How to List Relevant Coursework on a Resume (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 30, 2022 | Published September 7, 2021

Updated November 30, 2022

Published September 7, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

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If you're a student, you might not have a large volume of work experience to list on your resume. This is common, and employers are likely to consider your status as a student when reviewing your resume. Adding relevant coursework to the job or internship you're applying for can help employers understand the skills you're developing and why you'd be a good fit for the job. In this article, we discuss when it's most appropriate to include coursework, review how to list relevant coursework on a resume in six steps and explore a few examples.

When to include and exclude relevant coursework

The relevant coursework section is an optional entry-level resume section that includes coursework you've completed related to the job you're applying for. It can include projects, academic achievements, extracurriculars and volunteer experience. If you're a student or have just graduated, relevant coursework is a good way to demonstrate your expertise, even if you don't yet have professional experience. If you decide that it's appropriate to include relevant coursework from your schooling, make sure not to overload your resume and try to select the most applicable courses and those that leave the greatest impression.

If you've been in the workforce for over a year, this section may not be right for you. Instead, focus on your professional experience and achievements. Additionally, if you're applying for a job where relevant coursework is not helpful to the hiring process, this section is not necessary. Consider prioritizing technical skills and your work history. Look at the job description to see what the employer is looking for in a candidate. Asking for a certain diploma, certification or portfolio are indicators that including coursework would be helpful.

Related: 7 Steps for Creating a Resume as a Student

How to list relevant coursework on a resume in 6 steps

Here are six steps for how to list relevant coursework on a resume:

1. Review the job description

Before deciding what coursework to include, review the company's job posting. Look for any key subject matters they might want candidates to highlight. If you don't possess the exact coursework they're asking for, choose courses that are the most similar.

Related: How to Tailor a Resume for a Job Description (With Tips)

2. Review your completed coursework

After you have thoroughly reviewed the job description, examine your completed coursework. Look for any courses that stand out to you or may seem impressive to the employer. If you attended more than one academic institution or a vocational school, review those as well.

3. Select the most relevant coursework to include

Make certain that you choose the courses that most accurately reflect the job and what the employer is looking for in a candidate. If you're applying to be a video game software developer, include courses specific to that position. Also, try to add courses that match certain keywords mentioned in the job description.

Related: What Are Resume Keywords and Why Are They Important?

4. Determine what academic achievements to include

Including academic achievements usually isn't an explicit necessity, but it can improve your standing as a candidate. Achievements indicate your ability to succeed beyond the standard academic expectations. This is the opportunity for you to brag about yourself, so don't feel too modest, and include your relevant accomplishments.

Related: How to Include Your Accomplishments on a Resume

5. Identify any relevant extracurriculars to include

If you decide to include extracurriculars, make sure that they relate to the primary coursework you listed. Extracurriculars need to augment your courses and help to draw more attention to them. For example, if you're a botany student, you might include a gardening club as a relevant extracurricular activity.

Related: How to Include Your Projects on Your Resume (With Tips)

6. Include any applicable volunteer work

Like extracurriculars, volunteer work is a supplementary addition that can enhance the relevant coursework section. Volunteer work may not need to be included unless the employer specifically wants you to present evidence of volunteer experience. Nonetheless, including it does speak positively about your character, which can improve your chances as a candidate.

Related: Tips for Listing Volunteer Work on Resume (With Examples)

Relevant coursework on resume templates

Here are four different templates, which you can mix and match, that show how you can format relevant coursework on your resume:

Template 1: Relevant coursework included in the education section

To consolidate space and create a more uniform look on your resume, it's acceptable to integrate relevant coursework into the education section instead of listing it separately. This makes it easier for the employer to view all your academic-related information in one location. If you do include your relevant coursework with your education, make sure that it follows the style of that section.

Consider the following:

Education

[University name]
[University location]
[Degree name] [Start to completion date]

Relevant coursework: [Relevant coursework 1], [Relevant coursework 2], [Relevant coursework 3], [Relevant coursework 4], [Relevant coursework 5], [Relevant coursework 6]

Related: Resume Format Guide (With Tips and Examples)

Template 2: Relevant coursework included as a bullet list

To give your coursework greater emphasis, you can include it in its own section as a bullet list. The bullet list makes the material easier to scan for the employer, so they don't have to spend much time identifying the information they need. Keep the bullet lists brief and ensure that any included coursework correlates with one another and the rest of your resume. For example, if you're applying for a job as an accountant, you might not include science-related coursework with your math and finances coursework.

Consider the following:

Relevant coursework

  • [Relevant coursework 1]

  • [Relevant coursework 2]

  • [Relevant coursework 3]

  • [Relevant coursework 4]

  • [Relevant coursework 5]

  • [Relevant coursework 6]

Template 3: Relevant coursework included as a highly detailed bullet list

An upgrade to the bullet points style is a bullet list that provides additional information. In this format, briefly elaborate on each bullet point by describing the course. Try to limit each bullet point to one or two sentences and make sure they are easy to understand.

Consider the following:

Relevant coursework

  • [Relevant coursework 1]: [Brief description 1]

  • [Relevant coursework 2]: [Brief description 2]

  • [Relevant coursework 3]: [Brief description 3]

  • [Relevant coursework 4]: [Brief description 4]

  • [Relevant coursework 5]: [Brief description 5]

  • [Relevant coursework 6]: [Brief description 6]

Template 4: Relevant coursework included in multiple columns

In this template, you can group the relevant coursework by specific subject matter. This can be useful if an employer requires that you've obtained expert knowledge in several fields. For the multiple columns style, each subject doesn't have to be distinctly relevant to one another, so long as you include all the subjects that the employer might want to see. It's usually more cohesive if the subjects relate to one another. For example, if you wanted to elaborate on your applied mathematics coursework, you might include statistics and computer science columns.

Consider the following:

Relevant [degree/field] coursework

[Subject 1]

  • [Relevant course 1]

  • [Relevant course 2]

  • [Relevant course 3]

[Subject 2]

  • [Relevant course 1]

  • [Relevant course 2]

  • [Relevant course 3]

Related: How to List Education on Your Resume (With Examples)

Examples of relevant coursework on a resume

Using the above templates, here are four examples of relevant coursework on a resume:

Relevant coursework on a resume example 1

Here is an example using the first template:

Education

Toronto Metropolitan University
Toronto, ON
Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics, 2016-2020

Relevant coursework: Fundamental of Data Structure, Abstract Algebra, Calculus, Discrete Mathematics, Numerical Methods, Ordinary Differential Equations

Relevant coursework on a resume example 2

Here is an example using the second template:

Relevant coursework

  • Advanced Digital Imaging

  • Camera Techniques

  • Lighting Applications

  • Inkjet Photography for Printing

  • Photography Business Practices

  • Compositing

Related: 15 Essential Photographer Skills for Your Resume

Relevant coursework on a resume example 3

Here is an example using the third template:

Relevant coursework

  • Fiction Writing: Learn about the nuances, fundamentals, and story structuring of writing fiction.

  • Creative Nonfiction Writing: Develop a process for writing creative nonfiction.

  • Screenwriting: Discover the methods and techniques for successful screenwriting.

  • Convergent Journalism: Engage with audiences through engaging journalistic storytelling.

  • Story Research Methods: Explore the research strategies to imbue information and elevate your writing with authenticity and depth.

  • Freelance Writing: Establish yourself as a professional freelance writer by learning to find and maintain consistent work.

Relevant coursework on a resume example 4

Here is an example using the fourth template:

Relevant Applied Mathematics coursework

Statistics

  • Statistical Modelling

  • Statistical Analysis

  • Statistics in Business

Computer Science

  • Advanced Coding

  • Game Design

  • Mobile Programming


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