An associate degree isn’t just a springboard into a four-year bachelor’s degree. It’s also a complete degree in its own right and listing it can be a valuable addition to your resume. Here’s our recruiter-vetted guide on how to get the most out of your associate degree.
How to write an associate degree on your resume
- Include an associate degree in the education section of your resume. You can simply title it, "EDUCATION".
- If you have multiple degrees, list them separately, with your most recent or advanced degree at the top.
- List the school you attended, location, and the full name of your degree (including any majors). Your graduation date is optional — if it’s been 8+ years since you graduated, leave it off.
- (Optional) Include any relevant additional information, like coursework, awards, and extracurricular activities. The longer you’ve been out of school, the shorter your education section should be.
- If you graduated recently (or are still studying), your education section can go at the top of your resume. Otherwise, it should go below your work experience.
- Run your resume through a free resume scanner for additional tips and personalized advice.
If you want to check if you’ve listed your associate degree the right way, upload your resume to the tool below — it’ll scan it and let you know if you’ve highlighted the right information for your degrees, majors and minors, relevant coursework and GPA. It’ll also let you know which of these belong on your resume and which ones to remove.
Associate degree resume examples
Here’s how you should write an associate degree on your resume if you’re a recent graduate.
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Associate in Applied Science
Relevant coursework: Mathematical Reasoning, Managerial Accounting, Accounting for Business Operations
Dean’s List 2018
You can include extra information here to make up for a lack of professional work experience. This could include relevant coursework, awards, student activities and organizations, and even your GPA (but only if it’s above 3.5). You can also pin your education section to the top of your resume, above your work experience.
Once you’ve been in the workforce for a few years, you can shorten your education section and move it to the bottom of your resume.
Here’s an example of how to list an associate of arts degree on your resume if you’re a mid-level hire with a bit more work experience:
Ohio State University, Columbus OH, 2018–2019
Associate of Arts in History
If you’re still a student, currently on hiatus, or didn’t finish your degree, you can still include it on your resume.
If you haven’t graduated yet, simply list your expected date of graduation. It’s okay if this changes — just use your best guess.
Queensborough Community College (Expected May 2023)
New York, NY
Associate in Science in Business Administration
Activities: Alpha Beta Gamma Honor Society, Student Government, Stock Market Club
Here’s how to list an incomplete degree if you didn’t graduate:
Community College of Rhode Island (2020-2021)
Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology — Completed 20 credit hours
Looking for more detailed tips on how to format the education section of your resume? Check out our guides on the must-haves when writing your education on your resume and listing an unfinished degree on your resume.
Tips for listing an associate degree on a resume
Wondering about the nitty gritty of writing an associate degree on your resume? Here’s our complete guide on spelling, grammar, and abbreviations:
How do you abbreviate an associate degree on your resume?
- The correct abbreviation for an associate of arts degree is AA.
- In most cases, you should use the full name of your degree rather than the abbreviation — for example, Associate of Business Administration rather than ABA. This is the same rule used for any acronym that isn’t instantly recognizable.
Is it an associate degree, or an associate’s degree?
- There’s no “s” at the end — It’s “associate,” not “associate’s” or “associates.”
- This is different from a bachelor’s or master’s degree, so be aware that different degrees have different rules for spelling.
Is it Associate in or Associate of?
- “Associate in” and “Associate of” are both correct. Check with your school to see which one it uses.
- List the name of the degree as it officially appears on your degree, e.g. Associate in Applied Science, Associate of Teaching.
Frequently asked questions
What is the difference between an associate degree and a regular degree?
An associate degree is a two-year degree. It’s a post-secondary qualification, above a high school diploma but below a bachelor’s degree. An associate degree can be awarded on its own or used to gain advanced entry into a four-year degree program.
Should you put an associate degree on your resume?
You should include an associate degree on your resume if:
- The position requires an associate degree.
- Your degree is directly relevant to the job you’re applying for.
- You’re changing careers and the degree is relevant to your new field.
- You don’t have a more recent or advanced degree.
- You’re currently studying toward an associate degree — this includes if you’re currently on hiatus.
You should leave an associate degree off your resume if:
- You have much more advanced or relevant degrees. If you completed an associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree in the same subject, you don’t need to list the associate degree.
- The job you’re applying for requires a more advanced degree. If it’s a hard requirement, only having an associate degree may be a dealbreaker, but if a bachelor’s degree is listed as a ‘nice to have,’ you should still apply if you have an associate degree in the same field.
- You completed your studies a very long time ago and have plenty of work experience since then. In that case, an associate degree likely isn’t adding anything to your candidacy and you should consider removing it.