Magna Cum Laude is an academic honor of distinction that is typically awarded to a student who graduates in the top 10% or 15% of their class. It is the second highest honorable mention following behind Summa Cum Laude. The Latin phrase means “with great honor” and is usually most relevant for undergraduates in a few countries, including the US, Israel, Indonesia, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic, and parts of continental Europe.
Magna cum laude is the #2 honor of distinction, following immediately after the Summa Cum Laude. The summa cum laude distinction means “of (or with) the highest honors”, and is sometimes only awarded to one individual per batch of graduating students. Naturally, this student is often the valedictorian of the graduating class.
Immediately succeeding the distinction of magna cum laude is the distinction of cum laude, which means “with honor”.
What Criteria or Guidelines Qualify Someone for Magna Cum Laude?
The guidelines to achieve the magna cum laude level of distinction vary from one institution to another. Each college or university sets their own criteria for students to meet in order to obtain this level of achievement. Other requirements could include the submission of an honors thesis for evaluation or being part of an honors program.
Examples of GPA thresholds include:
3.5 – 3.7 Cum Laude
3.8 – 3.9 Magna Cum Laude
4.0+ Summa Cum Laude
What Jobs Seek Students Who Have Received the Magna Cum Laude Level of Distinction?
The fields of finance, management, consulting, and engineering pursue graduates who have obtained magna cum laude. In finance, holding this distinction is preferred for an equity research analyst, in either the buy-side and sell-side. An equity analyst is usually the investment bankers’ and brokers’ go-to-person for expertise. Therefore, it is important for a candidate to be well equipped with the academic skills and knowledge. Although academic achievements do not always guarantee success in the workplace, a magna cum laude honor is an advantage that can help a candidate make his or her first step towards career success.
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