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Graduation Honors

Students with a record of exceptional achievement over the duration of their degree program may be recognized with an honors designation upon graduation.

Each school establishes its own criteria to determine graduation honors. Not all schools award graduation honors. Please consult the school bulletin for complete descriptions.

The graduation honors listed here are noted on the eligible graduate's record and/or diploma. Other honors and awards may be bestowed by the university or individual schools upon graduation, but they are not posted on the graduate's record or diploma. Please consult the school bulletin for description of such awards.

University Honors Scholar/Founders' Day Award

  • As a Commencement honor, top-ranking Baccalaureate candidates and graduates are named University Honors Scholars, earning them the NYU Founders’ Day Award. Recipients receive a gold tassel that they can wear during Commencement, as well as a personalized certificate.
  • Baccalaureate candidates and graduates earn the award by either obtaining a specific GPA (placing them within the top 35 percent of their school’s graduating class) or upon the discretion of their School Dean.
  • Awardees will be notified via email on Founders' Day (April 21). Those awardees attending Commencement will be able to collect their gold tassel along with their Commencement attire. The Founders' Day Certificate is mailed in mid-summer to the recipient’s permanent address.
  • Graduates who obtain the minimum GPA after degree conferral (i.e., based on their spring semester grades) will be retroactively awarded the honor, and will receive their tassel and certificate after Commencement.
  • The University Honors Scholar/Founders' Day Award is separate and distinct from Latin Honors, with different criteria. Eligibility for one does not necessarily constitute eligibility for the other.

Latin Honors

  • Latin honors are awarded to Baccalaureate degree recipients who have achieved a high cumulative grade point average (GPA) and completed their school's minimum number of points in residence.
  • Effective with the September 2008 graduating class, with the exclusion of Abu Dhabi, the GPA cutoffs for each category are determined by the combined GPA distribution from the preceding academic year, all graduation moments included. 
    • Summa cum laude: the GPA included within the top 5 percent of the previous year's graduating class. 
    • Magna cum laude: the GPA included within the next 10 percent of the previous year's class.
    • Cum laude: the GPA included within the next 15 percent of the previous year's class. 
      • For example, the necessary GPA level for summa cum laude for students graduating in September 2013 to May 2014 will be based on the GPA cutoff for the top 5 percent of the combined graduates from September 2012, January 2013, and May 2013.
    • For NYU Abu Dhabi students, Latin honors are determined by the official cumulative GPA as follows:
      • Summa cum laude: the top five percent of the graduating class in each division
      • Magna cum laude: the next 10 percent of the graduating class in each division
      • Cum laude: the next 15 percent of the graduating class in each division

GPA cutoffs: September 2017 to May 2018



Cum Laude


Cum Laude



CAS 3.907 3.794 3.658
Gallatin 3.924 3.843 3.766
Liberal Studies 3.943 3.899 3.817
Nursing 3.930 3.848 3.743
SPS 3.914 3.800 3.630
Silver 4.000 3.840 3.731


3.905 3.810 3.725
Stern 3.879 3.775 3.672
Tandon 3.838 3.608 3.397
Tisch 3.856 3.780 3.683
  • Only courses applicable to the degree are used in calculating GPA. 
  • Grades received in courses taken at other institutions are not included. Courses taken at other schools/colleges of the University may be excluded from the GPA calculation per the policy of the program.
  • View the GPA cutoffs for previous years.

Residency Requirements

Undergraduate Departmental Honors

Graduate & Professional Level Honors