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Difference between Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude

Many educational accomplishments can be rewarded by obtaining high grades in academic activities such as elementary, secondary, and post-secondary school. Magna cum laude and summa cum laude are two core scholarly accomplishments. You may have heard the phrases summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude. The above three concepts, commonly known as Latin honors, denote differing tiers of high educational attainment. Several schools and colleges in the USA and around the world bestow Latin honors. A few high schools in the United States also provide them. In American academia, they usually work as follows: Summa cum laude is the high point award given to a small percentage of college graduates every year. Magna cum laude is the next most prestigious, accompanied by cum laude. In this post, we will illustrate what all of these honors implies, and the GPA required for them.

What is magna cum laude?

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Magna cum laude, which implies 'with great privilege' in Latin, is an educational honor bestowed upon students who rank in the top 10-15% of their school or have a GPA between 3.7 and 3.8. The prerequisites for receiving a magna cum laude differ by school. It may be the highest award bestowed upon specific colleges and academic institutions. Because many universities are made up of various schools and divisions, supervisors may determine your GPA based solely on your instant group. For instance, If you are an engineer, your institution may only evaluate your GPA to other engineering students. If you have any doubts, consult with your supervisor to know more about these particular criteria.

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What is summa cum laude?

Summa cum laude, which translates as 'first-class honors' is the maximum educational award given to students who rank in the top one-five percent of their class or have a GPA between 3.9 and 4.0. The specifications for summa cum laude could differ by university and division. If your school offers classes to obtain above a 4.0, you'll most probably require a 4.0 GPA or above. Typically, the only way to acquire a 4.0 or higher is to register in honors courses at your school, like advanced placement or IB International Baccalaureate.

Summa cum laude Vs Magna cum laude

Summa cum laude is the top Latin honor granted upon students with the top GPA (3.9–4.0, or upper one-five percent), whereas magna cum laude is the second-best honor given to students with a GPA from 3.7-3.8 or top 10-15%. Because there is no national system for these honors, the GPA necessary by your school may fluctuate. There are three distinct Latin honors that you can obtain;

  1. Cum laude
  2. Magna cum laude
  3. Summa cum laude

All of these accolades demonstrate that you are a high-performance scholar. Latin honors are usually conferred on students at the college level, although a few high schools may also offer these honors to their students.

How do universities choose which distinction to grant?

There is no national criterion for qualifying for these honors. Academic institutions are free to establish their standards. For instance, the University of Pennsylvania must have a GPA of 3.8 or above to earn summa cum laude, 3.6 magna cum laude, and 3.4 cum laude. The Ohio State University raise the standard at 3.9, 3.7, and 3.5, appropriately. Independent academic institutions or schools within a university may also have distinct criteria. For instance, the University of Michigan's Engineering graduate should have a GPA of at least 3.75 to be eligible for summa cum laude, and Michigan Law School college grad should have a GPA of at least 3.75 to be eligible for summa cum laude.

When is Magna Cum Laude significant?

A high honors degree can be advantageous for applicants in some professions. Finance, management coordinating, and engineering are among them. At the entry-level jobs, such careers pay well and are highly viable, with more than 100 candidates for every position. A company can easily confine the field by using Latin honors and academic achievement. High grades are considered to represent a solid work ethic, commitment, and insight, all of which are valued by businesses.

A magna cum laude university education can be useful in getting admission to the best graduate or competent institution in areas that involve advanced education, such as law and medicine. Students from those institutions have a higher chance of landing the best jobs in their professions. Many colleges and graduate universities foundation admission on undergraduate grades which are important in Latin honors and systematic test scores.

In most cases, these educational qualifications are only relevant for the initial or second job. Following that, experience and work successes, and references from previous managers and workmates, play a much central role. A magna cum laude GPA essentially indicates to a first or second company that an applicant can operate successfully.

Extra academic honors 

Together with Latin honors, schools and universities may give the following awards to students;

  • Dean's list. This is an educational distinction that recognizes the top-achieving students at a given university. This award is solely for full-time students with a good GPA. It could be focused on your total GPA throughout your college years. Schools regularly post the student details on the Dean's list in their university newsletters or local publications.
  • Chancellor's scholars. Unlike most other recognitions, this one is only given to new students. It's a scholarship for pupils who excelled in high school. It could cover living costs, university fees, and educational resources.
  • Honor students. This credential may be awarded to those who focus on specific projects or register in honors courses. Honors classes are more advanced than normal courses and contain more material.
  • Academic achievement. This award is determined by the number of classes you accomplish for credit and letter rank. Students with a 3.5 to 3.9 GPA in their programs are eligible for the educational distinction since students with a 4.0 GPA are eligible for the best education distinction.
  • Valedictorian & salutatorian. These are the top honors you can receive upon graduating from college. If you have the best academic credentials, you can be valedictorian. You can claim the designation of a scholar if you are the second top-performance student in your class. Students who have received these honors regularly talk at graduation and share their knowledge with their fellow students.


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