How to List Magna Cum Laude on a Resume with Examples

Magna Cum Laude on a Resume | How-to, Tips & Examples | Resume.comresumesmagna-cum-laude-on-resume

Quick Navigation

If you have impressive Latin honors such as magna cum laude or cum laude, in certain cases, it may be beneficial to add these academic honors to your resume for hiring managers to review. Educational accomplishments display your excellence and hard work, and it may interest some companies in seeing these honors on your resume. This article explains the definition of cum laude with instructions, tips, and examples to help list these Latin honors on your resume.

What does cum laude mean?

Cum laude is a Latin phrase used to express academic achievement at some colleges and universities when students earn a degree. These distinctions are primarily used for undergraduate degrees or Juris Doctor degrees. The cum laude distinction is not frequently used for master’s, honorary, or other types of academic degrees. Colleges and universities match the term cum laude with summa and magna to express different honor or academic achievement levels.

The three distinctions used by many colleges and universities:

  • Cum laude means with praise and is awarded to students who graduate in the top 20%, 25%, or 30% of their class, depending on the school.
  • Magna cum laude means with great praise and is awarded to students who graduate in the top 10% or 15% of their class.
  • Summa cum laude means with highest praise and is awarded to students who graduate in the top 1%, 2%, or 5% of their class. Most schools do not grant this distinction.

Any cum laude distinction is an impressive accomplishment to add to your list of academic achievements. In some cases, you may consider adding your cum laude distinction to your resume. Before you add a distinction to your resume, it is essential to review the proper way to list it on your resume.

How to list summa cum laude and magna cum laude on a resume

Here are some ways to list Latin honors.

1. First, italicize honors

Rarely used foreign words such as honors written in Latin and italicized. For example, you may list your honors like this: magna cum laude. The Latin honors phrase is the only thing you should italicize in the honors section of your resume.

2. Second, keep the honors phrase in lower case

In addition to italicizing Latin honors, write the phrase in lowercase letters. According to language experts, Latin should always be written in lowercase letters on any documentation.

3. Finally, consider adding your GPA

When you have received Latin honors such as cum laude and magna cum laude, employers assume that you had a high GPA because you must graduate with a high GPA to qualify for Latin honors. The best way to decide whether to add your GPA is to pay close attention to job listings and their requirements. Some hiring managers are impressed by high GPAs, and others are not. If you have recently graduated from college and have no work experience, then you may add your GPA to your resume. After you get over three years of work experience, you may remove your GPA from the honors section of your resume.

Where to place Latin honors on a resume

Here are some options to consider when placing magna and cum laude honors on your resume:

  • Create a separate honors and awards section, and list cum laude as a bullet point with your other accomplishments. This section is typically located at the bottom of your resume.
  • Place cum laude in the education section of your resume. You may try creating subsections under each listed degree to keep your honors information relevant and organized.

Creating a separate honors section is uncommon, but you might consider using this approach if you do not want your academic accomplishments to get lost in your education section. Keep in mind that your resume is about highlighting your top accomplishments, so it is best to limit your honors and awards section to three-to-five bullet points on your resume. It is often enough for you to place your honors with your graduation date in your education section.

When to list cum laude on a resume

Here is when to list cum laude on a resume:

  • If you’re searching for entry-level opportunities
  • When applying for jobs that require a strong academic background
  • To demonstrate your commitment to excellence
  • If you want to stand out from other applicants

Whether you list cum laude on a resume depends on if it contributes positively to your overall resume and increases your chances of landing an interview. List cum laude to enhance your resume further.

When not to list cum laude on a resume

Here is when not to list cum laude on a resume:

  • If your degree states you graduated with the highest honors instead of cum laude
  • The job listing doesn’t require a detailed education section
  • Your college graduation date was over three years ago

Some of your job experience, professional affiliations, or skills may be enough to impress a hiring manager or recruiter. This may make it unnecessary for you to add cum laude to your resume.

Tips for listing cum laude on a resume

Here are some helpful tips for listing cum laude on a resume.

Use the phrasing from your college diploma

If your diploma does not include honors or cum laude, consider leaving it off your resume. If your school does use these terms, your resume should match what your school states about your grades and honors.

Skip adding your GPA

It is generally unnecessary to add your GPA to your resume with cum laude honors. Cum laude means that you have an excellent GPA already. If your grades interest the employer, they may discuss this in the interview or request college transcripts.

Tailor your resume to the job posting

Review the job posting to see if they are interested in a strong academic background or more interested in work experience. If they prefer work experience, then it may be best to focus on polishing that section of your resume instead of your academic honors.

Examples of cum laude on a resume

Here are a few examples of how to list Latin honors on a resume.

Education section examples

Example 1:

Florida Gulf Coast University
Bachelor of Arts in Biology – cum laude
Cumulative GPA: 3.68/3.7

Example 2:

North South University
Bachelor of Arts in Marketing
Cumulative GPA: 3.89/3.9 – magna cum laude

Example 3:

Summertown College 2010-2014
B.S., magna cum laude, Economics

Example 4: 

West East College 2007-2011
Associate of Science in Nursing
Honors: summa cum laude (GPA: 4.0/4.0)

Honors and awards section example


  • Graduated magna cum laude
  • Cumulative GPA 3.97/4.00
  • University Scholar Golden Key Member
  • 1st Prize in Student Science Fair

If you need help writing a resume, use our data-backed resume builder.