Recognition of Academic Achievement

Mills College encourages students to work toward their full intellectual potential in many ways including recognizing students' outstanding achievements through honors, awards, and nominations for national recognition. The following awards are open to all students regardless of major. Awards are also given at the departmental level. It is a Mills tradition that recognition of academic achievement in the form of special awards is not disclosed until the public announcement at Convocation or Commencement. See Student Awards for a complete listing.

Latin Honors

Latin Honors are calculated at the end of each term after all degrees have been conferred and upon conferral of the degree thereafter if the degree is conferred retroactively. Graduated students within each academic division must achieve the following cumulative grade point averages to receive Latin Honors: 

Division Cum laude Magna cum laude Summa cum laude
Art and Technology 3.94 3.98 4.00
Natural Sciences 3.90 3.96 4.00
Social Sciences 3.92 3.98 4.00
Education 3.93 3.96 4.00
Lokey School 3.86 3.97 4.00

*Latin Honors awarded previous to academic year 2021-2022, were awarded according to the criteria outlined in the catalog for the academic year under which the degree was awarded.

Students pursuing double majors in more than one division will receive the highest honors for which they qualify. Students whose records are completed after the conferral of degrees will be considered for Latin Honors once their degree is completed.

Academic Honors

Full-time students completing all Mills work formally attempted with at least 12 regularly graded semester course credits and a semester GPA of 3.75 or above (3.55 or above for first-year students) are awarded academic honors at the end of each semester as a recognition of achievement.

Phi Beta Kappa Society

Seniors are elected as members of the Phi Beta Kappa Society in acknowledgment of their high scholarly achievements, breadth of liberal learning, and intellectual integrity and curiosity. Selection for membership takes place each spring, and courses taken during that spring semester are not taken into consideration. The charter for the Mills College chapter was granted on September 12, 1928, and our chapter—the Zeta Chapter—was installed soon after, on March 16, 1929.

Honors in the Major

The degree of bachelor of arts or bachelor of science with honors in the major field is awarded to students who demonstrate unusual ability in the major sequence. Each spring departments nominate outstanding students to the Academic Standing Committee for consideration. The minimum criteria for eligibility include a 3.7 GPA in the major courses, completion of at least half the courses in the major at Mills, and formal nomination by the major department. Departments may also impose additional requirements. Students should contact their major department to determine additional requirements.

Aurelia Henry Reinhardt Faculty Purse

This award, established in 1949 and announced at Commencement, provides a monetary award to an outstanding graduate to support graduate study abroad or in the US. No application is made; all members of the senior class are considered for the award, decided by the faculty as a whole.

Elizabeth Mudd Senior Prize

This monetary award was established in 1927 for excellence in scholarship and is announced at Commencement. No application is made; all members of the senior class are considered for the award, decided by the faculty as a whole.

Mary Atkins Merit Scholarship

This scholarship, announced at Convocation, was established in 1987 to recognize the academic achievement of a continuing resumer student. No application is made; all returning resumer students are considered for the award, decided by the faculty as a whole.