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How to Write a Great Academic CV for Your Master's Application

We share tips on how to write an excellent academic Curriculum Vitae (CV) to show the admission committee you are a good fit for their Master's program.

Aug 11, 2023
  • Student Tips

An Academic CV for a Master's Application

Your academic CV should convey your achievements; it's typically the counterpart to academic letters of recommendation in which professors vouch for what you have done, your accomplishments, and your skills.

What's the difference between a CV for a Job Application and a CV for a Master's Application?

A CV for a job application is typically a one-two page summary of your professional achievements. A CV for your Master's degree application highlights all your academic and professional accomplishments.

Your CV for a Master's application focuses on your Academic Background

Although you should include professional achievements in your CV for your Master's application, you should go into deeper detail when outlining your academic achievements.

Identify your alma mater, your degree, and your graduation date. Mention relevant courses you've studied and any academic awards earned, especially if they are relevant to your field of study.

Tip for writing outlining your academic achievements

  • Keep descriptions concise for each academic achievement.
  • format each listing with clear headings, and use bullet points where you can
  • keep to a single font and limit the number of font sizes used

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Include Volunteer Work and Internships in your CV for your Master's Application

Volunteer work or internships in your CV for your Master's application show admissions officers your interests and experience. Internships and volunteer work are great if you want to change academic subject areas, as they give you experience in your desired subject area.

Remember to describe what you did in your volunteer work or internships. Teaching experience where you were a teacher or a teaching assistant especially stands out to admissions officers as this is a critical component of academia.

Formatting your CV for a Master's Application

Your CV for your Master's application should ideally be no longer than one-two pages. Save space by not including a conclusion.

Tips for structuring your CV for a Master's application:

  • include a header with your name and contact details
  • define each section with relevant headings, such as work experience and areas of scientific interest
  • each entry should be in reverse chronological order (recent to earliest)
  • format descriptions with bullet points

Essential information to include in your Academic CV for a Master's Application

Don't forget to include the following information to show admissions officers your best academic achievements and skills relevant to your desired Master's degree.

  • Education history: in reverse chronological order (include GPAs)
  • Research interests: listing topics relevant to your desired Master's degree
  • Honors and Awards: notable accolades relevant to your chosen Master's degree
  • Publications: link to each paper to show samples of your writing
  • Work experience: list any professional experience
  • Teaching experience: list any relevant positions to highlight your interest in an academic career or life
  • Language skills: list grades of language tests such as the GRE or TOEFL
  • I.T. skills: list proficiency in software relevant to your Master's degree
  • Memberships: mention organizations relevant to your Master's application

Proofread your Academic CV for a Master's Application

Once you have written your academic CV, it is essential to proofread the document thoroughly. Your CV reflects you, so it should be accurate and well-presented. Ask friends or professors to read your CV to get a fresh perspective.

Remember to tailor your academic CV for each Master's application to present yourself in the best possible light and shows enthusiasm for your perspective program.

We hope our tips have helped you understand the difference between a CV for a job application and a Master's application. Harnessing our guidance for the format and content of your academic CV will help you stand out in your Master's applications.

Keystone Team


The Keystone Team is comprised of experienced educators and advisors dedicated to providing valuable resources and advice to students all over the world.

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