Magna Cum Laude vs. Summa Cum Laude: What Is the Difference? 2021

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Magna Cum Laude vs. Summa Cum Laude: A Summary

Magna Cum Laude vs. Summa Cum Laude: What Is the Difference? 2021

"Summa cum laude." "Magna cum laude." Plain old "cum laude." Collectively called Latin honors, these 3 phrases signify varying degrees of top academic success. Honors are conferred at universities and schools from the USA and different areas of the planet. Some U.S. high schools also provide them.


Here is how they generally operate in American academia: Summa cum laude is your trophy awarded in the pinnacle (believe"summit"), given to a tiny percentage of school graduates every year. Cum laude comes alongside stature.


Magna Cum Laude vs. Summa Cum Laude: What Is the Difference? 2021
  • Magna cum laude and summa cum laude are all distinctions given to high-achieving pupils at schools.
  • Magna cum laude is for pupils who've graduated" with fantastic distinction," while summa cum laude is for pupils who've graduated" with the maximum distinction"
  • There's not any universal standard for awarding the honors, instead than it's up to each faculty, and sometimes, every school's individual division, to ascertain what represents the award.

Magna Cum Laude

Magna Cum Laude vs. Summa Cum Laude: What Is the Difference? 2021

For college graduates that have not managed to squeeze into a Muslim course or do not possess a Latin-English dictionary useful, the term can be loosely translated as"with fantastic distinction." It stands over cum laude, so" with distinction" It may be passed out to a student who has earned another marker or high scores of accomplishment, but maybe not the potential.

Summa Cum Laude

Magna Cum Laude vs. Summa Cum Laude: What Is the Difference? 2021

Like summiting a mountain, the pupil who has attained summa cum laude has attained"the maximum distinction." This student has earned interest over the proportion of department or the school or has attained some metric which the college believes worthy of the recognition.

The Latin term "Laude" may also be translated as "honor" or "praise," as in the English word "laudatory."

Magna Cum Laude

The Way Colleges Pick Which Distinction to Award

There's not any standard for what is necessary to be eligible for these respects. Faculties and universities are free to establish their own standards.

In the University of Pennsylvania, as an instance, pupils require a grade point average (GPA) of 3.8 or higher to graduate summa cum laude, 3.6 for magna cum laude, and 3.4 for cum laude.1 Ohio State University's College of Arts and Sciences sets the pubs at 3.9, 3.7, and 3.5, respectively.

Even the schools or colleges within a university that is specific have prerequisites that are different. For an instance, in the University of Michigan's College of Engineering, graduates should have a GPA of 3.75 to qualify for summa cum laude, while Michigan's Law School graduate requires a 4.0 to qualify for the identical honor.

Rather some schools award Latin honors according to a student's class status. By way of instance, New York University confers summa cum laude honors on the very best 5 percent of its undergraduate course, magna cum laude about the subsequent 10 percent, and cum laude about the subsequent 15 percent, meaning that 30 percent of its graduates get one of their three honors.2 In Northwestern University's Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences, summa cum laude extends to Faculties at the top 5 percent, magna cum laude to the subsequent 8 percent, and cum laude to the subsequent 12 percent, for a total of 25%.

Besides the demands, some schools have other standards, such as even a requirement or college recommendations that students complete some classes that are innovative or write an honors thesis.

At many colleges, students will be disqualified by academic or disciplinary infractions from getting honors, however great their grades are.

As a consequence of each of these variables, universities and schools may vary in many of these honors they exude on their graduates and how easy or hard it's to get them. Some colleges, such as Stanford University, do not provide Latin honors whatsoever. Most do but have an alternate program so that leading students do not go unrecognized. Stanford, by way of instance, awards a Bachelor's Degree with Distinction according to their GPAs.

Most schools offering Latin (or alternative ) honors post information regarding their standards in their sites, often in a section dedicated to faculty or commencement policies.

Special Considerations

While honors are able to look great on a résumé, school transcript, or even a degree, do they make any difference in actual life? Two researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago, Pauline Khoo, and Ben Ost, tried to answer that query in a 2017 working paper titled "The Impact of Latin Honors on Earnings"

"We discover that getting honors gives an economic yield in the labor market, yet this advantage only continues for a couple of decades," they wrote. "From the next year following school, we see that no impact of having obtained honors on salary, suggesting that companies can use the sign for new graduates, however, they don't trust the sign for determining the cover of more experienced employees." They also revealed that the advantage applied to pupils who'd graduated from schools.

Whether they are still in college, critics of honors are worried about their possible advantages compared to the unintentional effect they could have on students. A 2011 editorial at Harvard University's student paper, the Red, called for their abolition in the school, asserting that"by rewarding students who reach a minimum GPA throughout courses, the Latin honors system does more to discourage academic accomplishment compared to promote it.5 It motivates pupils to see classes outside their concentration for a means to an end, the result being the greatest possible grade, instead of a chance for intellectual exploration."

Harvard, however, seems to have been unmoved and proceeds to award honors as of the writing.

Related Terms

Summa Cum Laude

Summa cum laude is an academic degree of distinction employed by educational institutions to indicate a level that has been obtained "with the highest honor"

Cum Laude

Cum Laude is an academic differentiation denoting a level that has been obtained with honors.

Reading Into Magna Cum Laude

Magna cum laude is an academic honorific signifying a degree was earned with fantastic distinction. The Latin term means"with fantastic praise."


An endowment is a nonprofit's investable assets, that can be used for programs or operations which are in agreement with the wishes of the donor(s).

What Exactly Does B-School Mean?

In fund, the expression "B-School" is a shorthand term speaking to colleges which focus on business subjects.

Tuition Insurance Definition

Tuition insurance covers the financial losses related to a faculty-student dropping out before finishing their diploma.

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