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Graduate School Résumé

A graduate school résumé is a document that accompanies your entrance application to a college/university. It provides the admissions committee with more information than what’s included in the application and focuses on what they need to know to better evaluate your candidacy. This résumé is different than the job search résumé. Job search résumés are designed to get you an interview; graduate school résumés are designed to enhance your application to a school and provide yet another
opportunity to sell yourself.

It is similar to your job search résumé in the following ways:

  • Crisp language – use action verbs to describe your experiences
  • Clean layout – use lots of “white space” so that it is easy to read
  • No mistakes – no typos, no grammatical errors

It is different from your job search résumé in the following ways:

  • Is not limited to one‐page in length (two pages is fine, though contact info must be on both)
  • Separates your work and non‐work experiences into different sections
  • Include all your experiences – not just the ones targeting a specific job
  • Indicates amount of time (per week, month) you’ve committed to different experiences
  • References your education but does not provide complete information – that will come from your transcript
Your graduate school résumé may include different categories than your friend’s. That’s because your experiences will be different. The sections you choose to include and the order in which you choose to list them should be strategic on your part. What do you want the admissions committee to pay the most attention to?

Some of the most commonly included categories are: (more details in the LAYOUT section following)

  • Objective
  • Education
  • Academic Experience/Highlights
  • Employment
  • Volunteer, Community, and/or Extra‐Curricular Involvement
  • Certifications/Professional Development


The layout and order of your résumé should be determined by what you want to emphasize to the admissions committee. The most important and relevant experiences should be at the top, while the least are at the bottom. Imagine if the committee was crunched for time and can only discuss the top two‐thirds of your résumé. Organize accordingly. If you are not sure how to arrange the layout, use Examples #1 and 2 (included). Below is a basic order for a graduate school resume.
A short sentence identifying the school and the program to which you are applying.
Example: Applying for admission into Slippery Rock University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
This should be the most important entry in your résumé. After providing the basics (name of undergraduate college / university, degree, graduation date, major, minor, GPA, etc), select the outstanding academic accomplishments to highlight for the admissions committee. These may be subtopics under Education or they may be their own categories. Areas that may be included are:
  • Research
  • Scholarships
  • Independent Study
  • International Study
  • Honoraries
  • Conferences
  • Presentations
  • Publications
Academic Experience, Course Highlights, and/or Internships:
Highlight particularly relevant academic courses by providing more details about these courses. Describe two to three upper‐level courses that provided hands‐on experiences or in‐depth study with bullet statements. Include only the most salient courses relevant to your intended graduate school major. Do not list all courses. Also, most graduate schools prefer applicants with a combination of academic and experiential preparation. Some graduate schools require volunteer or internship experience. Provide details about your related experiences.
List the most relevant and recent job positions. Be sure to include 2‐3 bulleted points that highlight the skills and experiences that will best support your application for graduate school and your major area of study.
Volunteer, Community, and/or ExtraCurricular Involvement:
If you participated in campus or community activities that developed your leadership, time management, or other skills important to your success in graduate school, include these activities and provide details that show your active participation.
Certifications and/or Professional Development:
Experiences not related to your graduate school admission do not need to be included unless they show relevant skill development.
Additional Categories:
Add these if you have extra room or if you have done something especially noteworthy.  Additional categories you might choose to include are:
  • Memberships
  • Leadership Experience
  • Foreign Languages (remember to indicate levels of proficiency)
  • Don’t be afraid to generate your own
Online Source:
University of Wisconsin