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It is a Latin word that was used in universities some 150 years back, but today, it is used by universities in different parts of the world, while there are no common criteria to award honours.
It is given in the event the student takes all the courses offered in the college of a particular discipline during high school and in the advanced courses where the student can file a petition to the college head or university principal to substitute the course on an equivalent basis to high school, in terms of, hours of instructions and then, the student remains eligible for high school academic honours like the following –
Cum Laude means “with honour (or praise).” This system recognises academic honours in graduates (The terms like 3.7 GPA with no AP/ College level / 4 years indicate it).
After completion of 8 semesters of high school, the cum laude system recognizes a 4.2 GPA and Above as Summa, 4 to 4.19 as Magna and 3.85 – 3.99 GPA as Cum Laude.
Magna cum laude means a degree with Great Honour/ Praise. (Example –3.9 GPA with four semesters of AP/ college and 2-year full classes).
Summa Cum Laude – It means “great praise of the highest level” in the three categories. (Example - for students with 3.9 GPA in 10 semesters of AP/ College Level / 4 years, including ten semesters or five full years).
The system was mainly introduced to encourage students to complete coursework and decrease unnecessary competition between students.
Some systems also give students a 4 GPA recognition. Oxford University grades 8.0 or more, which is called judicious cum laude, where the student has to secure at least 9 in one subject.
Professional institutions like art and design universities or art and design colleges use different types of grading.
Comparison to GPA
Cum laude system was mainly used to eliminate the system of ranking that induced higher competition and led to risky behaviour. However, the Class Rank or GPA system of grading/ ranking students can be found in many schools globally.
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