How to List Education on a Resume [13+ Real-Life Examples]

11 April
11 min read
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Аt a glance, there’s nothing profound or especially complicated about listing education on your resume.

You just write down all the schools you have ever attended in chronological order, and bam, you’re done.

Easy, right?

But then start the questions: should you still list your education section first if have work experience? What about including your GPA? How many academic achievements are OK to add? 

Suddenly, it’s not so easy anymore.

Don’t worry! We created this article to show you how to list education on your resume.

We’re going to cover:

  • What Information Your Education Section Needs
  • How to Format Your Education on Your Resume
  • 16 Real-Life Examples of Education on a Resume

…and more!

Let’s dive in.

resume templates cta

What to Include in Your Education Section

The education section on a resume gives hiring managers a glimpse into your academic achievements, interests, and skills.

It can demonstrate your commitment to learning, your ability to succeed in a structured environment, and the relevant knowledge you've acquired.

The information you should include in this section, though, varies based on things like your career level, the exact job you're applying for, and how recent your education is.

This means you don’t always have to be super detailed. Some of the information about your education is optional, and some of it may even be redundant if you have relevant work experience, so you should only use it if you think it can give your resume a boost.

Let’s start with the details most employers expect to see:

Essential Information

  • Degree Name. Include the type of degree and the relevant major. (E.g.: BFA in Graphic Design)
  • University Name. Add the name of the institution you studied at. (E.g.: University of Saint Andrews)
  • Location. If the university isn’t well known or the name doesn’t specify where it is, include the general location. (E.g.: St Andrews, Scotland)
  • Years Attended. Usually, only the years you attend there are enough, but the mm/yyyy format is also popular. (E.g.: 09/2018 - 06/2021)

Optional Information

  • Honors and Awards. If you’ve received any acknowledgments, list them here. (E.g.: Dean's List, Summa Cum Laude, Merit Scholarships, Valedictorian)
  • Relevant Coursework. List three to five courses that directly apply to your target job. (E.g.: Marketing 101, Marketing Strategy, PR Basics)
  • Thesis or Dissertation. We recommend including this for graduate-level degrees in research-heavy fields.
  • Minor. If relevant, include any additional areas of study. (E.g.: BA in Creative Writing, Minor in Journalism)
  • Grade Point Average. Only include your GPA if it's 3.5 or above on a 4.0 scale. Anything lower can undermine your application.
  • Extracurricular Activities. Mention any clubs or organizations that seem relevant. (E.g.: Debate team, Theater Club, School Newspaper)

Here’s an example of an education section that includes information from both categories:

education on resume

Getting ready to find a job? Start by learning how to write a resume with our detailed guide!

How to Format Education on Your Resume

Now that you have an idea of what to include in your education section, let’s explain how you should do it.

In terms of structuring your education section, follow a reverse-chronological order; this means, list your latest educational entry first and then go backward from there.

And remember – if you have a relevant university degree, there’s no need to waste precious space on your resume by listing your high school education.

As a general rule, if you’re an experienced professional and you have a Master’s degree, you can also omit your undergrad degree. Hiring managers are a lot more interested in your work experience section, so your education section should only focus on the basics.

However, if you’re a recent graduate, you might want to include more details to give your resume an extra kick. It’s always a good idea to leverage your education if you don’t have enough relevant work experience.

Now, regardless of your level of experience, add the name of your degree at the very top of the entry in your education section.

The same degree can be written down differently, for instance:

  • Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Culture with a Minor in Teaching
  • BA in English Language and Culture, Minor in Teaching
  • B.A. English Language and Culture (Major), Teaching (Minor)
  • BA, English Language and Culture

Here’s an example of what the formatting in your education section should look like:

how to list education on a resume

If you graduated from a famous university with a good reputation, you can highlight that first. For example, list “Harvard University” before the name of your degree.

Where to Place Education on Your Resume

Another important thing to consider is where to position the education section on your resume.

This mostly depends on where you are in your career. Do you have a lot of relevant achievements in the field, or are you looking for your first job?

As a rule of thumb, the top third of your resume should be reserved for your accomplishments, which are most relevant to the job you are applying for.

So before you place this section on your resume, ask yourself: is your education your biggest selling point to the hiring manager?

Most of the time, it won’t be. Work experience is way more important for just about any position above entry level, so it should be listed first.

Let’s look at an example of a resume that puts this into action:

education on resume examples

As you can see, this architect resume starts by listing their relevant work experience and then includes a detailed entry of their most recent degree.

When Does Education Go Before Work Experience?

While your work experience section is generally more important, there are a few cases where you should list your education first.

These include:

  • You have no work experience. When you have absolutely no work experience yet, you should focus on your academic achievements instead.
  • You just graduated college. If you don’t have relevant work experience, you’re often better off not listing it. For example, if you’re applying for an entry-level office job, the part-time teenage jobs you had won’t be anywhere near as relevant as your recently earned BA in Marketing.
  • You are currently studying. If you’re in the process of earning a degree that’s relevant to your targeted field, it’s better to list education before work experience. For example, if you’re making a career change, you would want your new education to be the first thing the hiring manager sees.
  • You recently earned a new degree. Getting a fresh MSc, Ph.D., or MBA in your field is worth showing off. For example, if you’ve been a line manager for years but earned an MBA to qualify for an executive position, your education section should go first.
  • You are applying to academia. Usually, when applying for a research or teaching position in academia, you’ll need an academic CV, not a resume. In that case, your education will always come first.

Not sure if you need a CV or a resume? Check out our guide to learn what the difference between the two is and when to use which.

cv vs resume example

Use a (Free) Resume Template

Creating a resume can be a hassle.

You have to find a template that works with your favorite text editor, set the page margins, adjust the line spacing, choose a professional font, and all while making sure you never go past page one.

What if there was an easier way?

This is where our resume builder comes in!

Novoresume lets you choose from 16 professional resume templates, each crafted with feedback from HR professionals around the world, and create the perfect resume in minutes.

Just look at how one of our resume templates compares to a basic text editor resume template:

novoresume vs normal resume

16 Examples of Education on a Resume

Looking for inspiration?

We’ve compiled a list filled with real-life examples of how education can be listed on a resume, with practical examples for different types and levels of education:

#1. High School Education

If you’re a high school student, you might have some volunteer experience or extracurriculars you can show off. In that case, you can start by listing those sections, so long as they’re relevant to the job you’re applying for.

For example, if you volunteered with your local branch of the Red Cross, that’s a good experience to have when you’re applying to work at a shelter.

In most other cases, the education section would take the upper hand, and it would look something like this:



High School Diploma

Chapel Hill High School

2017 - 2021

  • GPA: 3,56
  • Courses: AP Science, Mathematics, Advanced Chemistry

If you’re still in high school, you can disclose it in your resume by writing down your expected graduation year or otherwise specifying that you’re currently still there.



High School Diploma

Chapel Hill High School

2021 - Present

#2. General Education Development

If you were homeschooled or haven’t graduated high school, the previous example won’t apply to you.

But if you still received a General Education Development certificate, you can mention that in your resume in the following way:



GED Diploma

Durham Literacy Center


Just like with high school education, you can include the location of your school or GED center, as well as any relevant courses, if you have enough space.

#3. Associate Degree

If you went to a community college or opted for a vocational program, you can list it in your education section the same as any other undergraduate degree.

Associate degrees are typically cheaper and take less time than a bachelor’s degree. They tend to be focused on specific occupations and place more emphasis on daily job functions. Other than that, they follow the same formatting as any other educational entry.

Let’s look at some real-life examples of different types of degrees at this level.

First, an Associate of Arts degree:



AA in Business Designation

Community College of Denver

2015 - 2016

Summa Cum Laude

Next, here’s how you would list an ongoing Associate’s of Applied Science degree:



AAS in Medical Assisting

Community College of Denver

2018 - Present

Some associate degrees are what’s known as “transfer degrees.” Here, the long-term goal is to transfer into a bachelor’s degree program.

Similarly, if you’ve completed accredited courses at a community college that can go towards a degree, you can list them under your education section, like this:



Medical Assisting Certificate

Community College of Denver


  • 30 credits completed

#4. Certificates

Certificates can be included on your resume, either as part of the education section or in a dedicated section.

Unlike broad academic degrees, certificates can show specialized expertise and commitment to professional development. They tend to demonstrate more focused, essential skills that are directly applicable to a particular job or industry.

Treat these entries the same as any other: list the name of the certificate, the institution or organization that issued it, and the year you obtained it.

Here’s an example of how to list a professional certificate in an education section:



Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

American Institute of CPAs


And here’s how they would look in a separate section:



  • Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) - National Academy of Sports Medicine, 2020
  • Certified Nutrition Coach - American Nutrition Association, 2023

But there are also other certificates you could list, such as after specialized software courses:

  • Maya Autodesk: Advanced 3D & Animation
    Udemy, 2022
  • Creation of Pixel Art Scenes for Video Games
    Domestika, 2023

#5. Undergraduate Degree

There are different ways to list a bachelor’s degree.

Let’s take a look at three different cases for a candidate with an engineering degree.

First, if you’ve graduated from university and received the degree, list it according to the following template:



B.Sc. Mechanical Engineering

University of California, Berkeley

2002 - 2006

If you obtained a double major, you would write it down as:



B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering

University of California, Berkeley

2002 - 2006

3,90 GPA

If you have two or more majors, keep in mind that you should list the major that’s most relevant to the job you are applying to.

For example, if you majored in Applied Languages and International Relations, you should focus on the languages for a job as a translator.

Lastly, if you’re still attending college, just omit the finishing year when filling in your education section and add “Present” instead, like so:



B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering

University of California, Berkeley

2021 - Present

But there are also different ways you can specify that you’re still studying. Instead of “Present,” you could write:

  • 2021 - Current
  • Expected Graduation: 2024
  • 2021 - 2024 (expected graduation)
  • 2021 - In progress
  • To Be Completed: 2024

#6. Graduate and Postgraduate Degrees

Graduate-level education is, in general, more detailed since it requires participating in a more focused area of research on top of your graduate-level work. 

At this level, you probably contributed to the field with a dissertation of your own, which you should include in your resume.

Here’s an example:



Ph.D. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences

University of Rochester

2018 - Present

Dissertation: Imaging, Computational Analysis, & Neural Representations in Young Children

Graduate and postgraduate education often includes scholarships, fellowships, or outside funding involved, which you might want to include in addition to all the general information about your degree.

Here are some real-life examples:



MBA in Business Administration

University of Maine


  • Avangrid Scholarship
  • Magna Cum Laude

When it comes to honors and awards, there are different ways you can list them to save space on your resume. Here’s an example that mentions them but leaves more space for the dissertation title:



MSc. in Information Systems

WU Vienna University of Economics & Business

Salutatorian, Summa Cum Laude

2015 - 2017

Dissertation: Leveraging User-Generated Content for Advertising Purposes Through Information Systems

And if you’re still studying, don’t forget to check out our student resume templates to get started on your job hunt.

#7. Unfinished Education

Even if you didn’t graduate from university, you can still mention it in your education section. Just be strategic about it.

If you have several years of relevant coursework from a degree program that relates to the job you're applying for, it can show that you’re knowledgeable even without the final credential.

Here’s an example:



B.Sc. in Civil Engineering

University of California, Berkeley

34 credits completed

2018 - 2019

However, if you only have basic courses or your degree isn’t relevant to the role, you might be better off skipping it altogether. There’s no need to draw attention to an unfinished degree if it won’t help you impress the hiring manager.

Need more examples? Check out our 90+ resume examples for different professions.


Do you still wonder something about education on a resume? Check out the answers to the most frequently asked questions here:

Q — 

#1. How Do You Put Your Degree on a CV?

Adding your degree to your CV is pretty much the same as adding it to your resume.

List your degrees in reverse chronological order, with the most recent degree on top. Always include the essential information, such as the degree name, your major, the name of the university, and the years you attended. If relevant, you can include your GPA, thesis title, study abroad experiences, and academic honors.

Q — 

#2. How Do You Write Down Your Bachelor’s Degree?

There are different ways that a bachelor's degree can be written down on your resume. Usually, there’s no need to spell out the full degree name, so there are ways you can abbreviate it for your resume. These include:

BA (Bachelor of Arts)
BS (Bachelor of Science)
BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration)
BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing)

Just use the specific abbreviation that matches your degree type. (E.g.: BSc Computer Science, BA History, BBA Economics, etc.)

Q — 

#3. What If I Have an Education Gap or Took Time Off from Studies?

Treat any gaps in your education the same as you would treat an employment gap. Be upfront with the hiring manager and list the start and end dates to account for the time of the gap on your resume.

Use your cover letter to briefly explain the gap without going into too much detail. Hiring managers are understanding, and reasons like health, family, or professional experience are all common to justify education gaps.

Q — 

#4. How Far Back Should I Go When Listing My Education History?

Generally, you only need to list basic information about your education if you graduated a long time ago. Your work experience and more recent achievements will have a lot more weight than details about your time in college 14 years ago.

For most professionals, listing just your highest degree is more than enough. However, an academic CV for scientific or research-heavy roles might need a more comprehensive educational background.

Key Takeaways

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of our article!

We’re confident you’re an expert on how to list education on a resume by now, but before we part ways, let’s quickly wrap up our main points:

  • Your education section belongs after your work experience section, though there are some exceptions.
  • If you don’t have any work experience, recently earned a relevant degree, or if you’re applying for a research-oriented position or in academia, the education section should be listed first.
  • When listing your educational entries, use a reverse chronological order. Start with the most recent degree you have and go backward from there.
  • If you have some sort of higher education, there’s no need to list your high school education.
  • Unless your GPA is exceptional, don’t list it. It might undermine your resume otherwise.
  • There are different ways to list your education, depending on the type of school you went to and what you want to highlight. Scroll back up if you want to see some examples.