Curricula vitae are used in lieu of resumes for many academic positions. Resumes provide a short chronological look at your relevant experience and education. Curricula vitae provide a more comprehensive view of your academic and work history, particularly focusing on your research agenda or specialized area of interest. Like a resume, a vita can and should be tailored to specific situations. Because there is no universal format for a vita, start by examining samples written by professors in your subject area. In determining how to organize your vita, strike a balance between what a hiring committee would expect to see in your discipline and what you think you need to include to highlight your strengths. For example, publications will come first if you want to emphasize scholarship but later if you want to emphasize experiences such as teaching. This handout provides a breakdown of typical sections and what you might include in each.

NOTE: Curriculum vitae is the singular form, the Latin for “the course of one’s life.” The plural form is curricula vitae. However, in common parlance the terms vita (plural vitas) and CV are used.

Contact Information

Include your name, campus or off-campus address, phone number, current job title, and institutional affiliation and rank, if applicable.


List your education in chronological order, beginning with the highest degree attained:

  • Institutions attended
  • Degrees attained and major areas of study, if applicable.
  • Dates degrees were conferred. If you are currently a student, give an expected graduation date and/or status


If you have recently completed a dissertation or thesis, include its title and a brief abstract (30-50 words). You can also include the name of your committee chair. If other members of the committee are especially well known in your discipline, include all members’ names.

Research Agenda

Create a list of research interests or a brief statement about your research agenda. This section can help readers see how your expertise might fit into their department, but it’s optional.


  • Include refereed journal articles, books, chapters in books, editions, published conference proceedings, or other academic publications.
  • Divide by subtopics (indicated by headings) for categories that show what type of publication and whether the publication was refereed.
  • Use your discipline’s preferred reference style for citations (i.e., MLA, APA, etc.).


  • Academic presentations such as those given at conferences or symposia
  • Non-academic presentations if relevant, under a sub-heading or in a separate category
  • Indicate the place and date of the presentation as well as the title and the name of the sponsoring organization or host


Sub-headings for this section vary; use one appropriate for your background, for example, Professional Experience or Academic Appointments. Break down your particular experience into broad areas that showcase your work/academic history. Begin with the most recent position and use chronological order.

  • Teaching may be a sub-section. Indicate the institution, and, depending on how many classes you have taught, include the name and number of the course and other pertinent information. If you are looking for your first academic position, indicate whether you were an assistant or the sole teacher.
  • Other possible headings: laboratory research, field experience, or other work particular to your discipline.
  • Licenses or professional certificates
  • Professional development activities

Grants or Other Funding

  • Include the scope of the project, dates, and amount, along with any other pertinent information.
  • If you are working in someone else’s lab, or if you are not the principal investigator on a project, be sure to list any supervisors or co-investigators.

Honors and Awards

List honors and awards that further your professional career. You could combine this section with the grants section if necessary. Include the name of the honor or award and the dollar amount, if applicable.


  • Membership on professional committees, boards, or organizations at the local, state, or national level.
  • Include the dates you served and whether you were appointed or elected.
  • Indicate any leadership positions you had during your term of service.
  • Community service is generally not included, unless it’s directly pertinent to your academic work.

Also recommended for you:

Cover Letters

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute The University Writing Center, Texas A&M University.

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