There are various Academic Recognition opportunities available to students.
The names of undergraduates who have achieved a grade point average in the top 20 percent of their college class for a given semester will be included on a list prepared for the dean of the college. This list is publicized on campus and is sent to news agencies throughout the state.
To be eligible for Dean's List recognition, students must successfully complete at least 12 hours of course work in which traditional letter grades are earned. Credits earned during the semester through proficiency, CLEP, and advanced placement examinations are not counted toward the 12 semester hour requirement.
The Bronze Tablet is a recognition of continuous high academic achievement. The student's name is inscribed on the Bronze Tablet, which hangs on a wall in the Main Library Building. Undergraduate students must meet the following qualifications:
- They must have a minimum 3.5 cumulative grade-point average for all work taken through the academic term before graduation (academic term before graduation means: for August graduates, the preceding spring semester; for October graduates, the preceding summer session; for May graduates, the preceding fall semester).
- They must rank, on the basis of the cumulative grade-point average through the academic term before graduation, in the top three percent of the students in their college graduating class. (College graduating class means all students receiving bachelor's degrees from the same college between July 1 of each year and June 30 of the next.)
In addition to the above rules, transfer students must meet the following qualifications.
- They must have cumulative University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign grade-point averages as high as the lowest ones listed for students in their college who qualify on the basis of having completed all of their work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
- They must earn 40 or more semester hours at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign through the academic term before graduation.
In recent semesters, the GPAs of Bronze Tablet recipients from the College of Engineering have been above a 3.93.
Honors awarded at graduation to superior students are designated on the diploma as honors, high honors, or highest honors. A student receives honors with a cumulative Illinois grade point average of at least 3.50, and high honors with at least a 3.80 grade point average at graduation. Highest honors may be awarded to any student eligible for high honors upon recommendation of his or her department. The criteria used by departments in selecting individuals for highest honors recognition include outstanding performance in course work and in supplementary activities of an academic or professional nature. Ordinarily, such a citation requires completion of an undergraduate thesis or a special project of superior quality.
Tau Beta Pi is a national engineering honor society that recognizes students, alumni, and engineers for outstanding academic achievements and exemplary character. The Alpha chapter at Illinois was founded in 1897 and is the fifth oldest chapter. In addition to gaining scholastic recognition, members participate in activities that serve the chapter, the Grainger College of Engineering, and the community. The scholastic requirement for membership in Tau Beta Pi is that juniors must be in the upper one-eighth of their graduating class and seniors must be in the upper one-fifth of their graduating class.