Honors Requirements

Only University Honors Program students can earn Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude) on their diploma. You'll graduate with Honors (and have fun along the way!) when you fulfill 11 opportunities in these four areas:

Infographic listing the 11 requirements needed to graduate with latin honors

General Requirements & Timeline

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General Requirements & Timeline

General Requirements

In order to be eligible for graduation with Latin Honors, active UHP students must have:

  • Completed at least 60 graded (A–F) credits at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus,
  • Fulfilled all Honors Experience requirements
    • 1 NEXUS One experience
    • 3 Honors courses
    • 5 Honors experiences
    • 1 Honors thesis prep course
    • 1 Honors thesis 
  • Maintained successful, continuous participation in UHP,
  • Abided by all UHP policies, and
  • Obtained a grade point average of at least 3.500 in their last 60 graded (A–F) credits (not including transfer credit).

GPA Requirements

All students must meet the GPA requirements mandated by University policy:

  • cum laude 3.500-3.665 GPA for last 60 graded credits
  • magna cum laude 3.666-3.749 GPA for last 60 graded credits
  • summa cum laude 3.75-4.0 GPA for last 60 graded credits

The GPA of the last 60 graded credits and the nature of the thesis will be the determining factors as to the student's level of Latin Honors.

A student who is within 0.1 GPA point of eligibility for the next highest level of Latin Honors may be recommended by their thesis committee for that higher level if the student writes a truly exceptional thesis. For students rising to cum laude or magna cum laude, "exceptional" is defined as writing a summa-level thesis. For students rising from magna to summa, the thesis committee will define "exceptional" as being among the best 5-10% of summa-level theses to come out of their department. It is not possible to rise from cum laude to summa. All such recommendations from thesis committees will need to be approved by the UHP Faculty Advisory Board and the UHP Directors Committee to be successfully applied.

The First Year

All first-year UHP students will join a cohort of approximately twelve students from different colleges or programs.

During the first year of study, the cohort will complete UHP's first-year experience - NEXUS One - together. 

In subsequent years, the cohort will be invited to convene at least once per year to begin discussions of potential thesis projects, to support on another's progress in the program, to engage socially, and possibly to propose their own cohort Honors Experience. Cohorts are encouraged to build shared reading and/or experience lists for group discussion and reflection to propose as a non-course Honors Experience during the sophomore or junior year.

The Mid-Program Review

Each UHP student will undergo a mid-program review. This will occur after four semester for students who begin UHP as a first-year student, and after two semesters for post-freshman admits. During the review, the UHP advisor will determine if the student is likely to complete Latin Honors. Students may be removed from UHP during the mid-program review for any of the following reasons:

  • GPA below 3.5. University Policy dictates that students must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher in the last 60 graded credits of study in order to graduate with Latin Honors. Students whose preliminary work suggests that this will be unlikely - especially while trying to fulfill Honors requirements in conjunction with major coursework - may be removed from the program.
  • Fewer than one scheduled advising appointment with the Honors Advisor each semester in residence. Students are expected to meet regularly with their Honors Advisor to discuss their progress in the program and their future plans. Those who have not done so may be removed.
  • Lack of completion of Honors Experiences. Students who have not completed NEXUS One and/or who have not completed a minimum of four Honors Experiences (two experiences if a post-freshman admit) may be removed from the program. Current structures to review non-continuation decisions and to allow students to petition them are available. 

The Senior Year

The Honors Thesis
In order to complete UHP and to be eligible for graduation with Latin Honors, all students must write a senior Honors Thesis. Whatever form it takes, the purposes of the thesis are many, all of which develop skills that will serve our students well after graduation. The Honors Thesis must go above and beyond any project done for a course other than thesis or directed-studies/independent-studies courses. It may expand upon a term paper for a course, but may not simply be a repurposed project completed for another course or requirement. Please consult the Honors Thesis Guide for detailed information on thesis expectations, supervision, timelines, credit, group projects, department-specific theses, and more.

Supporting Thesis Coursework
In addition to the Honors Thesis, students are required to successfully complete any supporting or capstone Honors coursework required by their program, college, or UHP, comprising at least a one-semester, one-credit classroom-based course. Programs or colleges that require more than one semester of course work—including thesis-preparation or research coursework before the senior year—must offer this course work as a departmental Honors Course that will count toward major-elective requirements and the Honors Course experience requirements. Non-Honors capstone coursework required of all departmental majors will still be required of Honors students unless the department or program determines the Honors thesis coursework fulfills this requirement.

Full details about graduating with Latin Honors can be found in the Honors Requirements Handbook, updated annually.

Honors Requirements Handbook