Making the Dean's List is an impressive achievement — which means it belongs on your resume, right?
Well ... not so fast.
Dean's List can shine on a resume — or it can add clutter and take the focus away from more relevant accomplishments. Here's everything you need to know about when to add Dean's List to your resume, when to leave it off, and how to do it correctly.
When to include the Dean’s List on your resume
Including Dean's List on your resume is optional. You should definitely list it if:
You made the Dean's List consistently
Definitely include it if you made the list every semester. If you made it a few semesters — especially in later semesters — this can also be worthy of inclusion.
You attended a prestigious school
The more prestigious the school, the more fierce the competition for honors like the Dean's List — or so the general perception goes.
You're applying for graduate school
A grad school resume is going to look a little different from that of a professional job seeker, which means you can include more academic details than you normally would on a resume.
When to leave Dean's List off your resume
Fewer things belong on your resume than you may think. Don't include Dean's List on your resume if:
You only made Dean's List once or twice
If you only made Dean's List one semester, that isn't likely to impress a hiring manager. In fact, it may prompt even more questions — were you just lucky? Did you work hard for a year or so and then start slacking off? Avoid raising a potential red flag by leaving it off altogether.
You have more impressive academic honors
It might seem counterintuitive, but academic honors like Dean's List don't always add to your resume — in fact, they can sometimes take away from more impressive achievements. Latin honors like cum laude, summa cum laude, or manga cum laude are all more prestigious than the Dean's List, so allow them to shine on their own.
If you’re wondering how to include Dean’s List on your resume or if you should leave it off entirely, upload it to the tool below — it’ll tell you if you have listed Dean’s List as well as other honors and awards the right way. It’ll also let you know which of these belong on your resume and which ones you should remove.
How to add Dean’s List to your resume
Now that you know when to put Dean's List on your resume — and when not to — let's look at how to include it effectively.
There are three main ways you can include Dean's List on your resume:
- In the education section
- In an honors and awards section
- In an additional section
Here are some examples and easy steps you can follow.
Dean's List in the education section of a resume
One of the obvious places to put your attainment of the Dean’s List is in the education section of your resume.
Do This If:
You're a more experienced job seeker and you want to include Dean's List without dedicating a lot of space to it.
- 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 semesters”).
Dean's List in an honors and awards section
If you have multiple honors or awards you want to include, it can be worthwhile creating a separate section to list them in.
Do This If:
You're a current student or recent grad who can afford to dedicate more resume space to educational achievements, or 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.
- Alternatively, create a new resume section titled "Honors and Awards" beneath your work experience.
- 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.
Dean's List in an additional resume 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.
Do This If:
You've been in the field long enough to build professional experience and want to keep non-work information as limited as possible.
- Create a section titled "Additional Information" or "Other" and put it at the bottom of your resume.
- Add an "Awards" subheading.
- Include Dean's List and any other notable (academic or professional) awards, as well as when you received them.
If you want to find technical skills related to the job you’re applying for, use the skills search tool below to get a list of relevant skills and keywords.
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.
The lowdown on Dean's List and other academic honors
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.
Other student honors
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).
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.
Pros vs cons of including Dean's List on your resume
Still torn? Here are some of the benefits of including Dean's List on a resume ... and the downsides.
- Making the Dean's List shows you're a high achiever
- It demonstrates transferable skills like determination, work ethic, and critical thinking
- Academic awards make up for limited work experience
- There are higher honors that are more likely to impress recruiters
- Listing awards takes up resume space that could be used for other achievements
- Educational honors are less important than professional accomplishments