Summa Cum Laude

DEFINITION of 'Summa Cum Laude'

An academic level of distinction used by educational institutions to signify an academic degree which was received "with highest honor". Summa cum laude is the highest distinction of three commonly used types of Latin honors which are recognized in the United States, the other two being magna cum laude and cum laude.

BREAKING DOWN 'Summa Cum Laude'

The guidelines by which each level of academic honors is achieved differs between academic institutions, however every university or college will outline their expectations for each program. Although Latin honors are quite common in the United States, very few countries around the world use the Latin system.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. Where did the term Magna Cum Laude originate from and why is it used in academics?

    The Latin phrase magna cum laude translates to "with great praise." Literally, "magna" translates to "great," "cum" to "with" ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How does someone earn the designation Magna Cum Laude?

    The term "magna cum laude" is an academic designation awarded to graduates of an educational institution who have maintained ... Read Full Answer >>
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