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Academic Honors

Commencement has been Postponed

We are saddened to share that the 2020 Cal State San Marcos commencement ceremony scheduled for May 15-16 will be postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Please see the first FAQ and/or visit to read the official announcement.

Due to mandatory stay-at-home orders by  local government and campus closure to non-essential staff, the Commencement Office is unable to access honor cords. Once we are able to safely meet in person and logistics have been determined on the distribution of honor cords, the Colleges will email/contact the current graduates that have earned their honor cord with the information.

How Are Honors Determined?

  • Academic honors recognition is based on undergraduate coursework completed the fall term before Commencement.
  • Grades recorded through the fall semester will be calculated for the overall GPA and the institutional GPA.
  • The lower of these two GPA's will be used to determine academic honor recognition in the commencement printed program and name cards.

Cum laude

at least 3.5, but less than 3.7

Magna cum laude

at least 3.7, but less than 3.9

Summa cum laude

at least 3.9


How Do I know if I will graduate with honors?

  • Graduating undergrad students who qualify for academic honors recognition will be contacted in early May by their college regarding when and where to pick up their honor cord.
  • If you are unable to pick up your cord, you will receive a gold honor cord as you check-in on the day of commencement, not before and not after.

Who Should I contact about honors?

  • Honors - Your college's deans office
  • GPA - The Office of the Registrar
  • The Commencement Office does not determine honors. We will not be able to answer your honors questions, we cannot access student records. 

Please note, honors designation is not official until all final grades, including spring term, are submitted to and conferred by the Registrar.