Cord Colors & Meanings

In addition to the traditional academic regalia, many students will be wearing special sashes, cords and tassels to signify their involvement in various organizations or to recognize specific achievements. Please note Not all cords or drapes will be represented at both ceremonies if there is a double ceremony day.
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Students Graduating with Honors

Students who complete at least 50 credits at Frostburg State University with a high cumulative grade point average (GPA) will be recognized for their scholastic accomplishment. These students will wear a gold tassel rather than a black tassel to signify their achievement.  The honors are as follows

Cum Laude from 3.400 to 3.649
Magna Cum Laude from 3.650 to 3.899
Summa Cum Laude 3.900 and above

Bright yellow cords with blue tassels

Psi Chi,
national psychology honorary;
achievement of 3.0 cum. GPA and 3.2 GPA in major.

Gold sash

Phi Epsilon Kappa,
physical education honorary;
achievement of 3.0 cum. GPA in major.

Brown, blue and gold sash

Gamma Theta Upsilon,
geography honorary;
achievement of 3.3 cum. GPA in major and 3.3 overall cum. GPA.

Red and black sash

Frostburg Student Education Association;
graduates entering the teaching field who have been active FSEA members.

Gold cord with gold and green tassels

Alpha Epsilon Rho,
mass communication honorary;
achievement of 3.0 cum. GPA in major.

Teal cord

Member of Alpha Kappa Delta, Sociology Honor Society; requirements are 3.3 cumulative GPA, and 3.0 GPA in at least 12 credits of sociology courses.

Yellow and red cords

Sigma Delta Pi,
Spanish honorary;
achievement of 3.5 cum. GPA in Spanish courses and 3.2 cum. GPA;
active in co-curricular activities.

Red and black cords

Sigma Tau Delta,
English honorary;
achievement of 3.0 cum. GPA in major, 3.0 overall cum. GPA.

Blue and gold cords

Beta Gamma Sigma,
business honor society;
student must be enrolled in a program accredited by AACSB International;
overall cum. GPA for juniors within top 10% of class;
for seniors, top 10%;
for students with Masters, top 20%.

Gold cords

Honors in General Education;
completion of 24 credit hours in honors general education courses with a 3.0 GPA overall

Gold medallion with blue and gold lavaliere-style ribbon

Phi Alpha,
Social Work Honor Society;
overall cum. GPA of 3.0;
cum. GPA of 3.25 in Social Work courses.

Woven multi-colored kente cloth stole

Membership in the Black Student Alliance;
symbolizes pride in African cultural heritage.

Red, black and white cords

Membership in the Student Government Association.

Navy blue and silver twisted cord

Student membership in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers;
accomplishment of service to the professional society.

Cord or sash with insignia of a particular country

Indication of an international or study abroad student earning his/her degree at FSU.

Red, black and white cords

Pi Sigma Alpha, political science honorary; achievement of 3.25 cum. GPA in major and 3.25 overall cum. GPA.

Blue and white cords

National Residence Hall Honorary;
one year of living in a residence hall,
minimum cum. GPA of 3.0,
record of service to and leadership in the residence hall system.

Light blue and white cords

International Relations Club;
active member for two years with achievement of 2.5 GPA.

Red, white and gold cords

Pre-Professional Medical Society,
shared interest;
members of PPMS share a common interest in practicing a branch of medicine and actively participate in community service.

Green and red cords

Beta Beta Beta,
National Biology Honor Society;
full membership requires achievement of 3.0 GPA overall and in biology courses.

Royal blue and gold twisted cord with tassel and ACS pin

Student Members of the American Chemical Society; Active membership and service in the Student Members of the American Chemical Society.

Blue, white and red

Pi Delta Phi,
French National Honor Society;
achievement of 3.0 GPA.

Royal purple and old gold twisted cords/sash

Delta Sigma Pi,
an international professional business co-ed fraternity for MBA and accounting, economics, and business administration majors.

Yellow and white cords

Order of Omega,
Greek National Honor Society;
achievement of a 3.0 GPA and leadership in a Greek letter organization.

Black and gold cords

Phi Eta Sigma,
freshman national honor society;
achievement of 3.5 GPA as first year student.

Gold medallion with red and black ribbon

Participant in the Sloop Institute for Excellence in Leadership.

White stole with UPE logo

Upsilon Pi Epsilon,
National Honor Society for the Computing and Information Disciplines;
achievement of 3.2 cum. GPA in major at time of induction.

Teal cords

Alpha Kappa Delta,
Sociology Honor Society;
achievement of 3.0 overall cum. GPA and in sociology courses taken,
minimum of 12 credit hours of sociology.

Navy blue and light gray

Membership in the FSU student chapter of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM).

Red and blue with red and blue tassels

Phi Alpha Theta,
national history, honorary;
achievement of 3.0 cum. GPA and 3.2 GPA in major.

Red and white cords

Lambda Pi Eta,Department of Communication honorary;achievement of 3.25 cum. GPA in the major and 3.0 overall cum. GPA.

Purple and gold cords

Kappa Pi,
International Honorary Art Fraternity;
achievement of 3.0 cum. GPA in major.

Purple, teal and metallic cords

The BURG Peer Education Network students must be peer educators for four years;
must have at least a 2.5 GPA and pass the national peer education certification upon graduation;
colors represent passion, leadership and character.

Royal blue and white twisted cord with tassel

Gamma Sigma Epsilon,
Chemistry Honor Society;
achievement of GPA of 3.0 or higher in chemistry and overall;
recognition of membership in the society;
encouragement of research and scholarship in the chemical sciences.

Red and white cords with tassels

Sigma Alpha Iota,
International Music Fraternity;
encourages, nurtures and supports the art of music.

Purple and silver cords with tassels

Membership in the University Programming Council Executive Board;
accomplishments in service and leadership;
minimum GPA of 2.3 required.

Red, black and green cords

Membership in the African Students Association;
the colors represent the blood of the ancestors, the African diaspora, and mother-continent Africa;
the ankh represents the coming together of African man and woman in the creation of life and family.

Red, black and gold cords

Membership in the Residence Hall Association;
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia,
men’s social fraternity in music founded in 1898 at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston;
membership requires only a love of music and efforts to advance music in America.

Rose and green cords

Delta Zeta;
national sorority founded in Oxford, OH in 1902;
known as the “Mother of Fraternities;” non-profit organization that supports scholarship, leadership, philanthropy and education;
minimum GPA of 2.5, 10 philanthropy hours per semester and fulfill one position within the organization for a one-year term.

Red and black twisted cords

Bobcat Ambassadors;
students actively involved on campus;
minimum cumulative GPA of 2.25, strong speaking skills, pride and enthusiasm for Frostburg State University

Royal blue and gold cords

Alpha Phi Omega,
national co-ed service fraternity;
developing leadership, promoting friendship, and providing service to humanity.

Red, white, and blue cords

Member of the United States Military, either active duty, National Guard, reserves, selected service, or veteran.

Red, white, and blue twisted cord

Member of SALUTE the Veterans National Honor Society;
achievement of 3.0 GPA and either active duty or an honorable discharge from service in the United States Military.

Red, yellow, and royal blue cords

Frostburg Association for the Education of Young Children,
local chapter for NAEYC;
a national professional organization dedicated to high-quality learning for all young children.

Purple and white cords

Hillel is the largest Jewish student organization in the world.
Hillel builds connections with emerging adults at more than 550 colleges and universities, and inspires them to direct their own path.
During their formative college years, students are challenged to explore, experience, and create vibrant Jewish lives.

Gold, silver and burgundy cords

Geography Club- open to all majors.

Light Pink Cords

Collegiate National Association for Music Education (NAfME).
This organization contains students who majored in music education and attended monthly meetings on campus and yearly meetings around the state to develop professionally and further promote music.

Light blue, black and white twisted cord

Cyber Security Organization;
active member with completion of semesters project.


Women’s Studies-an academic program with a minor.


Sociology Club-requires members be an active member at the time of graduation with an overall 3.0 GPA.

Purple and gold cords

Student Health Advisory Committee
promotes health on this campus by facilitating health-related events such as health fairs and informative forums.

Purple cord

Women in Computer Science Club
Active membership in the Women in the Computer Science Club.

Gold, bronze and silver cords

Student Philanthropy Graduates who participated in the student philanthropy campaign.

Red, gold and black twisted cords

Preview Guide Preview guides must have a good standing with the university, minimum GPA of a 2.75 (3.0 preferred), excellent communication skills and documented leadership and involvement with the university.

Black & Platinum cords

National Society of Leadership and Success  The nation's largest honor society; Fully inducted membership requires a 3.0 GPA overall and completion of the organization's leadership skill development curriculum.

Red, silver and black cords

Member of the Lane University Center Student Leadership Team; demonstrated leadership and service to the LUC and fellow student employees; minimum GPA of 2.75 required.

Green, gold, and silver twisted cords

Students who have held an elected position in the Smolko-McCagh PA Student Society, demonstrating their initiative, leadership, and commitment to the PA profession.

Silver and purple twisted cords

Trained members of the FSU Department of PA Medicine Opioid Response Program who have participated in at least one Narcan education and distribution clinic.

Purple and white twisted cords

Bobcats Against Cancer

Teal and white twisted cords

Graduate Athletic Training Program; Professional Athletic Training Club; graduates entering the Athletic Training field who have been active AT Club members. Paired with a silver cord indicates the graduate held an officer position.

Red stoles with red, black, and white intertwined cords

Graduate Student Association

Commencement Contacts

Registrar's Office
Graduation certification (undergraduates), address changes, diplomas

Graduate Services
Graduation certification (Master’s and doctoral candidates)

University Store
Cap and gown orders, announcements

Special Academic Services
Ceremony and General Information