How to List College Education on Your Resume

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Not sure how to list your college degree or the college coursework you have accumulated if you didn't finish your degree on your resume? An entry level resume will often include a variety of information and be slightly more general than a resume for someone who has been in the workforce for many years.

If you don’t have a lot of work experience to prove your skills and capabilities on the job, it can be important to list any relevant college coursework, even if you didn’t graduate with a degree.

Here are a few options for including your education, as well as credit you have earned for college level work on your resume even though you didn't graduate.

The Best Way List College Education on Your Resume

How to include education on your resume depends on when or if you graduated. If you're a college student or recent graduate, your college education is typically listed at the top of your resume. When you have work experience, it is listed below your employment history

Recent graduates should include their graduation date. If you have a high Grade Point Average (GPA), it can be included as well:

B.A., Business Management, May 20XX
Sycamore University, Senona, California
GPA 3.75 

When Your Education in Progress

If you have not yet graduated but intend to, you can list details about your college, including location and name, and then put "degree expected" and your anticipated graduation year.

You can also include your GPA, if it is very strong:

Bachelor of Arts, degree anticipated May 20XX
State College, Hamilton, Virginia
Current GPA 3.72

How to List College on Your Resume When You Didn't Graduate

Whether you're currently working toward a degree, or have no plans to graduate, don't let a lack of a degree stop you from including your time spent at college or relevant details about completed coursework on your resume.

Your college classes, even without an earned degree, can help you meet an employer's educational requirements.

One cautionary note: If you did not graduate college, make sure that your resume does not indicate otherwise. Many employers will do a reference check prior to hiring someone and a falsified college graduation will show up. Any information found to be intentionally misleading will end your candidacy, and is grounds for firing if you have been hired.

Option 1

There are a few different ways to include the fact that you attended college.

You can simply list the college and location:

Macanster College
Cleveland, OH

You can also provide more detail. Include the years attended, the number of credits completed, and your GPA if it is very strong (3.5+):

Unionville University, 2013 - 2015
Schenectady, NY
Completed 42 credits, GPA 3.8

You can mention the focus of your studies, if it is related to your employment objective, and the number of credits completed in that discipline:

Hannaford College, 2014 - 2016
Burlington, VT
Completed 36 credits, including 16 credits in business.

Option 2

Another option is to list some of your completed coursework that is related to the job for which you are applying.

You would include this in a separate section from “Education”.

Related Coursework:

Accounting 1 and 2
Marketing, Finance, and Human Resource Management

Option 3

Yet another possibility is to actually describe any course projects which are related to your target job. This can be a good approach for candidates who don't possess much or any related work experience.

For example, a person who is aiming for a job with a focus on information technology might describe a programming project which involved the creation of a complex Excel database. If you received any recognition for the project, or an outstanding grade, you can also mention those.

Leaving College Off Your Resume

Of course, you also have the option of leaving college off of your resume entirely, which becomes a better option as you gain valid, relevant work experience.

There are many things you can include on your resume besides college, to highlight and prove your qualifications for a job.

Relevant coursework, awards, certifications, volunteer positions, and even clubs and hobbies can often be included appropriately in other sections of your resume.

Remember the Basics

Your resume is probably the first impression that a potential employer is going to have of you. It’s a good idea to review resume writing tips to help you present the most important information about you in a way that stands out to hiring managers.

It’s helpful to carefully proofread your resume or have a friend proofread it for you before you send it off to help you catch any typos, and make sure that the layout looks good. You want to be sure as well that it’s formatted in such a way that it opens properly if you are emailing it with your application materials.

When you Land an Interview

You should also be prepared to discuss your college courses in your interview, when the time comes. It’s a good idea to prepare for the question of why you didn’t complete your degree as well. Remember to be honest and upfront, and cast your decision in the most flattering way possible, without placing blame or being negative.

Employer Educational Requirements: What Employers Mean By Equivalent Experience