How to List a Degree on a Resume | ResumeCoach (2023)

Your educational background is a very important part of your resume. Specific courses of study and levels of education are required for certain jobs. Listing your degree shows that you have the training and therefore the skills you need.

It also says something about you as a future employee – you had the determination and perseverance to complete multiple years of study. Your hiring manager knows that you’ll bring that same work ethic to the job.

Since your education section is so important, you want to get it right. Use the following tips and examples to write your education section quickly, easily, and professionally.

This article describes just one section of your resume – the education section. For more information on how to format your entire resume, check out this helpful online resource.

How to List Degree on Resume

There are many different types of degrees, but the same basic format is used for each. You’ll need the year you graduated, the name of the school, the location of the school – city and state if within the United States, or city and country if you studied abroad – the type of degree earned, and the major.

Where to List Your Degree

A listing of your degrees goes in the education section of your resume. This resume section should be headed with the word “Education.” It typically follows the work experience section. Like your experience, education is listed in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent and working backward.

Should education always be listed after work experience? That depends. If your work preceded your education in time and is unrelated to your career, your education could take precedence. For example, imagine that you worked as a pizza delivery driver while in college. When applying to jobs after graduation, it would make sense to list your education first and this unrelated work experience after.

If you’re a student or recent graduate applying for your first job, the education section takes on even greater importance. Learn how to create a convincing CV or resume without work experience.

How to List High School Diplomas

Technically, a high school diploma is not a degree. You should never see “High School Degree” on a resume. But if you do not yet have a university degree (or if you are working on a yet unfinished degree, as discussed below), you should list your high school diploma in the education section. Under the “Education” heading, list your high school diploma in this way:


[High School Name] | [City, State]

[Graduation Year]

You will list your diploma in this way even if you haven’t graduated yet. If the date is in the future, your hiring manager will know that you are in high school and on your way to graduating. You can add the words “expected graduation in” before the year if you desire.

You can also list your grade point average (GPA), but this is not required. Only list your GPA if it is 3.5 or above.

What if you received a General Education Development Diploma or a General Education Development Certificate (GED)? This is the equivalent of a high school diploma, and it should be listed similarly:


General Education Development Diploma


(Video) How to include your degrees on a resume

Should you list your high school education on your resume if you have later degrees? If you have just one additional degree, you can list your high school as well. Remember to place the college degree first and the high school diploma second, following the reverse chronological order.

If you have multiple graduate and undergraduate degrees, listing your high school information is not necessary.

How to List Associate’s Degree on Resume

An associate’s degree is an undergraduate university degree that usually takes two years of study to obtain. When you learn how to write an associate degree on a resume, you’ll have the tools to record all of your degree types.

Generally, you will record your associate’s degree in this format:


[Year – Year]

[Name of College, City, State]

[Type of Degree] in [Subject]

As a general rule, you should spell out the name of the degree rather than abbreviating it. This prevents confusion on the part of the recruiter. If you’re running out of space on your one-page resume, you can opt to abbreviate. These are common associate’s degree abbreviations and their meanings:

  • AA means Associate in Arts
  • AAB means Associate of Applied Business
  • AAS means Associate in Applied Science
  • AAT means Associate of Arts in Teaching
  • ABA means Associate of Business Administration
  • AS means Associate in Science

Depending on your college, your degree may be called “Associate of” or “Associate in.” Double-check to make sure you are using the correct terminology. Also, never write “Associate’s Degree” on your resume. It should always be listed as the proper degree name, without an apostrophe s.

How to List Bachelor Degree on Resume

A bachelor’s degree is an undergraduate degree that takes four or more years of study to obtain. Again, you will list your degree with the years you were in school, the university name, the city and state, type of degree, and subject of study. Here’s an example:


[Year – Year]

[University Name, City, State]

[Degree Type] in [Subject]

As with the associate’s degree, it is usually best to spell out the name of your degree rather than abbreviating it. If you need to abbreviate to save space, you can use BA for Bachelor of Arts or BS for Bachelor of Science. Additional, less common abbreviations include:

  • B.A. for Bachelor of Arts
  • Bach. Sci., B.Sc., S.B., B.S., BCs for Bachelor of Science
  • BJHum for Bachelor of Journalism and Humanities
  • BMPD for Bachelor of Media Production and Design
  • BMusA for Bachelor of Musical Arts
  • BPAPM for Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management
  • BScFS for Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science.

Before using any of these uncommon abbreviations, think seriously about whether the meaning will be clear to your hiring manager.

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Again, you won’t be using an apostrophe. It’s “Bachelor of” not “Bachelor’s.” As with the high school diploma, you can also cite your GPA if it was above 3.5.

What if you are currently working on your degree but you have not yet graduated? List it in the same way, with your expected graduation date as the closing year. If you list a future date, your hiring manager will understand that it is your expected graduation date. Optionally, you can place the words “Expected graduation in [year]” following the listing.

What if you worked hard in college but did not finish your degree? Life happens. This experience can still be placed on your resume. Consider this unfinished degree on resume example:



Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN

Completed 48 credits towards Bachelor of Arts in English

What if your studies included multiple majors and minors? You can list a double major simply by including “and [the second subject of study.]” Or you can list the degree name followed by a comma, and write “Double Major in [subject] and [subject.]”

You can also list your minor in this way. Place a comma after your degree, and write “Minor in [subject] behind it. Here’s an example:



[University Name, City, State]

[Type of Degree] in [Subject], Minor in [Subject]

If you earned two different Bachelor’s degrees from the same school, you can list them both but on separate lines. Consider this sample:



[University Name, City, State]

(Video) What Should You Include on a Resume?

[Type of Degree] in [Subject]

[Type of Degree] in [Subject]

If you have both a bachelor’s degree and an associate’s degree, list the bachelor’s degree first.

How to List a Master’s Degree on a Resume

Once you’ve obtained a bachelor’s degree, you might go on to get a master’s degree. These graduate degrees usually require two additional years of study. Always list your master’s degree first and your bachelor’s degree second.

Like the degrees previously discussed, your master’s degree listing will include dates, the university name, the place, the type of degree, and the subject. Format your listing like this:



[University Name, City, State]

[Type of Degree] in [Subject]

Again, you should spell out the name of your degree if possible. If you need to abbreviate, the following are common master’s degree abbreviations:

  • A.M., M.A., or MA for Master of Arts
  • M.B.A. or MBA for Master of Business Administration
  • M.E., ME, MEng, or M.Eng. for Master of Engineering
  • M.Ed. or MEd for Master of Education
  • M.S., MS, M.Sc., or MSc for Master of Science
  • M.S.Met. for Master of Science in Metallurgical Engineering

Notice that all the degrees are listed as “Master of,” not “Master’s.” Also, using periods or not using them in the abbreviations is grammatically correct and acceptable. Just be consistent throughout your resume – if you use abbreviations with periods in your master’s degree, use them in your bachelor’s degree, too.

If you’re still working on your degree, you can still list it. Just follow the listing with the expected graduation date.

How to List a Ph.D. on a Resume

A Ph.D. or doctorate is the highest level of graduate degree. Obtaining a Ph.D. usually involves at least four years of study after you’ve received your bachelor’s degree.

Ph.D.s are listed much like the other degrees we’ve discussed. You’ll need the dates, school name, place, degree type, and subject. Your listing should look something like this:



[University Name, City, State]

(Video) Academic Degrees Part 2 - How to list

Ph.D. in [Subject]

Interestingly, the abbreviations PhD or Ph.D. are typically used on the resume rather than spelling out “Doctor of Philosophy.” This could be because the abbreviation is generally recognized as the highest level of education across all fields.

Variations in Listing Your Degrees

Now that we’ve looked at how to list each type of degree, let’s look at some acceptable variations.

First, you don’t always have to list all the years you attended a college in [Year-Year] style. It’s also okay to just list the year you graduated.

You can also adjust the order of the listing if you want to emphasize what you studied rather than when you graduated. This is especially helpful if you completed your education many years ago. You can replace the year, school/place, degree order with a degree, school, year order. Here’s an example of what that might look like:

[Type of Degree] in [Subject]

[University Name, City, State]

[Graduation Year]

You can also do this if you’re still working on your degree. Then, it will look like this::

[Type of Degree] in [Subject]

[University Name, City, State]

Expected Graduation in [Year]

The important thing is that you maintain the same format throughout your resume.

In Conclusion

Having the right education can mean the difference between getting the job you want and not getting it. It is therefore important to master listing your degrees in your resume education section.

Whether you need to list a high school diploma, GED, associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or Ph.D., the steps are basically the same. You’ll need the degree name and the subject of study, the name of the school, its location, and the graduation year.

Remember to always list your education in reverse-chronological order, placing the most recent achievements – and the highest degrees – first. It’s up to you whether you place the education section before or after the work experience section. Your choice should depend on whether your experience or education is more pertinent to the job at hand.

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How do you list a degree expected on a resume? ›

How to Include Your Expected Graduation Date. For a straightforward approach, you could simply write the name of your degree and then your expected graduation date in parenthesis. For example, a psychology student may write "Bachelor of Science in Psychology (Expected May 2027)."

What is the proper way to list a degree? ›

Academic degrees are capitalized only when the full name of the degree is used, such as Bachelor of Arts or Master of Social Work. General references, such as bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree, are not capitalized. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in 2008. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication in 2008.

What are 5 common mistakes that can be made on a resume? ›

Here are just a few of the most common CV mistakes, according to five employers.
  • Having spelling errors and bad grammar. ...
  • Exaggerating the truth. ...
  • Poor formatting. ...
  • An unoriginal personal profile. ...
  • Not focusing on your achievements. ...
  • Making your CV too long. ...
  • Putting the wrong contact information.

How do I explain why I didn't finish college? ›

Make your reason short and honest. For example, “I never went back to finish my degree and that's something I regret. I'm planning to re-enroll in a few online classes to finish it over time.” There—you've addressed it and there's not much more an employer can ask.

How do you list an unfinished degree on a resume? ›

When listing your incomplete degree on your resume, remember to: Mention your degree program, school name, and expected graduation date, if your education is still ongoing. If you're not going to finish your education, find a way to make your incomplete degree work in your favor and present yourself in the best light.

Do you say 1 degree or 1 degrees? ›

The number 1 always mandatorily takes the singular. You also did not do something one hours or one days ago. It is in no way incorrect to say it's 1 degree, regardless of whether you're talking Celsius or Fahrenheit, but the plural form would be considered ungrammatical by virtually all native speakers.

Do you list your highest degree first? ›

Remember to always list your education in reverse-chronological order, placing the most recent achievements – and the highest degrees – first. It's up to you whether you place the education section before or after the work experience section.

How do you say I have a Bachelor's degree? ›

An associate degree never uses an apostrophe.
  1. Correct: I have a bachelor's degree. ...
  2. Incorrect: I have a Bachelor's degree. ...
  3. Correct: I have a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. ...
  4. Incorrect: I have a bachelors of science in business administration. ...
  5. Correct: I have an associate degree.

What are red flags in a resume? ›

One of the most common resume red flags is an unexplained lengthy employment gap between previous roles. These gaps can sometimes lead hiring managers to assume that you have struggled to land jobs in the past, potentially indicating poor performance or some other shortcoming.

What are 3 items that should not go into a resume? ›

Certain personal details are unnecessary to put on your resume and could even send the wrong message. Leave these 12 things off of your resume.
Don't include:
  • Your marital status.
  • Sexual orientation.
  • Religious or political affiliations.
  • Social security number.
  • Anything else that a prospective employer can't ask about.

What are 7 major don'ts of writing a resume? ›

  • Use templates and tables included in software.
  • Make general claims (“Good communication skills”) without backing them up with examples.
  • Mislead employers about your GPA, skills, or abilities.
  • Include long, generic objective statements. ...
  • Submit references on the same page as your resume. ...
  • Don't go over two pages.

Should you put unfinished college on resume? ›

If you're taking a break from college for a year or less, you're still a student. List your unfinished degree on your resume the same as you would if you were still attending college. Just remember, it's important to be upfront with your potential employers about resuming your studies.

What do you call a person who didn't finish college? ›

-ˈgraj-wət. : a person who is not a graduate. He became a college dropout, though nongraduate may be the more precise term.

What do you call a person who did not finish college? ›

undergraduate Add to list Share. An undergraduate is a college or university student who's not a graduate student.

What should you not put on a resume for 2022? ›

Don't include lots of information that's irrelevant to the job you're applying for. “Sure, you've got hobbies, interests, languages, favorite bands, and ambitions,” Cenedella says. “But keep the information that doesn't address your ability to be responsible, accountable, and a hard worker to a reasonable level.”

Should I put all my degrees on my resume? ›

If you have any education beyond high school, the degree is implied and including it would be redundant. Even if your highest degree is high school, you should still leave it off. Only listing a high school diploma will make you look both young and underqualified for a job.

How far back should a 2022 resume go? ›

How far back should your resume go in 2022? The common advice is to keep the work experience in a resume between 10 to 15 years. Doing so will give your hiring manager a general outline of your start, your growth, and where you find yourself now.

How do I hide the gaps on my resume? ›

Fill the employment gap and highlight it

Some ways to do this include volunteering, taking courses, getting certifications or freelancing. Keep building your professional network and attend virtual events. Then highlight those experiences on your résumé.

How do you complete an incomplete graduation? ›

You just have to meet with your district officer, and tell him why you discontinued your graduation in past time and want to continue your graduation and make a gap year proof. You have not mentioned, in which time you have left your graduation.

How do you say 2.1 degree? ›

An Upper Second-Class Honours (a '2:1', pronounced two-one) = Grade A* A Lower Second-Class Honours (a '2:2', pronounced two-two) = Grade A.

What is the degree of 0 called? ›

Constant Polynomial

Why is C same as F? ›

The Fahrenheit and Celsius scales have one point at which they intersect. They are equal at -40 °C and -40 °F. The simple method to find when two temperature scales are equal to each other is to set the conversion factors for the two scales equal to each other and solve for temperature.

Do you list your bachelors or masters first? ›

Here's how to write about your degree on a resume: If you have a master's and a bachelor's degree, make sure to list the master's degree first, followed by your bachelor's degree. If you have additional certifications, break them out and list them in their own section.

Which degree goes first on resume? ›

Tips for listing a dual degree on a resume

List your degrees in reverse chronological order. In your education section, start with your most recent degree first. That means that if you got a dual bachelor's degree in 2017 and a master's degree in 2020, you would add the master's degree first.

Which degree comes first on resume? ›

Put Advanced Degrees First (Usually)

Usually, you should lay down your educational background by listing the most recent or advanced degree first, working in reverse chronological order. But there are exceptions. Say you earned a degree in geography, but are now working in the field of online marketing.

How do you say your major and degree? ›

List your awarded degree. On the final or main line of an education entry, list your awarded degree. This is your major area of study. For example, if you complete a four-year degree in psychology, you would list it as Bachelor's Degree in Psychology or Bachelor of Science in Psychology.

Is it correct to say undergraduate degree? ›

The main difference between undergraduate and graduate is that undergraduate is always used in the context of the first level of college or university education (the level where you can earn a bachelor's degree).

What are 4 common resume mistakes? ›

Common resume mistakes and how to avoid them
  • Including a resume objective instead of a professional profile.
  • Unrelated work experience.
  • Not providing enough detail.
  • No references or too many references.
  • Irrelevant skills to the job role.
  • Using the same resume for all your applications.
  • Outdated or missing contact information.

What is the most attractive color on a resume? ›

Black and white create the highest contrast possible, so it is considered one of the best color schemes to use on a resume. You can choose a pale background and intensive dark lettering. Just keep in mind that your resume may be printed in black and white, so don't use pale on pale.

What colors should you avoid on a resume? ›

It is generally best to avoid using bright colors as they can be distracting and look unprofessional. The color on your resume should compliment it, not take the focus away from the content. Also avoid using light colors against a white background as it is difficult to read.

What mistakes should one never make while writing resume? ›

The 10 Worst Resume Mistakes to Avoid
  • Typos and Grammatical Errors. ...
  • Lack of Specifics. ...
  • Attempting the "One–Size–Fits–All" Approach. ...
  • Highlighting Duties Instead of Accomplishments. ...
  • Going on Too Long or Cutting Things Too Short. ...
  • Bad Summary. ...
  • No Action Verbs. ...
  • Leaving Off Important Information.

What should never appear on a resume? ›

11 things not to put on your resume
  • Too much information. ...
  • A solid wall of text. ...
  • Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. ...
  • Inaccuracies about your qualifications or experience. ...
  • Unnecessary personal information. ...
  • Your age. ...
  • Negative comments about a former employer. ...
  • Too many details about your hobbies and interests.

What words should never be used on a resume? ›

Top 10 Cringeworthy Words or Phrases to Remove from Your Resume
  • Demonstrated success in . . .
  • Proven results . . .
  • Successful/success.
  • Results-driven/results-oriented.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Responsible for . . .
  • Duties included.
  • Seasoned.

What are the 5 golden rules of resume writing? ›

The 5 Golden Rules of CV Writing
  • Rule 1: Think Before You Type. ...
  • Rule 2: Write Your Professional Profile Last. ...
  • Rule 3: Summarise Your Responsibilities. ...
  • Rule 4: Make Achievements Your Key Area of Focus. ...
  • Rule 5: Write For Your Reader.

Is it okay to send resume at night? ›

The best time to send your resume is early morning or after 9 p.m. This ensures that the resume is seen by employers when they first check their emails. Sending it really early in the morning (before 9 a.m.) could be effective as it portrays determination.

What are 3 things every resume should include and why? ›

Key takeaways: Always include your name and contact information, education, relevant professional experience and skills. Tailor your resume for each job application by reviewing the job description for keywords and requirements.

Is it okay for a resume to be 1 and a half pages? ›

No, your resume can't be 1.5 pages. 1.5 pages will leave too much empty space, and make your application look unprofessional. If you have under ten years of relevant work experience, you should only write a one page resume. If you have more than ten years, however, a two page resume is acceptable.

When should you remove college from resume? ›

The short answer, then, is keep it for as long as your college experience is a value-add. Think carefully about what each accomplishment is attempting to demonstrate. Generally, after about two – five years post-graduation, items from college will start to look silly. You don't have to cut everything at once, though.

When should you stop putting college on resume? ›

If you do choose to include your graduation year, Wheatman says to remove this information once you've accumulated 10 to 15 years of work experience. That way, your resume centers around your accomplishments and proven track record, rather than your age.

What are the 4 types of degrees? ›

There are generally four categories of college degrees: associate degree, bachelor's degree, graduate degree, and doctorate or professional degree. Each category comes with its own particular subcategories, and there are some subtle differences between a doctorate and a professional degree.

What does alma mater literally mean? ›

The first records of the term alma mater come from the 1600s. The phrase is Latin and translates as “nourishing mother” (alma can also be interpreted as “dear,” “kind,” or “bountiful”). The English word mother is derived from mater.

What do you call people fresh out of college? ›

Alumni (singular: alumnus (masculine) or alumna (feminine)) are former students of a school, college, or university who have either attended or graduated in some fashion from the institution. The feminine plural alumnae is sometimes used for groups of women.

How do you put unfinished college degree on resume? ›

When listing your incomplete degree on your resume, remember to: Mention your degree program, school name, and expected graduation date, if your education is still ongoing. If you're not going to finish your education, find a way to make your incomplete degree work in your favor and present yourself in the best light.

How do you say you didn't finish college on resume? ›

How to Put College on a Resume If You Didn't Graduate. You don't really want to include your college degree program and then write “incomplete” at the end. That doesn't exactly look wonderful. Simply note down the school you attended (name, dates you attended, and amount of credit hours you finished).

Can you put pending degree on resume? ›

When listing your unfinished college on a resume, remember: Mention your degree program, school name, and expected graduation date if you're continuing your education. If you're not going to finish your education, find an option that puts your incomplete education in the best possible light.

Should you put anticipated graduation date on resume? ›

As a general rule, you'll always want to include the expected graduation date on your resume if you can obtain a realistic timeframe for when you believe you'll finish.

Should I list unfinished degree on resume? ›

If you're taking a break from college for a year or less, you're still a student. List your unfinished degree on your resume the same as you would if you were still attending college. Just remember, it's important to be upfront with your potential employers about resuming your studies.

What do you call a soon to be graduate? ›

A graduand is someone who is eligible to graduate but has not yet graduated.

Should I put college on resume if I didn't graduate? ›

To list an educational experience on your resume, you do not need to have earned a degree from the institution. As long as you're honest and not misrepresenting any information, you should still include your education to help build your credibility – even if you only took a few courses.

How far back should a resume go? ›

How far back should your resume go in 2022? The common advice is to keep the work experience in a resume between 10 to 15 years. Doing so will give your hiring manager a general outline of your start, your growth, and where you find yourself now.

Should you put GPA on resume? ›

You should include your GPA in the education section of your resume, listing that information as close to your degree as possible. It's crucial that you include the accurate number rather than adjust your GPA in the hopes that it will garner more attention. Your resume should tell the truth.

Do graduate certificates look good on a resume? ›

Certifications - recent and relevant certifications are usually a good to put in your resume unless they are expired or otherwise assumed by your experiences.


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