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How to List a Degree on a Resume [Associate, Bachelor’s & Master’s]

How to List a Degree on a Resume [Associate, Bachelor’s & Master’s]

Listing a degree on a resume is part and parcel of resume writing. We’ll show you how to get it right regardless of the type of degree you’d like to put on your resume.

Maciej Duszyński
Maciej Duszyński
Resume Expert at Zety

Putting your degree on a resume may feel like a no brainer.

 

But that’s until you actually start doing this.

 

All of a sudden, a flurry of unexpected questions appears:

 

How to list my associate’s degree on a resume? What if I’m currently pursuing a degree? How to write a bachelor's degree on a resume? Do I use periods in the abbreviation?

 

Calm down.

 

This article will show you:

 

  • All you need to know on how to write a degree on a resume.
  • Examples of how to list your academic degree on a resume.
  • Tips on common questions about writing a degree on a resume.

 

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1

How to List an Associate Degree on a Resume

 

An associate degree is an undergraduate degree awarded after two or three years of post-secondary education. It’s a degree that’s halfway through a GED qualification or high school diploma and a bachelor’s degree.

 

You should put your associate degree on a resume in a dedicated education section.

Depending on how much experience you have, the resume education section could either come before or after your experience resume section.

 

Here’s an example of how to write an associate degree on a resume:

 

Associate Degree on a Resume

 

2016–2017

Sandhills Community College, Pinehurst, NC

Associate in Arts in English

 

As a rule, you should spell out the full name of your degree rather than abbreviate it.

 

That said—

 

If you’re short of space on your resume, you’re free to abbreviate your degree. Just make sure it’s understandable to the recruiter. If in doubt, don’t abbreviate.

 

Here’s a list of several common ways to abbreviate an associate degree on a resume:

 

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

 

Pro Tip: Your college may call the degree either “Associate in” or “Associate of.” Make sure you use the correct preposition when listing your associate’s degree on a resume. Check out your college’s style guide to be 100 percent sure.

 

Remember:

 

Don’t use an apostrophe when you spell out your degree on a resume.

 

Your resume education section should read e.g. Associate of Applied Science, not Associate’s of Applied Science.

 

And one more thing—

 

If you’re making your first resume, you may want to add some extra information, such as relevant coursework on a resume.

 

2

How to Write a Bachelor's Degree on a Resume

 

A bachelor’s degree is an undergraduate degree you can earn after four (sometimes five) years of full-time study.

 

Just like any other degree, you should list your bachelor’s degree on a resume in a dedicated education section.

 

If you’re fresh out of school, you may want to put the education section above the experience section. Also, consider including additional details on your educational background, such as relevant coursework, or the GPA score.

 

Here’s an example of how to list a bachelor's degree on a resume:

 

Bachelor's Degree on a Resume

 

2013–2017

UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

Bachelor of Arts in English

 

It’s advisable to put the full name of your degree on a resume, but if you’re economizing on space, you can use an abbreviation instead.

 

Bachelors degrees on a resume are commonly abbreviated to:

 

  • BA (Bachelor of Arts)
  • BS (Bachelor of Science)

 

These two abbreviations are the most common in the US.

 

However, you may also come across other abbreviations, such as B.A., Bach. Sci., B.Sc., S.B., B.S., ScB, or BSc.

 

All of these abbreviations are correct, understandable, and refer to a bachelor of arts/science.

 

But apart from these types of bachelor degree on a resume, recruiters may come across other kinds of bachelor’s degrees:

 

  • BJHum (Bachelor of Journalism and Humanities)
  • BMPD (Bachelor of Media Production and Design)
  • BMusA (Bachelor of Musical Arts)
  • BPAPM (Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management)
  • BScFS (Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science)

 

If you’re applying for a position related to your field of study, chances are that even a less common abbreviation won’t take anyone by surprise.

 

But remember:

 

Always make sure your resume is as informative and clear as possible. If a recruiter doesn’t know what an abbreviation stands for they won’t google it. They’ll reject your application.

 

This is why it’s advisable to avoid abbreviating your bachelor’s degree on a resume.

 

Pro Tip: You can use periods or not (e.g. B.A. or BA) when you put the abbreviated name of your degree on a resume. Either spelling is correct.

 

And finally—

 

If you didn’t manage to finish your degree, you can still list it in your education section. Just make it clear how much of a degree you did manage to complete.

 

Here’s how to list an incomplete degree on a resume:

 

Incomplete Degree on a Resume

 

2012–2015

UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

Completed 50 credits toward BA in English

 

If your work experience isn’t impressive yet, use the education section to tell the recruiters a bit more about yourself. Consider adding information on your minor on a resume, or display your GPA on a resume.

 

3

How to List a Master's Degree on a Resume

 

A master’s degree is an academic degree awarded by a university or college. It usually takes two years to complete a master’s program, and having a bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite (most of the time).

 

Write a master’s degree on a resume in the education section.

 

Pro Tip: List your degrees on a resume in reverse-chronological order. In other words, put your most recent degree at the top, and follow it with the previously earned one(s).

 

Here’s an example of how to list a master’s degree on a resume:

 

Master’s Degree on a Resume

 

2015–2017

UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

Master of Arts in English

 

Just like in the case of all the other degrees, you can abbreviate your master’s degree on a resume.

 

Here’s what some typical abbreviations may look like:

 

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

 

Remember: clarity and understandability are vital when listing a degree on a resume.

 

Plus—

 

If you decide to follow The Gregg Reference Manual and put periods in your degree (e.g. M.A.) do it consistently throughout the entire resume. If you prefer The Chicago Manual of Style’s recommendations, and decide not to use periods (e.g. MA), also be consistent.

 

Last but not least.

 

If you're currently pursuing a degree, you can still list it on your resume. The only thing you need to do is say when you’re expected to graduate.

 

Look at this example showing how to list a master’s degree in progress on a resume:

 

Master’s Degree in Progress on a Resume

 

UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

Master of Arts in Psychology

Expected graduation date: June 2019

 

Did you graduate with honors? Why not put cum laude on a resume?

 

Pro Tip: High schools issue diplomas. Technically, there’s no such thing as a high school degree on resume. Learn how to put high school education on a resume to avoid lying about your degree on resume.

 

Key Takeaways

 

Here’s how to list a degree on a resume:

 

  • Create the education section on your resume.
  • Put it either before or after the experience section (depending on your experience).
  • List all your degrees in the education section of your resume.
  • Put your degrees on a resume in the reverse-chronological order.
  • Consider adding extra information about your degree on a resume (e.g. GPA, Latin honors, coursework, etc.).
  • Format the information on your degree on a resume consistently.
  • You can list an incomplete degree on your resume, or a degree in progress. But never lie about your degree on a resume.

 

Do you have any questions about how to write your degree on a resume? Maybe you’ve got some advice you’d like to share with others? Give us a shout out in the comments below. We’d love to hear your voice.

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Maciej Duszyński
Maciej Duszyński
Maciej is a career expert with a solid background in the education management industry. Worked with people at all stages of their career paths: from interns to directors to C-suite members, he now helps you find your dream job.

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