How to Write a CV for Application Into a Master's Program

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A curriculum vitae, or CV, is what academics call a résumé. As with a work résumé, your CV should present your significant accomplishments and experience. When applying to graduate school, your CV will offer a clear and concise outline of your strengths so that the school can determine whether or not you would be right for their program. Unlike a work résumé, a CV need not be kept to one or two pages. The information you list should be relevant to the program you want to complete. Your CV will grow in length as you pursue your academic career.

Organizing Your CV for Master's Program Applications

  • Start your CV with your contact information, including your full name, address, phone number and email address. You can either left justify this information or create two columns. Place your name and address on the left and your phone number and email on the right.

  • Include your education next, under a boldface "Education" header. Indicate the name of the institutions from which you have earned or will earn your undergraduate degree. Include your major, minor and both the month and year your degree was awarded. If you have not yet graduated, indicate the month and year you expect to complete your degree. If you earned an associate degree before completing your bachelor's degree or transferred before graduating, begin with the most recent institution you attended and work backward chronologically. You do not need to include your high school.

  • List any honors and awards next, under a boldface "Honors and Awards" header, that reflect your aptitude or preparation for the master's program you are applying to. Do not list honors and awards that do not have any relationship to your education. Start with the most recent honor and award and work backward chronologically.

  • Include any teaching experience you have had under a boldface "Teaching Experience" header. In most master's programs there will be opportunities to teach. Demonstrating whatever experience you have could distinguish your application. Note the name of the institution where you taught, co-taught or worked as a teaching assistant, the name of the course and the professor or supervisor you worked with.

  • List relevant research experience that you conducted as part of an internship or as a paid position next, under a boldface "Research Experience" header. Include the institution, the title of the position (if applicable), the month(s) and year you conducted the research and the name of your supervisor. Outline in complete sentences the kind of tasks you completed.

  • Include professional experience that complements your academic interests next, under a boldface "Professional Experience" header.

  • List any grants you received next, under a boldface "Grants" header. Follow the title of the grant with the organization or institution that gave it to you and the month and year in which it was awarded.

  • List your references next, under a boldface "References" header. Include full name, university or business affiliation, email and office phone number. You should have asked these same references to send in a letter of recommendation for your application.

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