I am a master's student doing theoretical physics and am currently preparing for PhD applications. I just started working on a dissertation for my program, and I'm expected to have it completed by May next year. I wonder if it is appropriate for me to include the title of my dissertation on my CV for PhD applications (in the education section), as it is an ongoing project, instead of a finished work. Should I also include my supervisor's name if I include the title?


3 Answers 3


I suggest that you make a section titled "Work in Progress" and list it there. You can use the working title, indicate that it is a dissertation and, if you like, list the supervisor, though that isn't really necessary unless it is joint work.

But the Education section is probably best reserved for degrees held and working on, honors, and such like.

  • Thanks! Would that be appropriate if I add 'Dissertation: [topic] (work in progress)' under '2022-2023 MSc in Theoretical Physics, [university name]'?
    – IGY
    Nov 2, 2022 at 16:46
  • 1
    Seems fine. The working title is fine also. A Work in Progress section is always good to have on any academic CV.
    – Buffy
    Nov 2, 2022 at 16:48
  • Thank you! What do you mean by 'working title'?
    – IGY
    Nov 2, 2022 at 16:49
  • The “ongoing “ title
    – Buffy
    Nov 2, 2022 at 17:14

That's what I do. It's a concise way to give a little bit more information about the content of your degree, which might otherwise just say "M.S., Physics."


Yes, please, a CV must be short but not too short, it would be really helpful to know what you are working on now.

I expect you to write in the education part "M.Sc XX.20yz - expected 05.2023" with a quick mention of the exams that are relevant to the position you are applyiong, as well as a "Work in progress" section where you add the thesis with the provisional title and the advisor.

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