Main Difference Between Summa and Magna Cum Laude.



( Latin honors can make your academics stand out from other students. According to a study, 2.038 million students graduated from US universities in 2020. The numbers are continuously increasing every year.

Hence, getting a Latin honor Summa or Magna cum laude can help you stand apart from this crowd. After all these details, you might also have a question in your mind, what is higher summa or magna?

You will get the answer to this question with some other essential details about the differences between Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude below!

What Is Magna or Summa Cum Laude?

Magna Cum Laude is Latin for “with great honor.” It is used to describe a student who has earned exceptional academic achievement and has done so with distinction.

Summa Cum Laude means the same thing as Magna Cum Laude. Still, it adds an extra honorific: summa refers to the highest grade of A or B on an examination (which may or may not be awarded), while magna stands for something greater than that: specifically, an A or B plus another letter grade (e.g., A+, A++).

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What Do Latin Honors Mean?

Latin honors are used to recognize academic achievement and can be awarded to all undergraduate students. The three degrees of magna cum laude, summa cum laude, and cum laude are the highest levels of Latin honors and reflect your cumulative GPA.

The lowest level of Latin honors is magna cum laude—this means you earned a 3.75 or higher on your last official transcript evaluation. If you were awarded this grade on more than one occasion (for example, if it was given after taking some courses that were not graded), it would be considered a single degree. However, if your grades were all at least 3.8, then they will automatically be considered as two separate degrees: magna cum laude and summa cum laude respectively!

The next step up from these two grades is summa cum laude which means earning an overall 4+ GPA during both semesters with no exceptions made (i.e., no late withdrawals). Students who receive this kind of recognition have demonstrated outstanding academic performance throughout their time at college/university level study programs during 2 terms/3 quarters each year.

What Grade-Point Average Do You Need for Cum Laude?

The GPA required to receive a magna cum laude is 3.5.

To receive cum laude, you must have an average of 3.7 or higher in all your coursework. For example, if you took six classes and got an A in each one, your average would be 6 out of 12—a very good score!

If you are awarded a magna cum laude by receiving honors from your school’s faculty or department and have additional achievements that make up for lower grades (like service-learning), then it’s possible to be awarded this distinction even if you’re not at the top of everyone else on campus but still do well enough overall.

Which Is Better, Summa Cum Laude or Magna Cum Laude?

The difference between magna cum laude and summa cum laude is that the latter grade is only awarded to students who have completed at least 30 credits of coursework. Magna Cum Laude, on the other hand, is awarded to those who have completed an even higher number of credits (usually around 45).

A student can earn either one of these honors but not both. In other words, you cannot be both a magna cum laude and summa cum laude in your undergraduate career—only one or the other will suffice!

What Is the Difference Between Summa and Summa Cum Laude?

Summa Cum Laude is Latin for “with great honor”. Magna Cum Laude means “with great honor” in English. The difference between these two words is not only in their pronunciation and spelling but also in their meaning.

In the United States, magna cum laude is used more often than summa cum laude. However, if you want to be able to say both words correctly when speaking English (which most people do), then keep reading!


The key to getting into a good school is to get your GPA above the minimum requirement. If you want to go to a top-tier college and succeed, you must have an excellent academic record. The only way you can achieve this goal is by earning Summa Cum Laude or Magna Cum Laude degrees from an accredited university.

Staff Writer; Ronald Jones