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Latin Honors

Latin Honors afford recognition for academic excellence achieved over the duration of a student’s entire official undergraduate coursework at the University of Maryland. Summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude are the highest Latin Honors that the University bestows for sustained excellence in scholarship. They are awarded to the top 10% of all students graduating in each College or School. Summa cum laude is awarded to students with a GPA equal to or greater than the highest two percent of GPAs from the specific College or School averaged over the previous academic year, magna cum laude to the next highest three percent, and cum laude to the following five percent. Latin Honors are officially annotated on the transcripts and diplomas of students who have graduated

Latin Honors Eligibility

All of the following must be met to be eligible for Latin Honors:

  • At least 60 semester hours must be earned at the University or at a program in which credit earned is counted as University of Maryland, College Park, resident credit (contact the Office of the Registrar to determine program eligibility).
  • No more than 6 credits taken pass/fail or satisfactory/fail grade modes shall count toward the 60-hour minimum.
  • No student with a grade point average of less than 3.3 will be considered for a Latin Honor.
  • The final, cumulative GPA meets cutoff levels for the student’s graduation year.

Calculation of Latin Honors Levels

Minimum required GPAs for Latin Honors change from one academic year to the next. The minimum GPAs are firm cutoffs for earning Latin Honors during the academic year and are published towards the end of September of the given academic year (see below for the most current GPA cut-offs).

To determine the Latin Honors cutoff for each Honor level (i.e., summa, magna, and cum laude) for a given year, the minimum GPA for each Honors designation are calculated, by College or School, based on cumulative GPA averages of the previous academic year’s three graduating terms (Fall, Spring, and Summer). While the minimum GPA cutoffs for Latin Honors will change from year to year, they will remain static, once calculated, for the entire upcoming academic year and will not be recalculated during that academic year. Students will therefore be able to know what the firm minimum GPA cutoff is for their individual College or School for each Latin Honor level in advance of graduation.

Awarding Latin Honors

The University awards Latin Honors based on a student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA) for all coursework taken towards their degree. As such, this GPA is calculated using grades from all courses taken at the University, including the student’s final semester of studies. For students with double majors, Latin Honors are awarded based on their primary major. Note: Because final semester grades are processed sometime after Commencement activities, identification of Latin Honors in the University's Commencement Ceremony Program are tentative and unofficial, pending the submission and calculation of all final grades for the semester of commencement.

The final GPA of each graduating student is compared with the published GPA cutoffs in effect for the student’s graduation year to decide if a Latin Honor is earned: top 2% summa cum laude, next 3% magna cum laude, next 5% cum laude (see table below).