How to List Magna and Summa Cum Laude on Your Resume (+ Examples)

Feb 18, 2020

Written by Caitlin Proctor

Written by Caitlin Proctor

Career Expert, ZipJob

An average of 250 resumes are sent for a single opening. See how Zipjob uses professional writers and technology to get your resume noticed.

When it comes to resume-writing, most job-seekers understand the importance of focusing their attention on how they list their skills and work experience. After all, hiring managers need to see those qualifications to know that a candidate is truly capable of doing the job.

Unfortunately, many job applicants fail to give that same level of care to their education section. Many simply note where they went to school and when – ignoring other potentially relevant details. Take Latin honors, for example. If you graduated with impressive honors, you need to mention it in your resume. In this post, we’ll show you the right way to list Latin honors on a resume with examples (magna, summa, and cum laude honors).

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Do your honors matter?

Of course, some candidates might wonder whether employers care about those honors at all. The reality is that some will and some won’t. You can pretty much assume that companies will be impressed by the achievement, though.

Latin honors–like other educational accomplishments–demonstrate a commitment to excellence that all companies want to see. They say a great deal about your character, drive, and competence. For those reasons alone, they need to be included in any resume.

How to format magna, summa, and cum laude honors

Be sure to use the proper format when including Latin honors in your resume. Doing so will help to maintain that level of professionalism that your resume needs to get noticed.

According to experts, Latin phrases and words should be listed using lower case letters. You should also use italics for these phrases. The Chicago Manual of Style recommends using italics for all non-Anglicized, rarely-used foreign words.

Example resume listings for magna, summa, and cum laude honors

Before you add those magna, summa, and cum laude honors to your resume, it can be helpful to see how other resumes incorporate that information. We’ve provided a couple of examples below. You can use them as a template guide to help you add your own honors to your resume:

Superior University – Anytown, AnyState – 2011-2015

Bachelor of Science in Business Management

Honors: magna cum laude (GPA: 3.6/4.0)

BestNurse College – ThatCity, ThatState – 2007-2011

Associate of Science in Nursing

Honors: summa cum laude (GPA: 4.0/4.0)

Where to list magna, summa, and cum laude honors

To properly list Latin honors on your resume, you first need to know where to place them. While some resume-writers might be inclined to create a separate section to detail those honors, Harvard Law School recommends a different approach. Keep them within your education section, and create subsections under each listed degree. You should have one for your Honors, and another for Activities.

That approach helps to keep relevant information organized. At the same time, it provides a way to highlight your accomplishments. Focus on limiting your list to only the most impressive honors, however.

You should also skip your GPA if you have those types of honors included. After all, nobody graduates magna, summa, and cum laude without great grades. The only exception to this rule is if the employer requires that information. In that case, just include the GPA next to your honors, in parenthesis.

For other tips on what to include, see our great post on the resume education section here. 

Honors on a resume


It should be clear by now that your magna, summa, and cum laude honors can be an important addition to your resume. The key is to know when to list them, and how. If you follow these simple tips and examples, you can showcase those honors and truly dazzle any employer.

In any close competition between you and several other candidates, your hard-earned honors just might be the difference-maker you need to come out on top!

An average of 250 resumes are sent for a single opening. See how Zipjob uses professional writers and technology to get your resume noticed.

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