A Barnard Faculty ruling allows each department and program to nominate up to 20% of its graduating majors for Departmental Honors. The Department of Political Science traditionally nominates the top 20% of its majors based on the grade point average for all courses completed for the major. Once the Registrar has processed the grades from the second semester of senior year, the Committee on Honors (CoH) makes the final decision. This information is not yet available at graduation time, but it is indicated on the transcripts mailed to the newly minted graduates.
Note: a Class consists of the graduates within one academic year, i.e. the October, February and May graduates. Thus, the October 2014 and the February and May 2015 graduates make up the Class of 2015.
Barnard College aims to award Latin Honors to the top 35 percent of each graduating class, based on overall grade point average, with the top five percent of the class receiving summa cum laude (with highest honors), the following ten percent, magna cum laude (with great honor), and the final twenty percent, cum laude (with honor). Once all grades have been processed, the CoH makes its decision.
Phi Beta Kappa
The Phi Beta Kappa Society (ΦΒΚ, also PBK) is an academic honor society with the mission of "fostering and recognizing excellence" in the undergraduate liberal arts and sciences. Founded at the College of William and Mary on 5 December 1776, it is the oldest such society in the United States. Today there are 283 chapters and over half a million living members. The Barnard PBK Committee selects juniors and seniors based on overall excellence. ΦΒΚ stands for philosophia biou kubernetes "Love of wisdom, the guide of life."