In mathematics, is it common to put the final grade of your PhD on your academic CV, for example for

  • your personal website
  • funding/grant applications
  • short research stay applications
  • postdoc applications
  • tenure track applications
  • etc.

There seem to be more standards for deciding final grades than there are universities, and some universities are more committed to stopping grade inflation than others. (Whether grades at the PhD level are a good idea is a can of worms I don't wish to open.)

If one should only show off "good" grades, is there a common cut-off? For example, the German system uses the following grades (approximate descriptions in parentheses)

  • summa cum laude ("with distinction")
  • magna cum laude ("very good")
  • cum laude ("good")
  • rite ("pass")
  • 1
    Who are you showing the CV to? If its for internat. academic positions in mathem., I have never seen something similar and would thus not recommend it.
    – user111388
    Mar 27, 2020 at 12:26
  • By the way, you might want to add to this question if those grades are good and how good, if possible.
    – user111388
    Mar 27, 2020 at 12:27
  • I'm not in Germany so won't answer formally. The US also marks some degrees "Summa Cum Laude" etc. I think most people here would include such designations if they are higher than the minimum.
    – Buffy
    Mar 27, 2020 at 13:53
  • My recommendation would not to have a general-purpose CV to begin with. You might have a master CV with every conceivable information, but you have to trim it down depending on the purpose, target audience, etc.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Mar 27, 2020 at 20:32
  • @Wrzlprmft OK, I agree and of course welcome more nuanced answers — (within academia) do I put it on job applications, on grant applications, on applications for short research stays, on my website?
    – Earthliŋ
    Mar 28, 2020 at 0:01

1 Answer 1


You need to keep the intended audience of that CV in mind. If you are just interested in a German audience (non Germans can read your CV if they can find it, but you just don't care), then you can add those grades. If you aim for an international audience you need to give them a metric by which to evaluate those notes. For example, in the Netherlands a PhD can only get two grades: a regular pass (about 95%) and a cum laude (about 5%). So if a Dutch person sees a CV with a cum laude for a PhD (s)he will be very impressed, which is not what that note means in Germany.

  • Forget the labels and show me the data : ) Mar 28, 2020 at 19:22

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