Curricula Vitae

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 (plural CVs) are used.

Contact Information

Include your name, preferred pronouns, campus or off-campus address, phone number, current job title, and institutional affiliation and rank, if applicable. Photos of yourself are not usually included.


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


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.




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.

Grants or Other Funding

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.