GPA cutoffs for Latin honors based on previous year’s top students

Nicole Brown, Investigative Editor



Every year, universities award Latin honors to graduating seniors with high grade point averages.

NYU has new GPA cutoff requirements for the summa cum laude, magna cum laude and cum laude awards three times a year in September, January and May for students graduating in Summer, Fall, and Spring.

Ninette Gironella, assistant registrar of the Office of the University Registrar, explained that the cutoffs are determined by the top 30 percent of the three graduating classes of the previous year.

“In other words, the combined bachelor graduates from September 2011, January 2012 and May 2012 conferrals will be used to determine the GPA cutoffs for those receiving bachelor degrees in September 2012, January 2013 and May 2013,” Gironella said.

Each school within NYU has its own cutoffs. This May, the cutoffs for cum laude range from 3.623 in the Stern School of Business to 3.783 in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. The cutoffs for magna cum laude range from 3.719 in Stern to 3.894 in the Silver School of Social Work, and the cutoffs for the summa cum laude range from 3.827 in Stern to 3.929 in Gallatin.

Last year, the cum laude cutoffs ranged from 3.625 to 3.759, the magna cum laude cutoffs ranged from 3.722 to 3.842, and the summa cum laude cutoffs ranged from 3.840 to 3.930.

“Each school that awards Latin honors is calculated separately so approximately 30 percent of its bachelor’s degree recipients are awarded Latin honors,” Gironella said.

Last year, 634 graduates received the cum laude award, 394 received magna cum laude and 237 received summa cum laude.

On average, 650 students received cum laude each year since the 2008-09 school year, 415 received magna cum laude each year and 206 received cum laude each year.

Gironella said most colleges and universities have permanent cutoffs for the Latin honors, which usually range from 3.25 to 3.7. Other universities such as Yale University, Columbia University and Boston University select the top 30 percent of the graduating class for Latin honors. Duke University and the University of California, Los Angeles determine the cutoffs the same way as NYU, based on the prior year’s top 30 percent.

Nicole Brown is investigative editor. Email her at [email protected].