Graduate Honor Societies

In addition to Fellowships and Scholarships and Research/Creative Activity Awards, graduate students may be honored through nomination to the Cratis D. Williams Society, Alpha Epsilon Lambda or Who's Who Among American College Students. Read about each of these organizations below.

Please note: All graduate students must maintain a 3.0 GPA, so there are no Latin honors (cum laude, etc.) for graduate students.

The Cratis D. Williams Society

Each year, the Graduate School seeks nominations for students to induct into the Cratis D. Williams Society. This society is designed to include the top 2% of graduates from the School of Graduate Studies each year. Inductees are chosen from among the nominees based upon their academic performance, their engagement in their discipline, and their potential for leadership.

Nominations are accepted each Spring and Fall semester, and lists of eligible students will be sent to departments shortly after the application for graduation deadline (November and April).

Specifically, nominees must:

  • be on track to graduate with a graduate degree (master's, specialist, doctoral) in December, May, or August;
  • be outstanding academically, with a graduate GPA of 4.0;
  • have engaged in or completed a project related to research, creative activities, practical professional experiences, OR service as a significant part of their program of study;
  • have shown clear potential to be leaders in academic, workforce, or community life.

Nominations should include a letter from the nominating department chair, graduate program director, or program faculty mentor that addresses specifically how the nominee's performance in the program and on the project was outstanding, as well as evidence for the nominee's leadership potential.

The inductees will be honored with a medallion that may be worn at commencement, and will be recognized at the Spring Graduate Student Awards Reception.

Nominations will be limited to one per program. Selection will be made without regard to or quota for program, department, or college. 

 Alpha Epsilon Lambda

The honor society of graduate and professional school students.

The AEL honor society's primary goal is to recognize the academic and leadership accomplishments of graduate and professional school students. The mission of Alpha Epsilon Lambda is to:

  • Confer distinction for high achievement
  • Promote leadership development
  • Promote scholarship and encourage intellectual development
  • Enrich the intellectual environment of graduate education institutions
  • Encourage high standards of ethical behavior

Nominations are accepted each Spring semester. To be considered for AEL students should complete the NOMINATION PACKET.

Criteria for consideration for AEL are:

  • You must be unconditionally admitted to a degree program, currently enrolled, and must not have completed the current degree program.
  • A graduate G.P.A. of at least 3.9 having at least one semester as a full time graduate student (minimum 9 graduate program hours), and substantial evidence of outstanding academic scholarly performance (publications, presentations at professional meetings, membership in other graduate honor societies, scholarships, fellowships, research grants).
  • Outstanding leadership as demonstrated through involvement in on-campus and off-campus activities during the student's graduate career.

Students are considered for induction each Spring. You may access the AEL application at:

The web site for the AEL organization is: