EXPLANATION OF MASONIC STRUCTURE
The highest degree in Freemasonry is the 3rd degree! Even though it defies logic to think that the 32nd degree is higher than the 3rd degree, all degrees above the 3rd degree are symbolic or honorary.
The image above produced by Jeffrey G. Jones shows the symbolic or honorary degrees one may earn by FIRST being raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in a just, regular, and legally constituted lodge of Master Masons. In order to be raised to the third degree (otherwise known as the Sublime Degree of Master Mason) one must first complete the requirements for the first two degrees as an Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft.
After completing the requirements for the first three degrees one may petition to to be considered for any of the honorary degrees on the York or Scottish Rite sides. If you have any questions please contact your local lodge and ask to speak with the Worshipful Master.