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Do I have to put my college degree on a job application?

Durham, NC |

I don't want to use my bachelor's degree on my resume. I was a college athlete and went to college for sports. I was told to cheat and it was a mistake to listen to them.

Many job applications ask to list your credentials and schools attended. At the end of the application they often ask if I omitted anything. If I get into a lawsuit and my employer gets old applications previous employers, they will find out that I have a degree. Would that hurt my credibility and the lawsuit? What if someone finds out that I cheated? I just wanted to play sports, and thought I didn't have to care about the school. Now I want to do the right thing.

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Filed under: Employment
Attorney answers 2


You should be honest on your job applications. If you have a bachelor's degree, then list it. A prospective employer isn't likely to discover whether you cheated in college.

My answers to questions posted on AVVO are intended to provide general information only, and are not intended to be legal advice. Employment law issues typically require a careful case-by-case analysis. Consequently, if you feel that you need legal advice, I would encourage you to consult in person with an employment attorney in your area.


There is no law that requires you to be honest or fully forthcoming on a resume or application. However, the employer can refuse to hire you or fire you because of dishonest information on an application. If you are involved in a lawsuit with an employer and you have been dishonest on your application, it could be harmful to your lawsuit depending on the nature of the lawsuit.

On a non-legal note, I am not sure that being dishonest on your application or resume is the "right thing" from an ethical or moral stance. That said, it is certainly the practical thing to do if the problems related to your degree are keeping you from getting a job.

Kirk J. Angel is an experienced attorney who focuses his practice on employment law. Mr. Angel, who has practiced employment law for more than 16 years, represents clients throughout North Carolina and more information about him is available at This response is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. Additionally, this response does not create an attorney client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer in your state who practices in the appropriate area.