I am applying to a job that requires either a graduate degree or a Bachelor's degree and a certain number of years of experience. I am currently getting the graduate degree, but I plan to graduate prior to starting the job. I have the Bachelor's degree, but I do not have the amount of experience.

When I apply, should I answer the question What level of education do you posses? (or variants of that question). I see two options:

  1. List the graduate degree, and explain in the cover letter that I have not attained the degree, but I plan to prior to being hired.
  2. List neither and have my application discarded. This is obviously not advantageous.

This is not a duplicate of this question because that question is with regards to a resume, not a direct application question. Also that question implies that the asker had not obtained admittance into that school.

  • So, you're very close to getting your degree? Or the job is advertising now but not expecting to hire for several months? Aug 7, 2017 at 18:54
  • I am close to getting the degree- it should be about 4 months from filling out the application. The job advertised has been out for 1 month, but there is no closing date. Aug 7, 2017 at 18:56

3 Answers 3


What level of education do you posses?

You possess a Bachelor's degree. You do not yet possess a graduate degree.

Thus, you must list only the Bachelor's degree on the job application form.

In your cover letter, you can discuss the graduate degree and when you hope to complete it, along with any other not-yet-attained potential achievements.

  • It's not listing things, like a resume. It's a multiple choice style question: "Bachelor's with 'n' years experience", "Master's degree", or "I do not meet the qualifications." I have a Bachelor's with 'n-1' years of experience and am fulfilling a Master's degree. If I mark ''I do not meet the qualifications," is there a chance the hiring manager would look over the application anyway, or does it immediately eliminate my chances? Aug 7, 2017 at 19:09
  • @BarocliniCplusplus When I worked as a recruiter, hiring managers and I always filtered out the applicants that did not fulfill the qualifications. This is because of EEO laws. It is unfortunately, but if the company is growing, I'm sure they'll hire more people and you'll fit the qualifications the next round.
    – Michael
    Aug 7, 2017 at 19:25
  • @MichaelC. It is at an established university (different from my education), as a support position, so I doubt there will be another round. It is especially unfortunate, since I fit every other objective qualification, gathered references and tailored a cover letter. Aug 7, 2017 at 19:38
  • 1
    @BarocliniCplusplus Believe me, I feel your pain. I've seen tons of jobs where I fit everything expect the education/experience combination.
    – Michael
    Aug 7, 2017 at 19:39

Since you do not currently hold a graduate degree, you cannot list on your application that you have a graduate degree - that would be lying. The qualifications were explicit, so it would be unwise to lie.


I would list the education dates for the Masters and then put Projected graduation date of Dec 2017 (or whatever it is). That way it is clear you are almost through the masters and that you would likely get at least partial credit for experience for being part way through the Masters especially since you are starting your last semester.

  • Thanks. I did that on my resume, as well as the listed education experience. But unfortunately, the question I got was multiple choice, with no such option. Aug 8, 2017 at 17:37

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