I am applying to summer schools for undergraduates in the US and all of them ask for a CV(in addition to other documents like a cover letter).

While I understand that a CV should be more descriptive than a resume, is it generally acceptable if a CV is 2 pages long for a 3rd year undergraduate in Physics, or I should make sure that my CV is limited to only one page even if that means I will have to leave out some information that I believe is relevant?

  • Please give your country; these things can vary dramatically. From the fact that resumes are a thing for you, and the fact that you didn't think to state where you are, it's likely that it's US - but I don't like to assume :-)
    – Flyto
    Commented Dec 29, 2019 at 16:17
  • "a CV should be more descriptive than a resume" No, I would say it is the other way around. Ask one of your professors to critique your application. Commented Dec 29, 2019 at 22:55

3 Answers 3


I disagree with other commenters. I would absolutely recommend limiting the CV to one page. I don't want to speculate, but as a 3rd year student, you probably do not have much experience to mention anyway... Therefore, I think your CV is quite loose and not really compact.

You need to tidy your CV and compactify it. For your case, your CV must have the following properties in my opinion:

  1. Contain every experience you have
  2. Be easy to read and skim; i.e one page
  3. Nice and simple layout
  4. Content must be short, descriptive and on point. CVs are not essays, but they are not lists of key words either.

Don't leave large margins, and don't leave much space between content. At the same time, the CV must be readable and organized, and when printed, the font must be easy to read.

If you did all that and you still end up with more than one page I would be surprised! Nonetheless, at this point you might want to consider more than one page CV.

  • I had a 2 page CV as a 2nd year math student. It didn't have large margins. No details were given except hyperlinks to relevant information. It did not repeat the transcript. It also was recived by a faculty before submission and even got me into a highly selective summer research. And I didn't go out of my way to enlarge my CV. I just did what made academic sense at every step of the way. In short, one can easily have a 2 page CV, if one is willing to do extracirriculars in one's field. Commented Dec 30, 2019 at 17:19
  • 1
    @BoatyMcboatface Do not get me wrong. I am not saying it is impossible, I just think that it is unlikely. In an A4 paper you can fit an insane amount of information if you are willing to, which I think should be the priority. A tidy one page CV is a better than a loose two page CV. I am here not judging the OP, I am just giving him what I think is optimal. If he think that a one page CV would be too cramped, then he should not do it. Commented Dec 30, 2019 at 18:34

I think two pages are fine unless otherwise specified. However, I would order its content so that more distinctive traits are more visable (at least on the first page). These would be publications, projects, awards and honors.


Do NOT remove or leave out relevant information. Somewhat counterintuitively, long CVs are perfectly acceptable in academia.

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