If you’re a Dean’s List student, chances are that you already know what the Dean’s List is. If you aren’t familiar with it, or if you haven’t considered how adding the Dean’s List to your resume can increase your chances of being hired, this article will flesh it out and give examples on how you can easily incorporate it.
What is the Dean’s List?
The Dean’s List is a list of students at an academic institution who have attained a specified GPA for a given semester. The GPA required to be on the Dean’s List is different for each institution. Generally, only full-time undergraduates qualify to be on the Dean’s List.
Alternatively, there are other academic awards you may have attained that you can or should list instead. The Honors List is usually a similar list to the Dean’s List, but with a lower academic requirement (meaning lower grades).
Why include the Dean’s List on your resume?
It shows you're a high achiever
To be listed on the Dean’s List, students have to be dedicated to their studies enough to attain good academic standing. This generally implies they are capable of focus and hard work, and take goals like gaining an education seriously.
It makes up for limited work experiences
If you have limited work experience due to being a recent college graduate, you should definitely consider listing the Dean’s List or another appropriate honorific if you attained one. This shows your ability to achieve accomplishments in lieu of work experience. (Note: For tips on how to add your educational background to your resume, read this article)
Don't include this if you're a senior job seeker
For those who have been in the workforce for a while and have accumulated a list of professional accomplishments, you should omit details such as the Dean’s List over time. They take up space and hiring managers are hardly interested in your educational
Higher honorifics such as the President’s List may stay longer as needed, but once you are an established professional, your work will speak for itself.
Include honors if you're applying for further education
If you’re in the process of applying for graduate school and submitting your resume is part of the package, you should absolutely include your undergraduate honorifics. Don’t aim to include every honorific, particularly if you have a lot of them to add - focus on those that are most prestigious or relevant to what you’re applying for.
How to add Dean’s List to your resume
Now that we’ve discussed what the Dean’s List is and what circumstances you should be listing it in, let’s look at examples of how you can include it effectively.
In the education section
One of the obvious places to put your attainment of the Dean’s List is in the education section of your resume. How you enter it depends on whether you’ve been out of the education system for a while or if you’re a current student or new graduate.
Listing academic awards as an experienced worker:
- Cover your education background and how you’ve achieved the Dean’s List in no more than two lines (see image below).
- Include it in the same line as the name of the program you graduated from.
- You can opt to include the time period you were on the list (i.e. “May 2011-2013”) or the number of semesters (“7 of 8 semesters”).
Listing academic awards as a current student or recent grad:
- Use this method if you’re a current student, a recent graduate, in the process of applying to graduate school, or if you’re a career changer with a relevant degree but limited work experience in the field.
- List your degree as normal and add a separate “Honors” or “Awards” section underneath it as shown in the image below.
- You may wish to include how the Dean’s List was determined at your school, as it does vary by institution. In the example below, the applicant was in the “Top 10%” of their class, for example.
Alternatively, you can opt to list extended academic information, such as dedicating one line to your GPA and honors and another line to the coursework that you took that is relevant to the position. This should be the route you take if your educational background is a core part of your experience and is directly related to what you’re applying for.
In an additional section
For those who have been in the field long enough to build professional experience and do not need to have the academic portion of their resume be the center focus, you can choose to include the Dean’s List in an “Additional” section.
The additional section is a catchall for impressive accomplishments or those that demonstrate valuable skills, but which don’t fit into the main body of your resume. It could include any technical skills, certifications, awards you’ve received, or additional languages you speak, as examples.
For more on how to write about your skills and see more examples, check out this article here. Once you’ve finished writing your resume, don’t forget to run it through a few AI-powered tools to make sure you’re not missing key details or including any simple grammatical errors. Score My Resume tool will help with the basics of the resume itself.
Other Student Honors
Other institutions have a Chancellor's List; this is less common, but it usually ranks more highly than the Dean’s List. If your institution had this list and you attained it, you can list it instead.
Finally, there’s also the President’s List. This is often universal across US institutions and lists students who attained a perfect 4.0 GPA. If this describes you, you might consider including it too.
The same considerations apply to other honorifics, including Latin ones such as magna and summa cum laude.