I'm a Master's student currently applying for PhD programs. I've seen conflicting advice about including coursework on my CV.

I'm wondering whether it's ever helpful to have relevant coursework listed. In my case, for example, I'm applying to programs that are more computation-based than my current program, and I'd like to show the CS course that I took while here.

2 Answers 2


In my experience, most applications ask for your coursework separately so it might be a moot point. However, in case it's not:

I wouldn't list everything. I wouldn't even list all of my CS courses. I would only list things that are particularly interesting or unique, such as courses that had relevant projects that you can describe. Seeing a big list of courses without anything to differentiate it will probably do little to improve your chances, but if you have something like

CS 520 - Operating Systems -
Implemented a complete rewrite of the Linux kernel that does computation in negative time.

you might consider including it. I've found that it's more helpful to include projects (things you've done) rather than courses (things you've sat through).

  • +1 on including projects. This is what I've done in the past, and it's seemed to work well.
    – hunse
    Commented Nov 20, 2013 at 23:28
  • Precisely what I think. Courses don't prove as much as succesfull projects IMO. Projects also show more dedication etc :) Commented Nov 21, 2013 at 13:45


Admissions committees can read your transcript. That's why they ask for it.

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