Create DropdownList in ASP.NET MVC

Learn how to generate the dropdownlist HTML control using the HtmlHelper in a razor view.

The HtmlHelper class includes two extension methods to generate the <select> control in a razor view: DropDownListFor() and DropDownList().

We will use the following Student model class and Gender enum.

Example: Student Model
public class Student
{
    public int StudentId { get; set; }
    public string StudentName { get; set; }
    public Gender StudentGender { get; set; }
}

public enum Gender
{
    Male,
    Female    
}

Html.DropDownListFor()

The Html.DropDownListFor<TModel,TProperty> extension method is a strongly typed extension method generates <select> element for the property specified using a lambda expression.

Visit docs.microsoft.com to know all the overloads of DropDownListFor method.

The following example creates dropdown list for the above StudentGender property.

Example: Html.DropDownListFor() in Razor View
@using MyMVCApp.Models

@model Student

@Html.DropDownListFor(m => m.StudentGender, 
            new SelectList(Enum.GetValues(typeof(Gender))), 
            "Select Gender")
Html Result:
<select class="form-control" id="StudentGender" name="StudentGender">
    <option>Select Gender</option> 
    <option>Male</option> 
    <option>Female</option> 
</select>

In the above example, the first parameter in DropDownListFor() method is a lambda expression that specifies the model property to be bind with the select element. We have specified the StudentGender property. The second parameter specifies the items to show into a dropdown list using SelectList object. The third parameter is optional, which will be the first item of dropdownlist. So now, it generates <select> control with two list items - Male & Female, as shown below.

dropdown list in mvc
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Html.DropDownList()

The Html.DropDownList() method generates a <select> element with specified name, list items and html attributes.

Visit docs.microsoft.com to know all the overloads of DropDownList() method.

Example: Html.DropDownList() in Razor View
@using MyMVCApp.Models

@model Student

@Html.DropDownList("StudentGender", 
                    new SelectList(Enum.GetValues(typeof(Gender))),
                    "Select Gender",
                    new { @class = "form-control" })
Html Result:
<select class="form-control" id="StudentGender" name="StudentGender">
    <option>Select Gender</option> 
    <option>Male</option> 
    <option>Female</option> 
</select>

In the above example, the first parameter is a property name for which we want to display list items. The second parameter is a list of values to be included in the dropdown list. We have used Enum methods to get the Gender values. The third parameter is a label, which will be the first list item, and the fourth parameter is for HTML attributes like CSS to be applied on the dropdownlist.

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