What is Cum Laude?

People who hear this term for the first time find it weird and confusing. This reference guide is focused on educating all the people looking for Cum Laude meaning in 2022.

Cum Laude is a Latin phrase that is used to honor young graduates. Cum Laude is the lowest of the three Latin honors signifying academic achievement of university graduates.

The highest academic distinction in the US universities is Summa Cum Laude, followed by Magna Cum Laude and Cum Laude.

Numerous universities in the United States offer these honors, and many individuals find it necessary. On the other hand, many students take it lightly as this honor does not benefit them in the long run.

It is a fact that these honors might benefit you in getting the first job, but after that, only your experience and work history will matter for your career growth.

To understand the Cum Laude ideology, we are answering the following questions here:

After graduating, the first thing you will need to get a job is a professional resume. You might graduate with a Summa Cum Laude honor, but resume building is not everyone’s cup of tea.

What Is Cum Laude?


Cum Laude is a Latin phrase that means ‘With Honor’. It is the lowest of three Latin honors any university student can earn. There are three Cum Laude levels named Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Cum Laude. The Cum Laude honors are especially for individuals with higher grades at the time of their graduation.

Understanding Cum Laude


Let us understand Cum Laude by an example. Suppose Emily is about to graduate from a University with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. She is an intelligent student and has managed to get a spot in the top 25% of students in her batch. Her university awards Cum Laude to the top 25% marks achievers. Hence, she will be honored on her graduation day.

Required Cum Laude GPA


Though there are no fixed criteria, a minimum GPA of 3.5 will make you eligible for this honor in a United States University.

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What Is Magna Cum Laude?


Magna Cum Laude is a Latin phrase that means ‘With Great Honor’. It is the second-highest of the three Latin honors any university graduate can obtain.

Understanding Magna Cum Laude


To understand the Magna Cum Laude, we will continue the above-given example of Emily. Suppose if Emily manages to fix her spot in the list of top 10% scoring students in the university, she will be honored by Magna Cum Laude on her graduation day.

Required Magna Cum Laude GPA


Generally, you will need a GPA of at least 3.7 to become eligible for the Magna Cum Laude honor in a United States University.

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What Is Summa Cum Laude?


Similar to the above-given honors, Summa Cum Laude is also a Latin phrase that means ‘With Highest Honor’. This honor is the highest a student can earn and is reserved for the students with the finest academic achievement and highest GPAs in the graduation batch.

Understanding Summa Cum Laude


Though there are no concrete criteria for the Summa Cum Laude honor, we can consider the top 5% scoring students eligible for it as it is the highest honor a student can earn.

Required Summa Cum Laude GPA


To get the Summa Cum Laude honor on your graduation day, you will probably have to get a GPA of at least 3.9.

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Difference Between Summa Cum Laude and Magna Cum Laude


Numerous colleges and universities across the entire United States are using these honors. Still, there is no standardization for students' eligibility for them. To make a clear picture of both these honors, we are differentiating them in the table given below:

Magna Cum Laude Summa Cum Laude
It means ‘With Great Honor’ It means ‘With Highest Honor’
It is for students having 3.7 and 3.8 GPA It is for students having 3.9 and 4.0 GPA

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What Is an Academic Distinction?


The United States education system has two forms of academic distinctions, i.e., Annual Distinctions & Graduating Distinctions. Let us get a detailed description of both of these below:

Annual Distinctions


Annual distinctions are calculated via the number of credit hours completed versus the GPA. These distinctions are provided annually via the publication of Dean’s List.

Graduating Distinctions


As its name suggests, graduating distinctions are given at the time of graduation based on the overall GPA of a student. The Latin honors, i.e., Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Summa Cum Laude, can be considered graduation distinctions.

How to Gain Academic Distinction?


To gain an annual academic distinction, you need to complete all your credit hours and get an annual GPA of at least 3.5 or higher.

Similarly, to get a graduating distinction, you need to maintain a GPA of more than 3.5 throughout your degree course.

What Is the Highest Cum Laude?


Summa Cum Laude honor is considered to be the highest Cum Laude honor that is offered to the students having 3.9 or 4.0 GPA throughout all the semesters of their degree course.

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When Did Latin Honors Originate


The Harvard University of America gave the first Latin honors in 1869. Only a few countries like Israel, Canada, and Indonesia use this award system apart from the United States.

On the other hand, the United Kingdom uses an English award system to honor deserving students.

Other Academic Honors Your College May Award


Universities offer many other honors apart from Laude Honors across the United States. Here are some honors you might see in your university for students who perform well in academics in an academic year:

1. Dean's List


This academic honor is for the students who earn the highest GPA in a full-time course at the university.

2. Chancellor's Scholars


This honor is for fresh students and works as a scholarship for those having higher grades in their high school.

3. Honor Students


The students who enroll in honors courses or work on special projects receive this recognition.

4. Academic Distinction


This academic honor is for the students who achieved higher grades in semesters.

5. Valedictorian and Salutatorian


These two are the highest academic honors one can get in the United States. You will become Valedictorian if you are equipped with the highest academic achievements and Salutatorian if you have the second-highest academic achievements.

Career Assistance at Hiration


After graduating with a Cum Laude or higher honor, you will become eligible to apply for any job you desire. However, you will need a job-winning resume for that.

Hiration can help you build an impeccable resume for your targeted job with its Artificial Intelligence-powered Online Resume Builder. It comes with 24/7 chat support to offer you smooth resume building experience.

Moreover, you can also check out other tools built by experts at Hiration with the help of AI to help you get your desired job without any hurdle:

Key Takeaways


Take a look at the key takeaways of this intuitive guide:

  • To get Summa Cum Laude honor, you will have to maintain a GP of 3.9 or 4.0 throughout your entire degree course
  • You can get the Magna Cum Laude by maintaining a GPA of 3.7 or 3.8 throughout your bachelor’s degree course
  • The Cum Laude honor, i.e., the lowest of these Latin honors can be attained by maintaining a GPA of 3.5 or 3.6 throughout all the semesters of your bachelor’s degree

These are some Latin honors that will make your graduation degree special and might impress the recruiter in your first job application. However, recruiters will judge you only upon your experience and skills for your second job.

You can visit Hiration's career activator that has 24x7 chat support to help you draft the best resume.

For any additional career assistance, you can contact our experts at support@hration.com.

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