How to Write a Resume for Graduate School

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Writing a resume for graduate school

When applying to graduate school, many institutions will require a variety of application materials to learn more about you as a candidate. One common material they request is a resume that outlines your educational and professional experience. By using this document to highlight your relevant experiences and achievements, you can increase your chances of getting accepted into your dream program. Here we discuss how to write an effective resume for graduate school.

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What is a resume for graduate school?

A resume for graduate school is a document that you include with the rest of your application materials. Application committees use your resume to learn more about your background and experience. Within your resume, you can highlight information that would make you a good fit for your graduate program. This may include education, work, and volunteer experience. You can also include any important skills or career interests. Make it your goal to summarize why you would be a suitable candidate for your master's program.

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How to write a resume for graduate school

Follow these steps when writing a resume for graduate school:

Emphasize education

Since you are applying to an educational program rather than a job, you want to focus on your previous educational experience. Put your education section at the very top of your resume. Include the name of your schools, majors and minors, graduation dates, and GPA. Make sure to include any certifications that are relevant to the program you're applying to.

Underneath your education section, you can also include any work experience. When applying to graduate school straight out of undergrad, you may not have much job experience. This is quite common, which is why it's important to include any extracurricular activities you were a part of in your other sections.

Highlight your achievements

In your achievements section, highlight all of your accomplishments during your undergrad. This could include your honors and awards, any instances of making the Dean's List, or any leadership experience. You could also include any volunteer or internship experiences you had, making sure to describe your duties.

Learn more: How to Write a Professional Summary

Pick your design and format

Similar to a job resume, you want your resume for graduate school to be a maximum of one page long. Choose a format that admissions staff can easily scan through. Keep all of your information organized, using consistent font and headers throughout your resume. Once writing your resume, look at ways you can make your information more concise. Read through it multiple times to check for any errors.

What to include in a resume for graduate school

Include the following elements in your resume for graduate school:

  • Personal contact information: This includes your full name, home address, phone number, and email address. Put this at the very top of your resume, either in the left corner or center.
  • Education: Include any programs you have completed and which degrees you have earned. List these educational experiences in reverse chronological order. Include the name of your school, city, the degree you earned, and graduation dates.
  • Experience: Use this section to highlight any relevant volunteer, tutoring, or internship experience. Underneath each experience, include a few bullet points that describe your primary duties.
  • Achievements: This section includes all of your awards and honors. List these in order of relevance, and include details like the name of the award, who gave it to you, and when you received it.
  • Affiliations: Include any extracurricular or other relevant activities in this section. Include what roles you held in each group.

Learn more: How to Write a Career Objective with Examples

A template resume for graduate school

There are many different ways to format your resume. Some applicants decide to add additional sections, such as a summary, objective, or skills section to include more information about themselves. Use this general template when creating your resume for graduate school:

[Your Name]

[Your Home Address]

[Your Phone Number]

[Your Email Address]


[The Name of Your School], [City, State], [Graduation Date]

[Your Degree], [Your Major], [GPA]


[Your Title], [Where You Worked], [Dates of Employment]

  • [Describe What You Did]

Awards and Distinctions

[Name of Award], [Who Gave It to You], [Year You Earned It]

Professional and Academic Affiliations

[Your Role], [Name of Group], [Dates Involved]

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