Honors requirements

There are two types of honors for undergraduates: Latin honors (summa, magna, cum laude) are determined by the College and English honors (highest honors, high honors, honors) are determined by concentrations. More precisely, the Latin honors are: “summa cum laude in a field”, “magna cum laude with Highest Honors in a field”, “magna cum laude in a field”, “cum laude in a field”, and “cum laude on the basis of the student’s overall record”.

See the Degree programs page for information about requirements for English honors in Computer Science.

See the Harvard College Handbook for Students for the official requirements for Latin honors, which are summarized here:

  • Summa cum laude in a field:

    • Highest Honors from concentration
    • GPA in top 5% of graduating class
  • Magna cum laude:

    • No more than 20% of graduating class can receive summa or magna
    • “Magna cum laude with Highest Honors in a field” requires Highest Honors from concentration
    • “Magna cum laude in a field” requires High Honors from concentration
  • Cum laude in a field:

    • Honors, High Honors, or Highest Honors from concentration
    • No more than 50% of graduating class can receive summa, magna, or cum
  • Cum laude on the basis of the student’s overall record:

    • GPA above the magna cutoff, up to at most 10% of graduating class
    • (No English honors.)

Historical data

Here is historical data on the GPA threshholds established by the Faculty for awarding degrees Magna Cum Laude and Cum Laude in Field. See the Registrar’s page on Graduation and Diplomas for GPA thresholds for the latest academic year.

2018:

  • Summa Cum Laude in Field: 3.947
  • Magna Cum Laude: 3.844
  • Cum Laude in Field: 3.620
  • Cum Laude: 3.844

2017:

  • Summa Cum Laude in Field: 3.934
  • Magna Cum Laude: 3.810
  • Cum Laude in Field: 3.571
  • Cum Laude: 3.810

2016:

  • Magna Cum Laude: 3.794
  • Cum Laude in Field: 3.538
  • Cum Laude: 3.794

2015:

  • Magna Cum Laude: 3.772
  • Cum Laude in Field: 3.525
  • Cum Laude: 3.772

2014:

  • Magna Cum Laude: 3.769
  • Cum Laude in Field: 3.511
  • Cum Laude: 3.769

2013:

  • Magna Cum Laude: 3.763
  • Cum Laude in Field: 3.480
  • Cum Laude: 3.763

2012:

  • Magna Cum Laude: 3.756
  • Cum Laude in Field: 3.484
  • Cum Laude: 3.756

2011:

  • Magna Cum Laude: 3.750
  • Cum Laude in Field: 3.480
  • Cum Laude: 3.750

2010:

  • Magna Cum Laude: 3.740
  • Cum Laude in Field: 3.472
  • Cum Laude: 3.740

2009:

  • Magna Cum Laude: 3.721
  • Cum Laude in Field: 3.448
  • Cum Laude: 3.721