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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Honors Program GPA policy changes from a 3.2 to 2.0

The announcement was emailed to all of the Honors students Tuesday, Aug 29.
Marquette+was+ranked+230+out+of+248+for+free+speech+compared+to+other+universities+across+the+United+States.+
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Marquette was ranked 230 out of 248 for free speech compared to other universities across the United States.

In previous years, students part of Marquette’s Honors Program had to maintain a 3.2 cumulative grade point average in order to graduate with core honors. Now, Honors students are only required to have a 2.0.

The announcement was emailed to all of the Honors students Tuesday, Aug 29.

Amelia Zurcher, director of the Honors Program, said the GPA drop has been something the program has been contemplating for a “couple of years.”

There are two parts to the Honors Program — core honors and disciplinary honors. This drop will not affect disciplinary honors since their GPA requirements are picked by the individual colleges for the programs.

“The Nursing College has a disciplinary honors program in nursing and they decided that they really wanted to lower their GPA for entrance because they felt like the students who succeed in research … and do amazing things after graduation aren’t always necessarily the students with high GPA’s,” Zurcher said.

Zurcher said it’s important for students to participate in experiential learning such as research, internships, projects in the community and more.

“That’s where that conversation kind of came from, thinking about our outcomes and how we can align our requirements with our outcomes and also helping students take risks and try hard things,” Zurcher said.

Although there are programs where GPA “matters a ton,” Zurcher said there’s different routes to academic success aside from grades.

Zurcher said the board changed the GPA to a 2.0 because it’s the same requirement for majors and it deems “good academic standing.”

“What we’re hoping with our lowering is that it will take pressure off students who are already really GPA motivated to maybe take more risks, to take classes that they maybe wouldn’t have otherwise … but we hope that honors will be a space where students can do more risks and experimentation,” Zurcher said.

Another goal of this change, Zurcher said, is to send a “clear message” that the program values curiosity, engagement, inclusivity and taking risks. However, she said to encourage those things, it doesn’t make sense to have a GPA requirement on top of that.

“Because potentially for some students that could work against them,” Zurcher said. “But at the same time, academic success, however you define that … is still really important to us.”

Back in 2021 Zurcher said the program changed their outcomes where they had eight students and six faculty members working as part of the deciding team.

“We had a really powerful team partnership and they were the first ones to say, ‘Let’s get rid of the GPA requirement,'” Zurcher said.

Although there still is a requirement of a 2.0, Zurcher added that the outcome of the Honors Program isn’t students always getting good grades.

Its outcomes include communication, articulation, identification and expression.

“They’re very much about experiential learning, creating inclusive communities and … our admissions process doesn’t have any cut-offs,” Zurcher said.

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About the Contributor
Julia Abuzzahab, Executive Projects Editor
Julia Abuzzahab is a senior from Wausau, Wisconsin studying journalism and film and media studies and is the Executive Projects Editor of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Prior to this position, she served as the Executive News Editor for the organization. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys playing piano and seeing her friends. She is most excited to see all of the work her and her team accomplish this year and spending time with her friends in the newsroom.  

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