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 five 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 ten 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 ten 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).