How to List a Degree on a Resume

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Frank Hackett

Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)

Frank Hackett is a professional resume writer and career consultant with over eight years of experience. As the lead editor at a boutique career consulting firm, Frank developed an innovative approach to resume writing that empowers job seekers to tell their professional stories. His approach involves creating accomplishment-driven documents that balance keyword optimization with personal branding. Frank is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) with the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PAWRCC).

Your education section is an important aspect of the resume, and it is important to list your academic credentials properly as you begin your job search. The first step is to list the name of your degree and your major followed by your graduation date. Next, write the full name of your university followed by the city and state. Be sure to list your degree before the academic institution because you always want the hiring manager’s eye to be drawn to your career achievements. In this guide, we’ll show you how to properly feature your associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees on your resume.

Write the Full Name of Your Degree

You can write out the full name of your degree followed by an abbreviation in parentheses. This ensures that your document achieves Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) compliance for either “Bachelor of Arts” or “B.A.” when the software parses your document for keywords. There is some level of nuance amongst the Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA), and other academic institutions regarding the use of periods in abbreviations of degrees. Whether you choose to write “Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or “Bachelor of Arts (BA),” the most important thing is to maintain consistency throughout your document.

Example 1

Education

Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Computer Science

Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, September 2012 – May 2016

Example 2

Education

Bachelor of Science (BS), Computer Science

Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, September 2012 – May 2016

List Multiple Degrees in Reverse Chronological Order

When listing multiple degrees on your resume, feature them in reverse chronological order. As a rule, you’ll always highlight your most recent work experience or degrees ahead of your older career highlights. That being said, if you’ve obtained a master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degree all within the same major, feel free to leave off your associate to save space on your document.

Education

Master of Science (M.S.), Information Technology

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL September 2018 – May 2020

Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Information Technology

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL September 2014 – September 2018

Associate of Science (A.S.), Information Technology

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL September 2014 – September 2016

Recent Graduates Should Feature Additional Information

Because you’ll be listing your degree towards the top of your document, use this opportunity to showcase additional academic achievements to impress the hiring manager. These may include your GPA, academic awards, associations, or even coursework. Because recent graduates likely won’t have relevant work experience to highlight, you’ll need to compensate for this by drawing attention to the strongest aspects of your academic accomplishments.

Education

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Philosophy

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA September 2017 – May 2021

GPA: 3.92/4.0

  • President of the Continental Philosophy Association, 2020 – 2021
  • Member, Harvard Diversity Student Coalition, 2018 – 2021
  • Editor, Harvard University Literature Magazine, 2017 – 2019
  • Summa cum laude 
  • Dean’s list, 2017 – 2021

 

How to List Unfinished College Degrees

Although you may be tempted to leave your college experience off your resume if you didn’t finish your degree, it is helpful to include. Having some higher level education is certainly better than none, and this may help you avoid being rejected during the hiring process by ATS if the company is scanning for a particular word such as “bachelor.” Be sure to list the dates you attended and the number of credits you achieved so that you don’t give off the wrong impression that you graduated.

Education

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), English Literature

University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA September 2016 – May 2018

  • Completed 40 Credits in English Literature

 

How to List an Associate Degree on Your Resume

As previously suggested, write out the full name of your associate degree followed by the abbreviation in parenthesis. If you have limited years of experience, you’ll likely include your GPA and academic awards in this section. Although your job prospects will be stronger with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, this is certainly enough education to help you begin your career in many industries.

Education

Associate of Science (A.S.), Nursing

University of Syracuse, Syracuse, NY September 2019 – May 2021

GPA: 3.8/4.0

How to List a Bachelor’s Degree on Your Resume

You can utilize the same format when detailing your bachelor’s degree on your resume. Keep your years of experience in mind here, as you won’t need to include details such as your GPA, academic awards, or an associate degree if you already have a substantial amount of hands-on experience within your industry. You can also include your major here, but this is only recommended if it’s relevant to your field or adds some other value to your document.

Education

Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Software Engineering

University of Seattle, Seattle, WA September 2017 – May 2021

How to List a Master’s Degree on Your Resume

In most instances, you’ll show both your master’s and bachelor’s degrees on your resume. Although it will likely be assumed that you’ve achieved a bachelor’s by the hiring manager, failing to include this degree could cause issues for you during the initial ATS scan of your resume. As previously mentioned, be sure to feature your degrees in reverse chronological order. You can also leave off additional academic achievements unless you lack relevant work experience to feature on your resume.

Education

Master of Science (M.S.), Chemical Engineering

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI September 2019 – May 2021

Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Chemical Engineering

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI September 2015 – May 2019