How to List Magna Cum Laude on a Resume

By Indeed Editorial Team

February 22, 2021

Latin honors signify high academic achievement and can be an important element to include on your resume. Listing your Latin honors on your resume can showcase your ability to achieve high levels of success as well as your motivation to succeed. There are several steps you can take when formatting your Latin honors on a resume, and if you have been awarded "magna cum laude" distinction, you may choose to include this information along with your degrees.

In this article, we'll explore what Latin honors are, how to list them in your resume and several examples to help you when listing your magna cum laude on your resume.

What are Latin honors?

Latin honors encompass three distinct levels of academic achievement upon a student's graduation from college. The three levels of Latin honors include "cum laude" as the first level of honors, "magna cum laude" as the next level of honors and "summa cum laude" as the highest level of honors.

Roughly translated, "cum laude" in each phrase means "with distinction." "Magna" meaning "great" adds to the term "cum laude" and loosely translates to "with great distinction," and summa cum laude can be translated to "with highest distinction."

Many colleges and universities award graduates with honors distinction, however, the criteria each school requires students to meet to be awarded Latin honors can differ. In some instances, universities may require graduates to maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 3.6 or higher to be eligible for a Latin honors award. In other cases, colleges may award cum laude distinctions to only a small percentage of a given graduating class.

Read more: Curriculum Vitae (CV) Format Guide (With Examples and Tips)

How to list magna cum laude on your resume

Including your "cum laude" honors on your resume can be fairly simple, and you can usually include it as an item under the education heading. The following steps can also help guide you when formatting your magna cum laude in your resume:

  1. Format Latin honors under your education section.

  2. Use a separate honors section under each degree.

  3. Italicize each Latin honors award.

  4. Only include GPA if it's relevant.

1. Format Latin honors under your education section

When listing your Latin honors in your resume, consider adding this information to your education section. You can do this by listing your degree, the date you graduated, your school's name and then create a separate sub-section for your cum laude honors. Often, it is unnecessary to list "cum laude" honors in a separate resume section unless you earned more than one or two academic achievements.

2. Use a separate honors section for each degree

When you include your cum laude in your educational background, you might create a separate sub-section for honors and other awards or activities relevant to the job. For instance, if you are applying for an engineering role, you might include your degree, the school and the year you graduated in the first line, then format your honors, awards and activities beneath the degree.

3. Italicize each Latin honors award

As you list your Latin honors under your degree, be sure to italicize the phrase and leave it in all lowercase letters. Similarly, if you received any other awards or honors, you can include them beneath your Latin honors. Additionally, if you received Latin honors along with another award that shows your academic distinctions, such as Dean's List, you may choose to leave it out, as your Latin honors may tend to override related honors awards.

4. Only include GPA if it's relevant

Typically, employers may assume that if you were awarded Latin honors, then you had a significantly above-average GPA. Listing your GPA may be unnecessary, however, if you do include it, be sure it's relevant to the job. For instance, a candidate applying for a teaching position at a university may include their GPA to highlight their qualifications for the job.

Related: How to List Education on a Resume

Importance of Latin honors on a resume

Including Latin honors on your resume can be important for standing apart from other candidates, as it shows employers your commitment to success and that you value setting and achieving goals. Including your Latin honors can also help highlight your work ethic, and it can also show employers that you have a high standard of self-discipline. There are several more reasons why it can be important to include Latin honors on your resume, including:

  • Shows your intelligence and determination

  • Highlights your ability to learn and improve

  • Allows employers to see examples of your success

  • Highlights your work ethic and self-discipline

Shows your intelligence and determination

Including Latin honors on a resume can be important for showing employers your intelligence and determination to achieve high standards. These qualities can be highly desirable in an employee and including your Latin honors can allow employers to evaluate your capabilities and fit for the job.

Highlights your ability to learn and improve

Showing your Latin honors can also highlight your ability to learn and improve on your skills and intellectual development. Being able to learn new skills and approaches to solving problems is another desirable trait for employees to have as well as the ability to take action to improve your skills.

Allows employers to see examples of your success

Your Latin honors can also show employers proof of your ability to succeed at taking on challenges. Receiving high honors is an effective way to highlight your motivation to set goals for yourself, and it shows that you value your success. Additionally, including Latin honors in your resume can also show employers that you have the enthusiasm necessary to take on challenges in your career, as well as the discipline to complete what you started.

Highlights your work ethic and self-discipline

You can also use your Latin honors as a way to highlight your work ethic and self-discipline. Because earning a Latin honors like "magna cum laude" signifies you have achieved the highest standard of academic achievement, which can show employers your tremendous self-discipline and inner motivation to achieve something that is usually difficult to obtain.

Learn more: 6 Universal Rules for Resume Writing

Examples

The following can help you format the education section of your resume to include your Latin honors, additional awards and any activities you participated in as part of your educational career.

Listing "cum laude" on a resume

Education

Bachelor of Arts in Education, 2015
Southeastern State University

Honors: cum laude (GPA: 3.7)
Activities: President, Student Teachers' Association

Listing "magna cum laude" on a resume

Education

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering, 2018
Northgate University of Science and Technology

Honors: magna cum laude (GPA: 3.8)
Activities: Northgate Research Program 2016-2018

Listing "summa cum laude" on a resume

Education

University of Texas 2010
B.S., summa cum laude, Business Analysis

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