Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Awards catagories in US universities ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Awards catagories in US universities
Category: Reference, Education and News > Job and Careers
Asked by: stansunny-ga
List Price: $3.00
Posted: 05 Jul 2004 05:56 PDT
Expires: 04 Aug 2004 05:56 PDT
Question ID: 369839

I am an international graduate student currently studying in an
American university. When my fellow international classmates and I
prepare cv for job interviews, we usually do not know how to translate
our awards and achievements back in our native countries to the
corresponding ones that the American people are familiar with.

Thus here I am seeking a list of the most commonly used "award" names
used in the American universities. These should include awards to
students with academic achievements, high moral standard, outstanding
leadership, prizes in various competitions, etc. Some awards have
self-explantory meanings, while others may require explanations of
what they mean. Examples and possible sources are important.

Subject: Re: Awards catagories in US universities
Answered By: mwalcoff-ga on 06 Jul 2004 08:20 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
The most-common system for awards for U.S. college and university
graduates is the system of "Latin honors." Students with academic
distinction, typically high marks in their classes, can receive a
diploma "cum laude" (good), "summa cum laude" (better) or "magna cum
laude" (best).

Wikipedia, "Latin honors,"

Students with a high grade-point average (marks) in a given semester
or term can receive "Dean's List" honors. Students may also receive
scholarships or cash awards for their academic performance.
Student-athletes who did not enter college with a scholarship can earn
one through their performance on the field.

One of the most-impressive honors an American college student can
receive is induction into the Phi Beta Kappa society, or an equivalent
honors society for areas of study outside of the liberal arts.

If someone tells you he graduated from Harvard, Phi Beta Kappa, magna
cum laude, you can be sure he did his homework.

Some examples:

Univ. of Pennsylvania, "Academic Recognition," 20 Aug. 2003,

Univ. of Washington, "Dean's List," 13 May 2004,

Univ. of Illinois, "What Honors Means," 2001,

I hope this answer meets your needs. If not, please request clarification.

Search strategy:

phi beta kappa cum laude dean's list

cum magna summa

Request for Answer Clarification by stansunny-ga on 06 Jul 2004 09:49 PDT
Thanks for answering my question. What I still do not know is how to
translate my own honors into the ones that the Americans are familiar
with, since most American honors are associated with special societies
that do not exist in my country (China). Many of the most-impressive
honors in China are awarded by the government, such as the Chinese
Ministry of Eduction. I would like to know:

(1) Are there any similiar honors issued by the state government or
federal government in US for students with excellent academic
achievements and/or excellent leadership?

(2) Is it approriate to translate an award for excellent academic
achievement, high moral standing and good physical quality into
"Student Achievement Award"? Also for an award for excellent
leadership into "Student Leadership Award"? I know this may be out of
the original question, but that is the original motivation for my
question and I sincerely hope that you can help on this.

Thanks again.

Clarification of Answer by mwalcoff-ga on 06 Jul 2004 09:58 PDT
1) Although many American universitites are owned by state
governments, they operate fairly independently from the state
government. Therefore, it is not likely that governments themselves
would give direct awards to students for academic achievement at the
postsecondary level.

2) This is only a personal opinion, but I think putting any such
awards on your resume is a good idea. You should say what body makes
the awards (university, ministry, etc.) as well as the reasoning
behind the award. For example, you could say, "Received a Student
Achievement Award from the Chinese Ministry of Education for good
conduct and academic performance."
stansunny-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.00
Thanks a lot for taking time answering this question. Very helpful and
the answer for clarification is very quick.

Subject: Re: Awards catagories in US universities
From: markj-ga on 06 Jul 2004 14:06 PDT
One small correction.  "Summa cum laude" is "best," not "magna cum laude."

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy