Academic Honors

Dean’s List

The Dean's List is an academic honor attributed to students whose semester GPA is 3.50 or higher. To be eligible, you must have taken at least 3 full courses (12 credit hours) for a letter grade, and not have received a grade of D, E, NC or U (labs and PE are included). The only exception are seniors doing honors work in the Fall; you may receive an "S" on an honors work that is in process. Students are notified by letter early in the following semester if they have made the list.

Phi Beta Kappa

Brandeis University is host to a chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Each year, a highly select number of seniors (approximately 10% of the class) and an even more limited group of juniors (approximately 1% of the class) are elected to this national honor society. Although an extremely high level of academic achievement is necessary, there is no hard and fast GPA cut-off. Students may not request to join the society; membership is by invitation only.

Latin Honors (cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude)

Awarding of Latin honors, with the exception of summa cum laude, is solely determined by a student’s final GPA. This GPA is calculated after all grades for a student’s final semester are recorded. GPAs are calculated to three decimal places and are not rounded (there are no exceptions). These honors are automatically awarded so no application or other paperwork on the part of the student is required.

Minimum GPAs

The minimum GPA required for each Latin Honor are listed below.

  • Cum laude – 3.5

  • Magna cum laude – 3.7

  • Summa cum laude – 3.8 but only if the student also is awarded departmental honors*. If a student has completed more than one major, they only need to receive honors from one department to be eligible for summa cum laude.

    *Students earning a GPA of 3.8 or higher but not receiving departmental honors will be granted magna cum laude

Departmental Honors

The requirements for Departmental Honors vary by department and are usually specified in the University Bulletin. Most departments require a thesis or honors research supervised by a department faculty member. Honors are usually determined by a committee of department faculty members and can be honors, high honors or highest honors. Departmental and Latin honors are listed on both the diploma and final (permanent) transcript.