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Commencement Awards

For the Class of 2021

The following are Commencement awards and honors available to students in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (CNSM). Please be sure to note the deadlines for application.

For more information about these awards, contact the department of your major or the Dean's Office. Applications should be sent to the department of your major.

College Commencement Awards

Students in the Class of 2021 who are completing their degrees in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics are eligible for the following CNSM Commencement Awards.

Graduate Dean's List of University Scholars and Artists

The top 1% of CNSM graduate students (up to 4 students) pursuing a graduate degree may be named to the Graduate Dean’s List of University Scholars and Artists.

  • Masters students only.
  • Students and their mentors submit their application to the appropriate department office by the deadline; departments will forward ranked applications to the College Deans, who recommend up to four nominees to the Graduate Dean.
  • All students nominated for this award must have filed for graduation and be eligible to receive a diploma dated December 2020, January 2021, May 2021, August 2021, or December 2021.
  • Nominations due to department offices: Thursday, February 25, 2021
  • Department recommendation due to the Dean's Office: Monday, March 1, 2021
  • Directions for Graduate Dean's List Application (PDF)

Outstanding Thesis Award

CNSM recognizes up to six truly outstanding theses, one possible in each department. Evaluation criteria of thesis include quality of presentation (appearance, format, style, language, clarity, etc.) and quality of research (scientific methodology, likelihood of publication - i.e., presentation at professional conference, manuscript submitted for publication, etc.).

  • Nominated by graduate thesis advisors.
  • Theses completed Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, or Spring 2021; award recipients who are completing their thesis Spring 2021 must provide their department and the college office proof of submission to the library by 5:00pm, April 10, 2021.
  • Advisor nominations due to department offices: Thursday, March 4, 2021
  • Department recommendations due to the Dean's Office: Thursday, March 18, 2021
  • Directions for Outstanding Thesis Award Application (PDF)

Richard D. Green Dean's Award

Outstanding Graduate and Baccalaureate Students

Recognizes CNSM outstanding graduating master's students and outstanding graduating baccalaureate students, one undergraduate student per department (including Environment Science and Policy, B.S. option), and one graduate student per department.

  • Nominees must be eligible to receive a diploma in December 2020, January 2021, May 2021, August 2021, or December 2021.
  • Nominee must have filed for graduation by the deadline.
  • Each recipient of the Richard D. Green Dean's Award agrees to submit a one-minute speech to be recorded and posted to the College’s Commencement Virtual Web Ceremony (Available for viewing mid-May).
  • Nominations due to department offices: Thursday, March 4, 2021
  • Department awardee nomination packets due to the Dean's Office: Tuesday, March 23, 2021
  • Directions for Richard D. Green Dean's Award Application (PDF)

Departmental Honors

Students who have filed for graduation and are completing their degrees in Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Summer 2021, and Fall 2021 are eligible for departmental honors.

Baccalaureate Students

With the approval of the dean of the college, departments may elect to award departmental honors to their baccalaureate graduates based on GPA and/or other criteria determined by the department. Departmental honors are usually reserved for students whose outstanding performance is not otherwise recognized by university or college awards. The number of honors awarded by a department shall be limited to three students or five percent of graduates, whichever is larger.

Master's Students

In recognition of outstanding graduate student achievements, departments may honor graduating Master's degree candidates by special recognition in the annual commencement ceremonies. The number of honors awarded by a department shall be limited to three students or five percent of graduates, whichever is larger. Departmental Graduate Student Honors are usually reserved for post-baccalaureate students not otherwise recognized by university or college awards. These honors are normally conferred for excellence in and contributions to the discipline, including outstanding seminar papers, artistic exhibitions, special achievements in field work, and service in university committees and functions, as well as participation in scholarly and professional organizations resulting from student research.


Graduation with Academic Honors

This designation is ONLY certified at the posting of the degree in the term of graduation. Thus, Spring 2021 graduates with honors will not be officially recognized until degrees are posted in June 2021. These honors are noted on the diploma and transcript.

Summa Cum Laude

B.A./B.S. only. GPA of 3.95 - 4.0 on ALL college work with 45 units or more completed here at California State University, Long Beach. Official conferral of honor is determined during final processing of degree audit following semester of completion.

Magna Cum Laude

B.A./B.S. only. GPA of 3.75 - 3.95 on ALL college work with 45 units or more completed here at California State University, Long Beach. Official conferral of honor is determined during final processing of degree audit following semester of completion.

Cum Laude

B.A./B.S. only. GPA of 3.5 - 3.75 on ALL college work with 45 units or more completed here at California State University, Long Beach. Official conferral of honor is determined during final processing of degree audit following semester of completion.