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Another resume question: "cum laude" or "with honors"?

MathildaMaeMathildaMae Posts: 279Registered User Junior Member
edited May 2013 in Parent Cafe
D is about to graduate "cum laude." She is working on her resume, and she wants to list her degree and then "with honors" rather than "cum laude" because (she says) she is afraid that some employers will not know what "cum laude" that means (I actually think the real issue is that she is not getting "magna" or "summa cum laude" and it seems less insulting to her pride to say "with honors").

So, if the school calls it "cum laude," is it dishonest to write "with honors" on your resume? (I know some schools officially use the translated "with honors" but her school officially says "cum laude").
Post edited by MathildaMae on
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Replies to: Another resume question: "cum laude" or "with honors"?

  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Posts: 11,545Registered User Senior Member
    I've not seen that on a resume but personally I would put 'with honors' e.g. 2013 BA or BS or BFA in blah, blah blah etc. with honors XYZ College where she lists her education. If an interviewer wants to know more they will ask. The other way of course would list the college first, then the degree and then the year year. Congrats to your D on her graduation.
  • kiddiekiddie Posts: 1,451Registered User Senior Member
    I would go with the traditional way cum laude. People should know what that is. Plus some colleges have honors programs and those degrees are honor degrees in English vs. cum laude for a particular GPA.
  • rrahrrah Posts: 1,602Registered User Senior Member
    I would suggest she use whatever her college uses. I suspect most people will know that "cum laude" is something of distinction. They may not know the difference between summa or magna.

    DD's university does not use the term "cum laude." It uses "distinction," "high distinction," and "highest distinction." One can also add "honors" to that. DD received her degree with "highest distinction and honors."

    The terms were meaningless until an employer looked at her GPA. Then it had meaning.
  • mathmommathmom Posts: 23,370Registered User Senior Member
    I graduated magna with highest honors in my major. So some colleges use both. I'd expect future employers to know what "cum laude" means.
  • jrparjrpar Posts: 2,083Registered User Senior Member
    To be accurate, she should say "cum laude". Some schools award both Latin honors and "with honors" (with the latter reflecting honors awarded for a senior thesis). Employers will know what cum laude means.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 14,996Registered User Senior Member
    It depends on her school. She should use the designation her school uses which will vary by school. For instance, my school only gives honors degrees to students who are in the honors school. I just graduated with a 4.0 so was summa cum laude but my degree is not an honors degree because I was not in the honors school (it required some extra classes that I didn't need and a thesis.).

    An employer will see the cum laude and the GPA and will know your daughter did well. Putting with honors may appear a little deceptive if the school has a specific requirement for the honors designation.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Posts: 6,519Registered User Senior Member
    D2 graduated from college "cum laude" (for being in the top 10% of her graduating class) and "with highest honors" (for completing a senior thesis in one major) and "with distinction" (in her other major for completing a particularly rigorous sequence of elective coursework)

    So it all depends on how the college lists awards.
  • SikorskySikorsky Posts: 5,851Registered User Senior Member
    1. I agree that if the college uses Latin honors, she should use Latin honors, especially is the college also has a way for students to earn honors that are denoted in English.

    2. I bet it doesn't make a whole lot if difference, though.

    3. Congratulations to your daughter.
  • coolweathercoolweather Posts: 3,319Registered User Senior Member
    How about this: Graduated with cum laude honors?
  • ConsolationConsolation Posts: 14,794Registered User Senior Member
    I cannot imagine someone who is in a position to recruit college graduates, and cares, not knowing what "cum laude" means.
  • moonchildmoonchild Posts: 3,006Registered User Senior Member
    (I actually think the real issue is that she is not getting "magna" or "summa cum laude" and it seems less insulting to her pride to say "with honors"

    :(

    It sounds like a congratulatory shopping trip is in order. Make sure your daughter knows that she should be very proud of her accomplishment.
    I can't imagine that any employer would hire someone based on their not being magna or summa instead of "just" cum. Believe it or not, it might actually help her. Sometimes the summas are seen as "too eggheady" by employers - especially since most of them never received any Latin honors. Cum laude is top 10%, right? Sounds good to me.
  • klugekluge Posts: 6,559Registered User Senior Member
    One of my sons graduated with two different kind of "honors." (One might have been "distinction" - I don't recall.) One was GPA and the other was an honors program. I doubt that it seriously matters to anyone what you call it. Either term gets the message across, and I don't think there's any question of fudging your resume by using one rather than the other. They are synonyms.

    Consolation - I think you'd be surprised about what people in a position to recruit and hiregraduates do and don't know. :)
  • SikorskySikorsky Posts: 5,851Registered User Senior Member
    How about this: Graduated with cum laude honors?

    Oh, I couldn't go along with that.

    Honestly, if I were doing the hiring, I would consider that poor writing--along the lines of "ATM machine," "PIN number" or "and etc."--and a hurdle that an applicant would have to overcome in an interview. If she got an interview.
  • SikorskySikorsky Posts: 5,851Registered User Senior Member
    I can't imagine that any employer would hire someone based on their not being magna or summa instead of "just" cum.
    I could if the competition had graduated magna or summa.
    Cum laude is top 10%, right? Sounds good to me.
    I'm sure that's not always the case. A plurality of my college class graduated cum laude.
  • moonchildmoonchild Posts: 3,006Registered User Senior Member
    ^^^ On just that difference, Sikorsky? I don't think employers are so invested in a percentage point or two in gpa that they would let that take precedence over other factors. Especially since we're talking about two excellent gpas, not poor ones.

    Anyway, it's the overall picture that's important. If an employer thinks someone who has a 3.9 is going to automatically be a better employee than someone with a 3.85, they haven't been in the hiring business very long.
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