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Graduation Requirements

To be eligible for the Associate in Arts degree (A.A.), the Associate in Science degree (A.S.), or Associate in Applied Science degree (A.A.S.), students are recommended by the faculty if they: 

  • Complete at least 60 credits (excluding developmental courses) of passing work. 
  • Fulfill course requirements established in the selected program of study. 
  • Earn a GPA of at least 2.0 in work taken at the college applicable to their program. 
  • Complete at least 25 percent of the semester hours applicable to their degree program at the college. (Complete 50 percent of semester hours applicable to certificate program.) 
  • Students may transfer back up to 45 credits with approval of the pertinent academic program/department in order to complete a degree, the Continuous Enrollment Policy notwithstanding.


Each year, the college confers the honor of Valedictorian for one graduating student who demonstrates academic excellence. The student gives the Valedictory address at the Commencement ceremony and is a member of the Commencement Platform Party.

During the Spring semester, students who will graduate with the highest grade point averages (GPA) among all graduating students will be notified and invited to express interest in becoming Valedictorian. Of those interested, the student with the highest GPA will be Valedictorian. The student with the second-highest GPA will be selected Salutatorian.

Graduation Honors

Associate degree students who maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.2 to 3.49 will graduate “Cum Laude,” a GPA of 3.5 to 3.79 “Magna Cum Laude,” and a GPA of 3.8 or higher “Summa Cum Laude.” “Cum Laude” designations at graduation are based on academic performance through the Fall semester prior to the June graduation ceremony. Final “Cum Laude” designations include all coursework and are printed on the student’s official college transcript.

Graduation as a Commonwealth Honors Scholar

Students who successfully complete the Commonwealth Honors Program will be designated a “Commonwealth Honors Scholar” at graduation and will be recognized by the president at Commencement. Students will be distinguished by the wearing of the gold honors cord. “Commonwealth Honors Scholar” will be printed on the student’s transcript.
Graduation Requirements for Commonwealth Honors Scholars to graduate with an associate degree as a Commonwealth Honors Scholar, a student must:

  1. Meet all requirements for an associate degree in major/program. 
  2. Earn a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA while at Bristol. 
  3. Earn a minimum of 30 credits completed at Bristol. 
  4. Participate in a minimum of four honors experiences (10 honors credits), with a grade of at least “B.” These honors experiences could either be honors courses or honors component courses. At least two of these honors experiences (6 honors credits) must be taken at Bristol. 
  5. In the honors credits, a student must: a. Take at least one interdisciplinary honors course (3 credits), for honors-level students only. b. Take a minimum of one writing-intensive honors experience (3 credits). c. Complete an honors project (or possibly a thesis), directed by a faculty member, involving independent research. This one-credit culminating experience could grow from one of the three honors experiences, but it does not have to follow that path. Students may be required to present their projects as part of an honors day seminar. d. Earning credit outside the classroom.

Community Service Leaders

Students who participate in service-learning or community service, attend leadership training, plan a community service project that meets a real need in the community, and recruit, help train, mentor, and supervise peers performing service for the project are designated as Community Service Leaders. They wear a red cord and are publicly recognized at Commencement.

Academic Achievement Awards

Students who maintain a cumulative GPA of 4.0 will receive an Academic Achievement Award when all program requirements are met.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society

Phi Theta Kappa is the national honor society of American community and junior colleges. Bristol’s chapter is known as Beta Eta Phi. The purpose of this society is to recognize and en- courage scholarship among community college students. Candidates are selected in the fall and spring of each academic year. They must be currently enrolled in a degree program at the college and have accumulated 24 or more Bristol credits with a 3.5 or better cumulative average.