Latin Honors

The Latin Honors program recognizes academic excellence achieved over the duration of an entire undergraduate career. Unlike the Dean's List honor, which recognizes academic excellence achieved over the short term (one semester), eligibility for the three categories of Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) is based on the cumulative grade point average for all work at Duke.

Recipients are determined by the following procedure: The grade point average included within the highest 5 percent of the previous year's graduating class is used to specify the grade point average needed by those students of the current graduating class to be awarded the summa cum laude honor. The GPA included within the next highest 10 percent of the previous year's graduating class is used to determine the grade point average needed by those students who will graduate with the magna cum laude honor. Finally, the GPA included within the next 10 percent of the previous year's graduating class will be used to determine those students eligible for graduating with the cum laude honor. Thus, about 25 percent of each graduating class will receive Latin Honors. (See Latin Honors GPA Cut-offs).

Note: Starting with the class matriculating at Duke in 2018 and from then on, determining eligibility for Latin Honors  for students graduating in May will no longer be based on the GPA of the previous year's graduating class but the GPA of the current graduating class. Students graduating in September and December will continue to be based on the GPAs of the members the class that graduated in the previous May.


Duke University officially recognizes the following school-wide honors/honor societies in Trinity College and the Pratt School of Engineering. Each has a long and distinguished reputation at Duke and throughout the United States. (For a more detailed description of the standards and eligibility, see "Academic Recognition and Honors" in the Bulletin of Undergraduate Instruction.)

 

Honor/honor society Recognition Standards Eligible students
Dean's List Academic excellence in a semester Semester GPA places student enrolled in 4 or more courses in the top 1/3 of all undergraduates in Trinity College or by class in Pratt. May be earned each semester of enrollment. All undergraduates within Trinity and by class in Pratt
Dean's List with Distinction Academic excellence in a semester Semester GPA places student enrolled in 4 or more courses in the top 10% of all undergrads in TC. May be earned each semester of enrollment. All undergraduates within Trinity College and by class in Pratt
Latin Honors Recognition Standards Eligible students
Summa cum laude Academic excellence over Duke career Cumulative GPA places student in the highest 5% of the previous year's graduating class in Trinity College or Pratt. All undergraduates within Trinity College and by class in Pratt
Magna cum Laude Academic excellence over Duke career Cumulative GPA places student in the next highest 10% of the previous year's graduating class in Trinity College or Pratt. All undergraduates within Trinity College and by class in Pratt
Cum Laude Academic excellence over Duke career Cumulative GPA places student in the next highest 10% of the previous year's graduating class in Trinity College or Pratt. All undergraduates within Trinity College and by class in Pratt
Phi Eta Sigma Academic excellence in first year GPA of 3.5 or higher in 4 full courses in the first semester or 3.5 or higher in 8 full courses in the first year. All first-year undergraduate students
Phi Beta Kappa Academic excellence and moral character Three cycles of election (early, regular, deferred) based on number of graded credits at Duke and cumulative GPA; no more than 10% of a graduating class. All undergraduates within their respective school
Tau Beta Pi Academic excellence and exemplary character Upper 8th of the junior class and upper 5% of the senior class Pratt undergraduates
Golden Key Academic excellence Top 15% of juniors and seniors in all fields of study in their respective class All undergraduates within their respective school

Beyond these honors, academically distinguished undergraduates may be eligible for one or more prestigious international postgraduate scholarships, such as the Fulbright, Gates, Luce, Marshall, Rhodes, and Winston Churchill