In the American system, the lowest of three "honors" given by universities when a student graduates with a certain grade point average, or GPA:
  • cum laude is given for a GPA of 3.9 or higher
  • magna cum laude is given for a GPA of 3.95 or higher
  • summa cum laude is given for a GPA of 4.00

Any of the "cum laude" honors is considered quite an accomplishment usually, and is something many people would even place on their resume.

Note: this GPA is calculated using the total grade points for all of the classes for that particular degree. Classes taken on a pass-fail basis are not used in the calculation. Also, some institutions of higher learning may use a different set of numbers. For example, some universities allow a student to earn a 5.0 GPA because honors classes are given more points.