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Graduation with Distinction

What is Graduation with Distinction (GWD)?

Duke University offers two types of Graduations with Distinction, one within one’s major and one without.  For the difference see the Trinity Colleges of Arts and Sciences website on Graduation with Distinction.  Also “Latin Honors” (e.g. summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) are separate from distinction.  For requirements for the latter see here.


What are the requirements to Graduate with Distinction?

  • completed application for GWD must be filed with Amy Kirkland no later than the second-to-last semester before graduation and before October 1st.
  • overall grade point average of 3.0 at the beginning of first semester of your senior year (see here for how to calculate this)
  • divisional grade point average of 3.2 at the beginning of the of the first semester of your senior year (see here for how to calculate this)
  • enrollment in at least two semesters of independent research study (EOS 393 and EOS 394)
  • successful completion of original research in the field of Earth and Ocean Sciences and a substantive written report, at LEAST 25 pages (or equivalent as agreed upon with your GWD adviser)
  • Presentation of your study in poster form at our annual Undergraduate Research poster session in the NSOE (in April of your Senior Year). Your work will be evaluated by a three-faculty committee that includes your research adviser, the Director of Undergraduate Studies, and a third faculty member.

Independent Research Study enrollment is usually available only for Juniors and Seniors.  Students who declare earlier than their sophomore year and wish to pursue research towards GWD in EOS need to receive permission from their faculty adviser as well as the EOS Director of Undergraduate Studies.