A Rite in Freemasonry is a collection of grades or degrees, always founded on the First three, the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft, and the Master Mason. All the various Rites around the world, with two exceptions, begin their systems with the Fourth degree, some claiming as many as ninety-six degrees.

In the United States two Rites are recognized, the (American) York Rite and the Scottish Rite governed by two jurisdictions, the Northern and Southern.  Each Master Mason is eligible to take degrees in either or both Rites.