SUNY New Paltz recognizes outstanding achievement of its graduates by awarding certain degrees with distinction. To be eligible for graduation with Latin Honors, a student must have completed a minimum of 45 graded credits in residence at New Paltz and have attained a New Paltz cumulative average of 3.30 or higher.

Students who have returned to college after an absence of five or more years, and whose previous academic work disqualifies them for Latin Honors, may be eligible for "qualified" Latin Honors. In calculating their honors average, the academic work before their absence may be ignored if they have earned a 3.30 average in at least 45 graded credits since their readmission to New Paltz.

Both Latin Honors and "qualified" Latin Honors are based upon the following averages as calculated according to the methods described above:

3.30-3.59 - cum laude
3.60-3.79 - magna cum laude
3.80 and above - summa cum laude

Students who are members of the College's Honors Program and fulfill its requirements for Honors graduation will have the phrase "Graduated with College Honors" noted on their transcripts. Some academic departments also grant "Departmental Honors" to their outstanding graduates. Students who receive this honor shall have it noted on their official transcripts.

Policy change effective for students graduating May 2020 and after.