Long story short:

  • Started degree A and dropped out after earning about half the credits for graduating

  • Started another degree B and finished it, getting also a PhD after it

  • Managed to finish degree A studying part-time

  • The fields of A and B are somewhat related, but A is more professional and B is more academic

I'm considering to apply for professional positions related with both A and B, but I'm not sure about how to present my undoubtedly relevant degree A. The problem is that from starting date to graduation date there is a time span of almost 15 years, due to a 10 years gap in the middle.

How should I introduce degree A? Mentioning graduation date only? Not mentioning degree A at all? Being completely explicit about dates and explaining the situation in case of being asked during a job interview?

  • 1
    Degrees aren't important and recruiters don't care, just put that you have them without dates
    – user86742
    Commented Mar 29, 2019 at 16:10
  • The problem is that from starting date to graduation date there is a time span of almost 15 years, due to a 10 years gap in the middle. - Why would that matter? You have the degree. Who would care about the gap? Why would anyone ask? Why would you need to let them know about the time frame at all? I list my degree on my resume. I don't list the time frame that I was studying for that degree. Why would anyone care?
    – joeqwerty
    Commented Mar 29, 2019 at 19:07
  • Personally, I'd see that someone went back after fifteen years to finish a degree as a plus. That you got a PhD in the middle of that period probably makes it irrelevant to your prospects of getting a job, but it still shows a level of dedication that few people would have. Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 0:56

5 Answers 5


The whole paranoia about gaps in resumes is that it makes the interviewer wonder what was left out - were you in jail? Did you spend 6 years flipping burgers?

Since A was earned part time, any "was he in jail?" question would be covered by your work history.

I'd go with

PhD in B from YourUniversity 20xx
BSc in B (omit the date - who cares, you have a PhD!)
BSc in A

  • Don't know the field or country, but there is plenty of reasons why you can leave a degree unfinished and resume it later - or even never. Present the info as Dan suggested and, if asked, briefly describe your academic history: "I started A in XXX, paused it because of whatever (personal? money?) reasons, started B in XXX, got a PhD in B and then decide to come back and finish A, but in a part time fashion because whatever (job? family?) reasons". It shouldn't matter to them, unless your field puts a lot of weight in education. But then again you have a PhD trumping everything! Commented Mar 29, 2019 at 16:01

Yes I agree with the other answers. Why would you try to explain anything if there's no need for anything, just mention the graduation date only.

The only thing where you need to explain anything is when you apply for a visa to study abroad, they'll ask for your degrees and a copy of your report card and other details related to your studies, this is where you have to explain the gap, either say that you were working, there were some money difficulties, you started other things ...

If your problem is not related with studies, then you don't have to explain anything, it's not like you're going to give them a report card with 10 years gap between them

Good luck


I would mention both under education along with the graduation dates.

I wouldn't put a start time or that A was started before B.


The way I see it, mentioning the graduation year for degree A would be fine.

In case anyone needs to know the specifics, you can provide them.


Was degree A earned through distance learning program or in class?

If in class then you can just write the name of degree and Class of XXXX year.

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