What are the Graduating Latin Honors for College Students?

Graduating with Latin honors is an indication of academic achievement beyond completion of the basic requirements for earning a college degree. There are three levels of graduating honors – Cum laude, Magna cum laude, and Summa cum laude.

student graduating with honors

Types of Graduating Latin Honors & Minimum Requirements for Each

The exact requirements for each honor level varies from one college to another. In general, schools have a minimum GPA that a student is required to meet for each honor level. In addition to GPA, some colleges also factor in number of credit hours completed and class ranking.


Cum Laude

Cum laude is a Latin term that means “with honors” or “with praise.” It is the basic level of the three Latin honors. Most schools confer a Cum laude honor to Bachelor’s students who earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 to 3.70.

Magna Cum Laude

Magna cum laude translates to “with great honor” or “with great praise”. It is the second highest of the three Latin honors. Schools confer a Magna cum laude honor to Bachelor’s students who earn a cumulative GPA of 3.80 to 3.90.

Summa Cum Laude

Summa cum laude means “with highest honors” or “with greatest praise”. It is the highest level of Latin honors a student can receive. Schools confer a Summa cum laude honor to Bachelor’s students who earn a cumulative GPA of 4.0 or higher. Receiving this graduation honor indicates that you’ve achieved the highest grades in your class.


A valedictorian is a title that denotes outstanding academic success in high school. It is a formal title given to the senior with the highest GPA among their graduating class. Some schools choose a valedictorian solely by virtue of having earned the highest GPA in the class. Other colleges take both, academic as well as extracurricular accomplishments, in selecting a valedictorian Traditionally, the valedictorian delivers the farewell or closing speech at the graduation ceremony.

Do Latin Honors Have Any Value?

Yes, they do. The honor you’ve earned will be noted on your diploma and transcripts. This can add tremendous value to your diploma and your  . It reflects your work ethic and indicates that you’ve distinguished yourself as a cut above the average college student. This will help you stand out from the other applicants when applying for highly competitive job opportunities.

Every college sets their own eligibility criteria for conferring graduation honors. If you’re aiming to graduate with honors, make sure to speak to your school’s your academic advisor to understand your school’s honors eligibility.

If graduation is right around the corner, your next step is job hunting. Take a look at College Raptor’s career center to discover thousands of jobs.

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