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In what situation can you list a degree you're working on as your title?

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For example, I'm applying to graduate school in psychology this semester. By the time I attend the graduate program, I will have completed my B.A. However, on my applications, should I list myself as "Alexandra C., B.A." or not?

The only similar situation I can think of is people who have "ABD" but I wouldn't know another equivalent.

#psychology #college-admissions #graduate-school #applications #bachelors

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3 answers

G. Mark’s Answer

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None. I don't want to sound negative, but you simply don't list yourself with a title you don't have. But you're completely free to explain that you're working on that title. This is a great and positive representation of your work. Nearly everyone I know would appreciate that, so go for it. Many folks would actually pay more attention to your progress and be interested in how far you're getting. Never hurts to do the PR, right?

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Kim’s Answer

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It's really not customary to give yourself a title, esp. one of B.A.

It would be different if it was a career title, such as LSW or CPA . A degree in and of itself indicates completion of a field of education, and not the actual experience of a profession. It would come across as arrogant, pompous, etc.

Just use your name, fill in all the blanks. It will ask you about your education. On any letters you have to write, such as if you have to write a letter of interest or something similar, you could write

"By the beginning of the Fall 2019 semester, I will have completed my undergraduate studies, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. " or something like that. If you have interned or done special research, you will want to play that up.

I have used my BA in my signature, esp. when writing to schools

Jane Doe

B.A, Sociology, 1983

Texas State University


Hope this helps!

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Brennan’s Answer

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Some Professional Degrees, Masters Degrees, and Doctorate Degrees will get added to someone's title. For instance, a CPA or PE (professional engineer) might do this to distinguish themselves from their peers who have similar degrees and profiles without the professional certification. Someone with a graduate degree might do it when it's part of their branding as a self-run business, like a doctor, because their name is their business.

That being said, it's not typical for undergraduate degrees to be added as titles. Your applications for graduate school will already have the year you will be graduating, so to save space and face, I recommend only including it as part of the degree in your education section of your resume. The graduation date being in the future will be self-explanatory.

Brennan recommends the following next steps:

  • Use the remaining space to talk about what sets you apart from others with the same degree. Did you have internships? Extracurricular activities? Special marks?
  • Speak to yourself on your resume and don't be shy! Good luck!
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