Graduation honors serve as an extra badge of distinction when you receive your diploma. Depending on your academic focus, you may receive a Latin honor that appends your degree, or an honor cord that you can attach to your mortarboard. Below, we’ve shared some of the most universal graduation honors, and what they signify in academic terms.
To earn a graduation honor, you must excel in an academic, sports, or leadership field. Every university has unique traditions, but there are common honors shared among hundreds of institutions as well.
Perhaps the most common way to graduate with honors is by achieving an outstanding GPA. If your GPA is high enough, you will earn a Latin honor on your diploma. You’ll also be able to mention the honor on your resume or your graduate school applications, to improve your prospects.
These colorful strands have a tassel on each end, and they are worn around the honoree’s neck, so that the strands hang down the graduation gown. Depending on the color, the graduation cords can signify a wide variety of achievements. Graduates with Latin honors may wear an honor cord, as well as members of campus organizations. The Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS) has developed a standardized system for graduation honor cord colors, so that they are consistent across the academic landscape. However, some institutions take the liberty to develop their own color codes. To see the recommended honor cord list, click here.