What are Latin Honors? | 3 Levels of Latin Honors

Created By : Jatin Gogia

Reviewed By : Rajasekhar Valipishetty

Last Updated : May 15, 2023

What Are Latin Honors?: There are multiple Latin Phrases that come together and make a system called Latin Honors in order to calculate or identify the level of distinction of academic degree completion. It is used to measure the distinction level of degree by colleges and universities and includes different levels of honor which have some criteria set which need to be met by the student.

What are Latin Honors Levels?

Latin honors are the appreciation degrees awarded to high-performing college graduates. Here we are giving the 3 different levels of latin honors and tips on how to achieve the, successfully. According to American Military University, this system has three different levels and they are categorized according to the minimum GPA requirement in any college and university.

The Levels according to GPA are-

  • Summa cum laude
  • Magna cum laude
  • Cum laude

Summa Cum Laude

The term Summa cum laude means “with highest honors” or “highest praise” and it is the highest level of distinction. This famed title is rewarded to the students with the highest percentage and their grades help them in achieving this milestone of the highest distinction of their school or college. Sometimes the number of hours and class rank can also help in placing students in this category.

Requirements of Summa Cum Laude-

The conditions or requirements to achieve this milestone is so rigorous that only a few students usually among the whole class can able to receive the honor as this distinction is normally allotted to the smallest group of students with a Bachelor’s degree.

It should be noted that every university or institution has its own set of rules for students to be considered for this honor but commonly we identified some conditions required to be fulfilled. The main requirements for this honor to achieve are below-

  • Students are expected to graduate in the first 5% of their class is an important requirement for this award.
  • They might need to complete at least ninety-quarter hours in order to be eligible for this honor.
  • The minimum limit GPA is also considered for this reward and it should be 3.90 or higher for any student.
  • The last requirement for the honor is the recommendation from the thesis or instructor and then only that student is considered as a nominee for the honor.

Magna cum laude

The Latin term Magna cum laude means “with great honors” or “great praise”. This prestigious title is awarded to the students with a strong GPA but who did not meet the requirements of Summa cum laude so basically it's a mid-level or middle tier between Summa cum laude and Cum laude. Magna cum laude is the great distinction given to candidates with strong GPAs.

Requirements of Magna Cum Laude-

As we have mentioned earlier that in some institutions only a few areas might judge while in some places, many conditions need to be fulfilled. One can easily ensure that they are working in the right direction by going through the college website as we know that online resources are beneficial when having any confusion.

The colleges have their own instructions or guidelines and even different programs in the same colleges also have many differences for this distinction but usually, they require some conditions needs to be fulfilled. The main requirements for a student looking for this honor are below-

  • The student must graduate in the top 10% of students in their class in order to complete the eligibility for this honor.
  • The second condition is that they must have completed at least 90 credit hours for this reward.
  • The last and most important requirement is the minimum GPA level which needs to be fulfilled and most commonly it is 3.70.
  • In some institutions, some advanced course competency is also considered for this award eligibility.

Cum laude

Cum Laude is a Latin term which says “with honors” or “praise” and is considered the basic level among the three Latin honors. This is the third level which is considered the lowest rank but still the most amazing achievement of Latin honors.

Requirements of Cum Laude-

So this merit class also has some prerequisites to be fulfilled by students of any institution as earlier said it may vary but the most common requirements are below-

  • The student needs to graduate in the top 25% of the students in their class to achieve this milestone.
  • The second and last requirement is based on the minimum GPA which is 3.50 for this level of reward mostly.


These three levels of distinction are very esteemed titles for anyone’s career and hold very significant value for students. But most importantly you need to set specific goals and reach out to a good guidance counselor. This milestone will reflect that you have distinguished yourself from an average student. Check our site LCMGCF.com to know more information like this.