Academic Honors Opportunities

St. Mary Catholic High School offers many opportunities for academically talented students to deepen their knowledge with rewarding and enriching classroom experiences, excel and to be recognized. Honors level, advanced placement (AP) and independent study courses are available to those whose academic standing meet the requirements.

Honors Level Courses

Honors level courses are available in many subjects. The SMCS High School Course Selection Guide lists available honors level courses.

Advanced Placement (AP)

AP courses are available in many subjects. At the end of each course, students can opt to take an evaluation exam which, if passed, qualifies them for college credit. The fee for an AP final test is the responsibility of the student. Each year the College Board recognizes AP students in one of four honors categories, based on the number of AP exams taken and the scores earned on them. Each year, nearly one quarter of SMCS students earn such recognition.

Note: Check with guidance for prerequisite requirements for honors courses and AP courses.


Academic Excellence

Students are recognized bi-annually on the honor roll and by earning academic letters of excellence after they complete the second semester of their sophomore year. Students may also qualify for the National Honor Society, receive Laude recognition at graduation, or be the class valedictorian or salutatorian.

Semester Recognition
  • Highest Honors: 4.00-3.75 grade point average
  • High Honors: 3.74-3.50
  • Honors: 3.49-3.00
Academic Letters of Excellence

Academic letters are awarded for the following achievements:

  • Three semesters of 3.75 GPA or above
  • Four semesters of 3.50 GPA or above
  • Six semesters of 3.00 GPA or above

After receiving an academic letter, a student receives an academic medal if he or she maintained a GPA of 3.5 or above for five consecutive semesters. After receiving an academic letter and a medal, a student receives an academic plaque if he or she maintained a GPA of 3.50 or above for seven consecutive semesters. Academic letters, medals and plaques are bestowed at the academic awards ceremony in the spring of each school year.

National Honor Society

Students may qualify for induction into the National Honor Society as early as the second semester of their sophomore year. The criteria for membership is based on leadership, service, character and knowledge.

Laude Recognition

St. Mary Catholic High School honors graduating seniors with diploma recognition based upon a laude system. Students graduating with the following cumulative GPA for the first seven semesters of their high school career (including transfer credits) receive this honor.

  • Summa Cum Laude: 4.0-3.9 grade point average
  • Magna Cum Laude: 3.89-3.75
  • Cum Laude: 3.74-3.5


Scholastic Assessment Results

Each year, nearly 100% of juniors at St. Mary Catholic High School take the ACT college admissions examination, and each year, SMCHS students achieve an average composite score that is above the national and state averages, and consistently in the top five of all area public and parochial schools.