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I've looked at some CV's from colleagues and superiors that I've worked with in academia, and one interesting thing I've noticed is that most of them don't mention if they've graduated with distinction (cum laude, first class etc), but for me it's crucial to mention. At what point is it not necessary to include? Does some amount of academic experience such as publications trump whatever the honors one received when graduating to the point where it's not necessary to include? Is this done because potential employers aren't interested after the person has a solid enough background in academia post graduation and degree conferral or is it simply not worth the whitespace?

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  • Is your bachelor's your highest degree? Is it the highest degree on their CV? Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 15:16
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    Why is it crucial for you?
    – user111388
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 15:16
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    And are they indeed from countries where those distinctions exist?
    – user111388
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 15:17

3 Answers 3

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You haven't said whether you have a PhD, but in my experience, by the time you do, your bachelor's degree is reduced to a single line or two, like:

Bachelor of Arts, Basket Weaving (2019)[, cum laude]
University of Nowhere

I would recommend, as a rule of thumb, if you can squeeze it onto that line, go for it. If it needs a lot of explanation, maybe reconsider, unless it was a very high honor.

Consider though, that many people in doctorate-level education have similar honors. Your bachelor's degree being cum laude will not matter for anything except maybe entry fellowships.

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I would mention it and leave it on your CV going forward. It is recognized and awarded by your university. Some people might discount it and others might not.

It is a minor thing, however, as it is normally simply a reflection of your GPA. And in applications that contain the GPA, that is a more precise indicator of where you wound up.

But it is an accomplishment, nevertheless and it is valid to be proud of it.

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In my experience, people include this aspect on their CV regardless of how many publications they have (or other relevant measures of success).

It is a positive and simple thing to include, especially as an addendum to the degree obtained (“degree in X from Y university—summa cum laude”).

An important consideration when writing a CV is that is is not too burdensome for others to read. In the above-mentioned way, there is no adverse cost to including this information, so it is only a positive thing.

It is a negative thing if the GPA was not good enough to receive high distinctions. In that case, it’s best not to draw attention to it.


If it is a positive high distinction, you only have to gain by including it.

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