University Honors and Honor Cords

Posted: July 16, 2013 at 12:15 pm, Last Updated: February 23, 2022 at 4:56 pm

To signify that an undergraduate student graduating with Latin honors or with recognition from the university, honor cords are worn with academic regalia at the University Commencement in May and the Winter Graduation in December. The honors level (Cum laude, Magna cum laude, Summa cum laude and with Recognition) will also be reflected on the student’s diploma and official transcript.

Undergraduate students who qualify will be sent an email from the Office of the University Registrar informing them of their eligibility to purchase honor cords. Notification is sent approximately ten days prior to the event.  Note:  Spring 2020, Summer 2020, and Fall 2020 graduates were not emailed because the commencement ceremony was virtual.  Graduated students should check their unofficial transcript through PatriotWeb to verify that they received honors. 


  • University Honors and Honor Cords are for graduates from Bachelor’s degree programs only.
  • Undergraduate students must have an active graduation application to be eligible to wear honor cords.

Eligibility to wear honor cords during the Spring Commencement and Winter Graduation is based on the following criteria:

  • Cumulative GPA at the end of the Spring Semester:  An email is sent to students whose GPA at the time that the report is run (ten days prior to the event) would qualify them for honors. If a student qualifies based on grades posted after the report is run, Registrar’s Office staff will verify eligibility and notify the Bookstore.
  • Minimum number of undergraduate credits earned at Mason.
    For the May Commencement, undergraduate Mason credits in progress for the Spring semester as well as registered Summer semester undergraduate Mason credits are included.*
    For the Winter Graduation, Fall semester undergraduate Mason credits in progress are included.
    Credits earned through CREDIT BY EXAM and ADVANCED PLACEMENT are not included.
GPA Range Minimum Mason
Undergraduate Credits
Honors Earned
3.50-4.00 60 Latin honors (Cum laude 3.50-3.69; Magna cum laude 3.70-3.89; Summa cum laude 3.90-4.00)
3.80-4.00 45 With Recognition

*If your honors status changes with the completion of currently enrolled courses, it will be reflected on your diploma and official transcripts.

Please contact the Office of the University Registrar at 703-993-2000 or email with any questions regarding eligibility to wear honor cords.

Purchasing Honor Cords

  • Honor cords will be available for purchase at the University Bookstore at an approximate cost of $20.00. All honors students will wear the same cord regardless of their honors level.  Note:  Eligible 2020 graduates can purchase honors cords at the bookstore.  Honors cords are not available to purchase online and the bookstore cannot take credit card information over the phone. 
  • You must have a photo ID to purchase your honor cords.

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