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Academic Honors

Founders' Day Award

As a Commencement honor, top-ranking Baccalaureate candidates and graduates are named University Honors Scholars, earning them the NYU Founders’ Day Award. Recipients receive a gold tassel that they can wear during Commencement, as well as a personalized certificate. Baccalaureate candidates and graduates earn the award by obtaining a specific GPA (placing them within the top 35 percent of their school’s graduating class).  

For more information on Founders' Day Awards, see the website of the Office of the Registrar.  


Latin Honors

Latin honors are awarded to graduating students who have achieved academic distinction. The honor will appear on the student's transcript and diploma. There are three levels of Latin honors: summa cum laude, with highest honor; magna cum laude, with great honor; and cum laude, with honor.

Summa cum laude will be awarded to the top 5 percent (by GPA) of Gallatin graduates, magna cum laude to the next 10 percent, and cum laude to the next 15 percent. The cut-off GPA for each of these levels will be determined by the record of the previous year's graduating Gallatin class (e.g., if the top 5% of last year's class graduated with at least a 3.95 GPA, then all students in this year's class with a GPA at or above that level will receive summa). For the specific cut-off GPA's, go to the website of the Office of the Registrar. In addition, students must have a clean record of conduct.

To be eligible for Latin honors from Gallatin, a student must have completed at least 64 credits at NYU for which the letter grades A through D were received. Courses taken at NYU before admission into Gallatin are included in the GPA and in the 64-credit requirement for Latin honors. NYU courses taken for a Pass ("P") grade, noncredit NYU course grades, and grades from courses taken at other institutions are not included in the Latin honors computation.


Phi Beta Kappa

Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest academic honor society, which celebrates excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. Invitation to Phi Beta Kappa is a reflection of outstanding academic achievement. Members of Phi Beta Kappa are a select group: only 10 percent of the country’s colleges and universities have Phi Beta Kappa chapters, and only about 10 percent of graduates are invited to be Phi Beta Kappa members.

Gallatin students who are committed to a broad liberal arts education and wish to be considered for Phi Beta Kappa should aspire to meet the criteria for nomination, which include extremely strong academic performance in at least one semester of college math, two semesters of college science (with a lab component), and foreign language proficiency (through the Intermediate II level).

Recent inductees include:

  • 2017: Hannah Baek, Nicole Guillery, Daniel McElroy, and Ruben Zaccaroni
  • 2016: Noah Baustin, Mary Donnellon, and Zachary Schwarzbaum
  • 2015: Omar Alsayyed, Grace Chen, Sam Davis, Ari Holtzman, Deanna Meyer, and Marc Simon
  • 2014: James Kelleher, Caroline Kelley, Christina Sandman, and Nihar Shah
  • 2013: Paolina Lu
  • 2012: Sarah E. Hayes
  • 2011: Maria Barnewitz, Albert Gea, Ian Kessler, Eliana Mastrangelo, and Mary Smith