’s Listers as their beneficiary over other students. Thus, you will likely have financial aid coming your way, especially when you declare that you’re having a difficult time moneywise. 

Put Dean’s List on your resume

The benefits of being part of the Dean’s List doesn’t end in the university. 

You will have its prestige even after you graduate. 

Right out of college, the competition is fierce. 

Most employers will always select those with experience or some form of achievement. 

If you’re not a Dean’s Lister, you’re not going to have any of those two. 

But with the award, you’ll be surprised that you’re going to have an easier time than most.

Furthermore, this award also proves that your GPA is at the top, making you an instant candidate and a sure priority in the HR of any company. 

Frequently asked questions

Here are some frequently asked questions:

Does Dean’s list show up on your school transcript?

For the majority of universities, it’s safe to say yes. 

One of the best things about this award is that it will indeed reflect in your transcript. However, it’s best to ask your institution if it is that important to you.

It will only be a notation and nothing that significant. 

Regardless, if you’re part of the Dean’s List, your marks will clearly show even if it doesn’t state that you’re a Dean’s Lister. 

Can irregular students be a Dean’s Lister?

Unfortunately, most universities will not consider irregulars as a candidate to be a part of the Dean’s List.

The reason behind it is simple: the typical reason why you have become an irregular student is due to a failing grade or a subject that was intentionally dropped.

As mentioned above, universities will not consider students with failing grades despite getting the required GPA. 

Is Dean’s List an honor or award?

The Dean’s List is an academic award. 

What is the difference between the Dean’s List and the President’s List?

The President’s List is a more prestigious award and requires an even higher grade to qualify. 

However, it is very uncommon.

Some universities do not have this system. 

Those that do will require a GPA of no less than 4.0 to become eligible. Moreover, every subject in the program should be an A. 

Final Words

Being part of the Dean’s List is not a necessity.

However, aiming to be part of it will instantly enhance your opportunities in life as it will require you to have exceptional grades.

You can integrate this achievement into your academic goal to push yourself further. Even if you don’t get this award, there’s a high chance that you’ll fall into the Honor List, which is still a feat to have. 

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