Loading the player...

What is 'Magna Cum Laude'

Magna cum laude is a term used by educational institutions to signify an academic degree that was earned "with great honor." It is one of three commonly used types of Latin honors recognized in the United States. The other two levels of distinction are summa cum laude and cum laude

The terms come from Latin, so they often are called Latin honors. Magna cum laude is typically more prestigious than cum laude honors but less prestigious than summa cum laude. Latin honors are common in the United States, but very few countries around the world use the system.

BREAKING DOWN 'Magna Cum Laude'

Magna cum laude is one of the three ranks awarded only for bachelor's degrees. Students who graduate with honors may wear colored stoles or other designation during commencement ceremonies, and that person's honor is read aloud along with his or her name. Latin honors generally appear on a student's official transcript and diploma after graduating. The criteria for earning Latin honors may include grade point average (GPA), class rank, number of hours completed and honors designations from an academic department.

GPA-Based Requirements

The guidelines by which each level of academic honors is achieved differs at academic institutions. Every university or college outlines its own expectations for each program. Colleges and universities follow one of a few standards to determine a student's status as magna cum laude upon graduation. Texas A&M graduates must complete 60 credit hours of work toward a degree while earning a GPA of 3.70 to 3.89. Latin honors at Texas A&M include the student's final grades of the last semester before graduation.

Magna Cum Laude and Class Rank

At some universities, the GPA requirements for Latin honors change every academic year because they are based on a percentage of the student's class rank. For example, a student who graduates magna cum laude from the University of California Los Angeles engineering department must finish in the top 5% to 10% of the class after completing 90 credits. For the 2016-2017 academic year, UCLA engineering students needed a GPA of 3.802 to 3.884 to qualify as magna cum laude. In contrast, during the 2005-2006 academic year, students needed a GPA of 3.728 to 3.834.

Brown University

At Brown University, students receive just one Latin honor, magna cum laude, upon graduation. A student achieves the honor after earning a certain percentage of distinguished marks along with an "A" grade in a course. Brown University does not calculate GPA, and no more than 20% of a graduating class can earn magna cum laude honors.

  1. Cum Laude

    Cum laude is an academic level of distinction used by educational ...
  2. Summa Cum Laude

    Summa cum laude is an academic level of distinction used by educational ...
  3. Cum Rights

    Cum rights allow existing shareholders to buy new shares, typically ...
  4. Cum Dividend

    Cum dividend is when a buyer of a security will receive a dividend ...
  5. Steve Ballmer

    Steve Ballmer was CEO of Microsoft Corporation from 2000 to 2 ...
  6. Student Debt

    Student debt refers to loans used to pay for college tuition ...
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    Are College Honor Societies Really Worth It?

    College honor societies may offer substantial benefits to members and alumni, but they are not the only way for you to achieve your goals.
  2. Personal Finance

    Does It Make Sense to Go to College in Europe?

    If you're deciding whether to get a degree abroad, first do your research and talk to alumni who have completed the same program.
  3. Personal Finance

    MBA Programs Admissions

    When applying to a business school, an important metric is an applicant's undergraduate GPA. But other features of an MBA application are also important.
  4. Personal Finance

    Student Loans: Best Majors to Pay Down College Debt Fast

    Find out which degrees help college students find jobs immediately after graduation, earn good salaries and pay back their student loans fast.
  5. Personal Finance

    Looking for a Tuition-Free College? Move Abroad

    College tuition abroad is free in some cases, allowing students to get a debt-free jump on life. But you might need to brush up on your German.
  6. Personal Finance

    Balance Work And Grad School

    The advantages enjoyed by successful work-study participants are well worth the time and effort exerted.
  7. Personal Finance

    3 Alternative Ways To Save for College

    The cost of college is skyrocketing at a time of record student loan debt. But there are ways to earn a college degree without traditional borrowing.
  8. Personal Finance

    Who Should Pay For College?

    With college costs continuing to escalate, the question of who pays for it is increasingly relevant.
  9. Personal Finance

    Avoid Borrowing a Fortune for College

    College is expensive but has many benefits. Use these tips to avoid borrowing a fortune for college.
  10. Personal Finance

    Is An American College Education Still Worth It?

    The total cost of a university education continues to outpace inflation. For some degrees, that expense isn't likely to pay off.
  1. What is the difference between magna cum laude and summa cum laude?

    Cum laude" is a Latin term that translates to “with honor”. "Magna cum laude" means “with great honor,” and "summa cum laude" ... Read Answer >>
  2. For which kind of jobs is having Magna Cum Laude most important?

    Discover for what kind of jobs a magna cum laude degree is important. Magna cum laude is a distinction earned when a student ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center