Everything You Need to Know About the Dean’s List



If you’re in college or will be, you’ve likely heard of the Dean’s List. What is it, why should students care, and how do you get your name on the list? Keep reading to find out!

What is the Dean’s List?

(n) a list of students recognized for academic achievement during a semester by the dean of the college, most often found in North American universities (some in Australia and the Philippines, and less commonly in Europe and Asia)

Eligibility and requirements for the Dean’s List award vary from institution to institution, but generally, students are required to: 1) have completed a certain number of course loads or credit hours; and 2) have a GPA of 3.6 out of 4.0, or 4.5 out of 5.0 (which equates to getting A or A- for all subjects in a given semester).

The Dean’s List Award is comparative rather than absolute, meaning that if a select student body is more competitive in a given semester, the cut-off score will be higher. The students who make it to the Dean’s List are in the top 1-5% among their class.


4 Benefits of Being on the Dean’s List

1. Personal Achievement

Making it to the Dean’s List is a personal achievement that you can be proud of. Think of it as a compensation for all the sweat and tears you’ve shed while pulling all-nighters, working on group projects, and studying for finals. All the hard work was not in vain! Celebrate your achievement and let it motivate you to continue your excellent work next semester.

2. Prestige & Recognition

Having your name on the Dean’s List automatically has some value in that your school board, faculty, and staff may recognize you as the “good student.” Getting on their good side never hurts. This could also potentially help you build relationships with professors, who can write you letters of recommendations and references later in life.

3. The Record (& the Resume)

Many colleges will include your honorary achievement on your transcript, but some colleges may require you to make a request (check with your school!). Being on the Dean’s List also gives you a bit of bragging rights (though I would keep it minimal). You can note your achievement on your resume, Linkedin profile and even scholarship applications.  

RELATED: The Complete Resume Guide for College Students – 12 Rules for Resume Perfection!

4. Improved Job Prospects/Employability Factor

Being on the Dean’s List can get you invitations to exclusive networking and recruitment events while you’re still an undergrad. Recruiters often look for highly motivated students, and what better way to find them other than to look from the pool of already proven students? Likewise, once you’re out in the real world looking for jobs, your Dean’s List award may serve to show you as the stronger candidate amongst your peers.   


How to Make it to the Dean’s List

There is no magic formula to make it to the Dean’s List. As with anything else, it’s a combination of hard work (determination) and balance. But because the Dean’s List is dependent on your GPA, the first obvious step would be to raise your GPA. 

The following are resources that can help you to study better (more effectively):

6 Simple but Proven Study Tips ⤵⤵⤵

3 Fun and Creative Ways to Study for Exams ⤵⤵⤵

Fun and Creative Ways to Study for an Exam

The Lazy Student’s Guide: Study Tips ⤵⤵⤵

It’s not, however, all about the studying techniques and organization skills. It’s also important to take care of yourself (your body, mind, and soul) by eating healthy, getting good sleep, and staying fit. Also, you perform your best when you are able to be yourself. Still, other factors that can help to get your name on the list include choosing the right classes and forming good relationships with professors.

But finally, remember that grades do not define you. What’s important is that you’re constantly progressing and trying your best. Don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back for your efforts and don’t let your goals enslave you!

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