Latin Honors and Other Academic Distinctions


Latin honors is determined at the end of the senior year on the basis of units earned at Wellesley after the first semester of the first year. (Latin honors for Davis scholars and transfer students is determined on the basis of all units earned at Wellesley.)  In determining Latin honors, grades earned in cross registration with MIT  are counted as Wellesley grades.

Students with an average of 3.60 or higher will be Wellesley College Scholars cum laude; those with an average of 3.75 or higher will be Durant Scholars magna cum laude; students with a 3.90 or higher average will be Durant Scholars summa cum laude.

For purposes of establishing honors, grade-point averages are truncated to two decimal places.

To be eligible for these distinctions, a student may take no more than one-quarter of potentially graded units (i.e., mandatory credit/noncredit courses are not included) on a credit/noncredit basis. A minimum of 12 graded courses (adding up to at least 12 units) must be included in the calculation for Latin honors.

In addition, to be eligible for Latin honors, students may have no more than three "I/grade" or "INC" notations, and may not have any grade of F in the final semester.

For students entering before September 2009, qualification for Latin honors depends on grades in all Wellesley and MIT courses taken after the first year. For Davis Scholars entering before September 2009, the first year is defined as the first six units of the student's college career, at least some of which are likely to have been completed at other institutions.

To be eligible for Latin honors, students entering as first-year students may take no more than one-quarter of their Wellesley and MIT courses after the first year on a credit/noncredit basis. For students who began their degrees somewhere other than Wellesley (that is, Davis Scholars and transfer students),the number of credit/noncredit courses allowed is prorated in proportion to the number of Wellesley courses taken after the equivalent of the first year of college. Students should consult their class dean for further clarification.

In addition, to be eligible for Latin honors, students may have no more than three "I/grade" or "INC" notations after the first year, and may not have any grade of F in the final semester.


Juniors and seniors are elected to membership in the Eta of Massachusetts chapter of Phi Beta Kappa on the basis of their total academic achievements in college. Seniors who have done research in the sciences may be elected to associate membership in the Wellesley chapter of Sigma Xi.

A special fellowship is available to seniors carrying out independent work: the Pamela Daniels '59 Fellowship is a merit award, meant to provide an opportunity for a senior to envision and carry out a piece of work that the student would love to do before graduation. It was endowed by friends and former students of Pamela Daniels '59, Class Dean from 1981 to 2000.

On recommendation of the faculty, the trustees award the title of Trustee Scholar to four seniors who intend to pursue graduate studies. The awards are made on a competitive basis; the title is honorary. Certain prizes have been established at the College for the recognition of excellence in a particular field. Recipients are selected by the appropriate academic department; each award carries a small stipend or gift and usually bears the name of the donor or the person honored.