Colleges and universities recognize those students at the top of the class at graduation. There are three basic categories:
Cum Laude: With Honor.
Magna Cum Laude: With Great Honor.
Summa Cum Laude: With Highest Honor.
The criteria for these titles may differ greatly among colleges and universities. As an example, you may find something like this:
Cum Laude designates the top 10% of the graduating class
Magna Cum Laude designates the top 5% of the graduating class
Summa Cum Laude designates the top 2.5% of the graduating class
Cum Laude designates scores of 7-8 on a ten point scale
Magna Cum Laude designates the score of 9 on a ten point scale
Summa Cum Laude designates the score of 10 on a ten point scale
Cum Laude designates a grade point average (GPA) of 3.50 to 3.69
Magna Cum Laude designates a GPA of 3.70 to 3.89
Summa Cum Laude designates a GPA of 3.90 and above
Some institutions also require a thesis or special project to qualify for these honors, a more rigorous course of study, or other additional indications of academic quality.
These three designations are recognized in the academic world and in business as a standard of sustained excellence.
Other things being equal, whom would you want to hire? The student who graduated, or the student who graduated with honors?
Even disregarding future employment, these are targets you can aim for to keep you on track throughout your education.
Start early and keep these goals in mind. You’ll need every semester to be a testament to your dedication to an outstanding academic performance.
Student Success Strategy #16: Earn Graduation Honors. Excellence is the best reward.