Honor cords are worn to signify academic achievement and/or membership in an honor society depending on the College.
The Southern California College of Optometry recognizes students with the highest GPAs. The gold Summa Cum Laude cord represents a GPA of 3.8 to 4.0. The silver Magna Cum Laude cord represents a GPA of 3.6 to 3.79. The white Cum Laude cord represents a GPA of 3.4 to 3.59. These honors are included on the student’s diploma.
The student with the highest cumulative GPA is the valedictorian, sits with the Platform Party and gives the valedictorian address. The student wears an engraved medallion.
The student with the second-highest cumulative GPA is the salutatorian. The student wears an engraved medallion.
Beta Sigma Kappa is the optometric honor society (BSK). If the student is a member during their last academic year, the student wears a single gold cord. If the student was a member all four years, the student wears a gold and black intertwined cord.
The students keep the honor cords and medallions.
The School of Physician Assistant Studies recognizes students at the Leadership Awards Ceremony held the day before commencement. The students are awarded certificates.
The Class President gives the graduate address during commencement. Marshall B. Ketchum University recognizes students from all Colleges for the Student Leadership Development Certificate. These students are identified by the leadership medals worn on their gowns during the Commencement Ceremony.