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How to List Relevant Coursework on a Resume + Examples

A relevant coursework resume section—if you’re curious whether to use one, how to list classes, and where to include it, this guide on adding coursework to resumes is for you.

Christian Eilers
Christian Eilers
Career Expert
How to List Relevant Coursework on a Resume + Examples

“Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame”. “The Physics of Star Trek”. “South Park and Contemporary Social Issues”. Yes, those are real college courses, but if you’re one of the people who took one, do you really need to list it on your resume? Probably not. 

Adding relevant coursework on a resume is a good idea—in some cases. But only if you do it just right. Don’t worry, you’ll see how in just a moment.

In this guide:

  • Over a dozen examples of resume coursework and related classes to include.
  • Instructions on how to list relevant coursework on resume education sections.
  • Expert tips and advice for including related classwork on a resume most effectively.
  • Guidelines for where to put relevant coursework on a resume academic section.

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Are you looking for specific resume examples related to academia careers? Have a look at these guides:

Or, if you want, check out our full guide on including education on a resume: How to List Education on Resumes

1. What Is the Meaning of "Relevant Coursework"?

Relevant coursework consists of courses taken during your school or college studies that are related to the position you are applying for. It can be included in the education section of your resume, with the purpose of showcasing knowledge relevant to the job.

Before we dive in with the why, the what, and the how regarding relevant coursework resume sections, let’s take a look at a few examples:

1. Relevant Coursework on Resume Example—Administrative Assistant 

Bachelor Of Science in Business Administration 

University of Florida, Warrington College of Business Administration, Gainesville, FL

Graduation: 2016

Relevant Coursework: Managerial Accounting, Problem Solving Using Computer Software, Organizational Behavior, Management Information Systems, Contemporary Skills for Business Professionals, Individual and Interpersonal Effectiveness for the Business Professional.

As you can see, this comma-separated list focuses on classes you’ve taken that office managers love to see on an admin assistant resume.

It’s short, to the point, and gives them only relevant information.

2. Relevant Coursework Resume Example—High School Graduate Seeking Customer Service Job

High School Diploma

Renaissance High School, Detroit, MI

Graduation: 2019

Relevant Coursework: Modern Communication Skills, AP English Language and Composition, AP Spanish Language and Culture, Introduction to Business, Finance & Accounting, Fundamentals of Marketing & Sales.

You may not have any college under your belt yet, but don’t worry. You probably still have taken classes in high school appropriate for the career or job you’re applying for.

3. Relevant Coursework Resume Sample—Elementary Teacher 

Master of Science in Learning Technologies & Design

University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

Completion: 2018 

Related Classwork

  • Integrating Technology in Teaching Content Areas
  • Learning in the Digital Age
  • Utilizing Emerging Technologies to Improve Learning
  • Diversity, Local Communities, and Global Connections
  • Social Media in Blended and Online Learning Environments

Here, we use a bullet-point list to add classes to a teaching resume rather than a comma-separated list.

This format helps to guide the reader’s eyes, allowing you to focus on fewer, but more impactful, courses on a resume.

4. Related Coursework on a Resume for IT Jobs

Bachelor’s in Information Technology (Computer Science Specialization)

Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Graduation: 2015

Relevant Coursework

  • Application Development — Developed IT concepts and necessary skills for web and mobile application development.
  • Networking and Telecommunications — Studied transmission media, digital signal modulations, packet switching and routing, IT systems integration, and cyber security.
  • Human-Centered Design — Research into accessibility and increasing the usability of IT systems through a human-centric approach.

This is a third format, an extension of the previous one, essentially. This resume relevant coursework approach is perfect for when you want to show off three or four super-relevant courses.

It’s also great for explaining to hiring managers how a particular course may be relevant to them, as university classes today may have names which don’t reflect the entirety of the subject matter.

5. Example of Listing Courses on a Food Service Resume

Diploma in Culinary Arts

Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), New York, NY

Graduation: 2014

Relevant Classes: Food Business Management, Baking and Pastry Arts, Restaurant and Culinary Management, Art of International Bread Baking, Intensive Sommelier Training, Cuisine with Farm to Table Emphasis, Food Science and Nutrition.

Expert Hint: There are also many great courses offered by colleges and universities which help you advance in your career. While these will surely benefit your job search and give you some relatable experience, these aren’t relevant (most likely) to the job, so leave them off.

6. Sample of Putting Related Courses on a Graphic Design Resume

Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design & Media Arts

Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, NH

Graduation: 2017

Relevant Courses: Publication Design, Vector Illustration, Advanced Typography, History of Contemporary Graphic Design, Digital Storytelling, Design & Color Theory, Anatomy, Form, and Space in Typography, Information Design & Usability, Creative Thinking & Design Visualization.

7. Example of Placing Relevant Classes on a Management Resume

Master of Business Administration (MBA) - Executive Management

Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ

Graduation: 2013

Relevant Courses: Operations Management, Modern Leadership Fundamentals, Technology and Innovation Management, Effective Verbal & Written Communication, Organizational Behavior and Strategic Planning, Advanced Decision Making for Leaders.

8. BAD Example of a Related Coursework Resume Section—Healthcare Jobs 

Bad Example

Bachelor of Science in Health Services Management

East Carolina University, Greenville, NC

Graduation: 2013

Coursework: Mathematics, Kinesiology, Social Science, Human Resource Management for Health Care Organizations, 19th Century English Literature, Introduction to Art History, Marketing and Advertising Fundamentals, Healthcare Administration Services.

See what’s wrong here?

This one does list some relevant classes for a healthcare job. However, those get drowned out by irrelevant courses. Remember— 

If it doesn’t help you secure your new career, leave it off your resume.

Expert Hint: Listing relevant coursework on resumes is one way to show advanced understanding and impress the employer. However, also consider showing off any Latin honors, cum laude on a resume, or your thesis topic, for example.

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2. How to List Relevant Coursework on Resumes?

You’ve decided to include a related college class or course on your resume. But, where should you put relevant coursework on a resume? 

When adding related classwork onto a resume, make a subsection at the end of the appropriate education entry. Place it below the degree, school name and location, and date of completion or estimated date of graduation. Use bullet points, or separate each course with a comma to save space.

And how to write it down?

Here are a few ways for how to put relevant coursework on resumes:

Bachelor of Arts in English Literature

University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Graduation: 2017

Related Coursework: [Class, Class, Class, Class, Class]

Bachelor of Science in Macroeconomics

Duke University, Durham, NC

Graduation: 2016

Related Coursework

  • [Class]
  • [Class]
  • [Class]

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Graduation: 2015

Related Coursework

  • [Class] — [Short explanation about the class and its relevance to job]
  • [Class] — [Short explanation about the class and its relevance to job]
  • [Class] — [Short explanation about the class and its relevance to job]

Though education is important, I’d recommend going with the first course option in most cases, as it takes up less room. However, if you lack real-world experience but have an impressive academic background, the third option might be perfect for you.

“Keep in mind MORE does not always mean BETTER. Employers, on average, spend 6-8 seconds on your resume. Include what is most relevant and keep descriptions clear and to the point.

If the college coursework you’re thinking of writing isn’t relevant to the job you’re applying for, leave it off!

3. What Are the Benefits of Adding Relevant Coursework on Resumes?

Adding related coursework on resumes is optional. However, it is a strategic choice which may help your chances, if done right. So, should you include relevant coursework on a resume?

Add a resume coursework subsection when:

Otherwise, when you gain more than a few years of general work experience, save that resume real estate for a more impactful section.

As for the benefits of addicng relevant coursework to your resume, it can:

  • Showcase Relevant Knowledge: Including specific courses can highlight your expertise and knowledge in areas directly related to the job.
  • Highlight Academic Achievements: Emphasizing challenging or advanced courses can demonstrate your dedication and aptitude for learning.
  • Align with Job Requirements: Tailoring your coursework to match the job description can make your resume more attractive to employers by showing you meet their educational criteria.

Incorporating relevant coursework into your resume can make a significant difference, especially when you lack extensive work experience or are applying for roles that prioritize educational background.

Expert Hint: Many classes in your relevant coursework section act as great resume keywords. For example, if you took a class on business communication or programming you’re telling the employer you have those business skills and computer skills without needing to include them in a separate list of skills for a resume.

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Key Points

Here’s how to write relevant coursework on resumes:

  • Decide first if adding coursework on a resume is ideal for you; include related classes if relevant to the job and you have little professional experience.
  • Create a subsection under the education entry on your resume with a clearly-labeled subheading, such as “Related Coursework.”
  • Add a few of the most relevant courses, classes, and lectures which make sense for the job you’re applying to.
  • Consider including other impressive academic subsections, such as school awards, Latin honors, or publications.

Have any questions on how to list coursework on resumes or if putting classes on resumes is the best idea? Need more resume education section examples? Let’s chat below in the comment area, and thanks for reading!

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At ResumeLab, quality is at the crux of our values, supporting our commitment to delivering top-notch career resources. The editorial team of career experts carefully reviews every article in accordance with editorial guidelines, ensuring the high quality and reliability of our content. We actively conduct original research, shedding light on the job market's intricacies and earning recognition from numerous influential news outlets. Our dedication to delivering expert career advice attracts millions of readers to our blog each year.

Christian Eilers

Career expert who has been sharing his expert knowledge since 2017. His advice will guide you smoothly through all recruitment processes: from job hunting to getting a promotion. Christian offers comprehensive advice on career development and each step of the job search, from start to finish and beyond. His guides cover looking for new jobs, sending application documents such as resumes and cover letters, acing interview questions, and settling into the new position. Since 2017, he has written over 200 in-depth, meticulously-researched career advice articles in collaboration with the most renowned career experts in the world. Hundreds of thousands of readers visit Christian’s articles each month.

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