Graduating With Academic Honors


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Academic Honors

Rio Salado College invites students who completed their associate degrees with distinction to wear colored honors cords with your graduation attire at commencement. 

Earning Honors Designation

The honors designation is earned by calculating all of the grades that fulfilled your graduation requirements. That includes classes you took from other accredited institutions. It doesn't include any classes in the current semester/calendar block.

Honors graduates have completed at least 15 credits of specially designated honors work and have achieved a cumulative 3.5 grade point average (GPA). To graduate with honors, candidates meet the following GPA requirements:

Gold Cord

Highest Distinction


Red Cord

High Distinction


White Cord



Note: Students wearing a gold stole and tassel are members of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the National Honor Society for two-year American Colleges.

Organizations for Honor Students

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK)

Founded in 1918, PTK is the international honor society for two-year colleges. Alpha Theta Omicron is Rio Salado College’s award-winning PTK chapter.

Learn more

National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS)

NSLS helps people discover and achieve their goals through life-changing lectures from the nation's top leadership presenters.

Learn more