Look smarter with fancy letters at the end of your name

by | Aug 20, 2020 | Culture Vulture, Rest of the World

What are you doing here? No, not on this webpage, I mean here at university! Well, obviously you’re here to learn and get a degree, but did you know that earning that degree is also earning you a post-nominal?

What is a post-nominal you ask? Ah, I am so glad you asked – sit down and let me tell you.


Person signing documents. Source: Foter



So, what are the post-nominals?

Have you ever read a journal article and the author has what seems like a million letters after their name?

Post-nominals, also known as appellations, are letters placed after a person’s name to indicate their qualifications, titles or any honours bestowed on them. Anyone that has a degree can add these to their name, business cards, and resume as they show the range of your education and professional status.

However, they don’t just come from your university. Our very own Vice-Chancellor, Professor Barney Glover, has the post-nominal AO which stands for Officer of the Order of Australia. Post-nominals are also awarded to doctors who practice medicine, those serving in the military as well as religious figures.

The best part is once you graduate, you can add post-nominal letters to your life and showcase how incredibly intelligent you are to all of your family and friends. If I do say so myself, I’ll be adding it to my Christmas cards, and would like it etched onto my tombstone.

How to construct your post-nominal

To find out what your post-nominal will be is very simple, go to the Western Sydney University handbook. Type in your unit code, open the link, and under the degree, the name will be the approved abbreviation for your degree.

Follow these guidelines

Your qualification abbreviation goes first, with no punctuation.

Example: John Doe who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts would be: J Doe BA

What about if I did honours?

Example: J Doe BA (Hons)

What if I have more than one degree?

You would rank them lowest to highest, still separated by commas.

Example: J Doe BA (Hons), DipEd

What if I want to get really fancy?

In italics add the institution you gained your degree.

Example: J Doe BA (Hons), DipEd Western Sydney University


If you’re still stuck, Swinburne University has a great guide here. Remember: this is only to be done once you have completed and graduated from your degree.

It is most likely you will also be asked to provide your degree and/or transcript to verify this information in job interviews, so remain honest.

Now you can enjoy having your qualifications displayed in your signature!

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