I recently completed and was awarded a graduate certificate. After a conversation with my colleagues, it appears that there is some contention about how it should be listed on a résumé. One group says that it should be listed with the rest of the formal education, another says that it should be listed with professional certifications, the last says it should be listed like a minor, ex.:

Master of Science in Subject

  • Graduate Certificate in Specialization

Assuming appropriateness to a job posting, what is the most common format for listing graduate certificates?

  • 1
    @IamSoNotListening I am guessing it's this definition of graduate certificate? It's not a certification I'm familiar with.
    – David K
    Jan 8, 2018 at 15:06
  • @IamSoNotListening A graduate certificate is a university degree for coursework at the graduate level. It sits between a Bachelors degree and Masters degree in terms of the hierarchy.
    – anonymous
    Jan 8, 2018 at 15:18
  • @rjzii so basically by obtaining that you are graduating from that degree right? Or you still have courses/whatever to take in order to fully graduate?
    – DarkCygnus
    Jan 8, 2018 at 16:01
  • @rjzii yes, that was part of my question. What is left for you to finish the degree? Is it just formalities and ceremonies? That information would help to better phrase the way you include it on your resume
    – DarkCygnus
    Jan 8, 2018 at 16:09
  • 1
    @JoeStrazzere Right now I'm a PhD candidate with about a year to go before my dissertation will be complete. So I'm at the point at which people start looking for jobs, but since my PhD is interdisciplinary the formal name doesn't actually reflect my field of study as well as the GC does for the purposes of keywording.
    – anonymous
    Jan 8, 2018 at 17:56

2 Answers 2


I have a Graduate Certificate in a field where I have no other graduate education and no intention of completing any more courses. I list it as a standalone item in my educational section, like this.

  • BA (Philosophy, My College), 2004 -- minor in European History
  • Graduate Certificate (Graphic Design, A Different College), 2012.

However, since you received your certificate essentially as a subset of the work towards a larger degree, I would say you fall into the third category - list it as part of your PhD.

  • BA (Whatever You Did, Wherever), Whenever -- minor in Folk Singing
  • PhD (Interdisciplinary), expected graduation 2019 -- includes completion of a Graduate Certificate (Focused Study), 2015

How should a Graduate Certificate be listed on a resume? Ideally so that it stands out as an additional breadth of training.

First, it is worth mentioning that you should consider listing that certificate on your resume if it is relevant to the job you are applying. Otherwise, it may be perceived as noise to your application besides taking valuable space on your resume (which should usually be compact).

If you decide it is relevant, then one way of putting it may be something like:

  • MPhil in Awesome Studies Graduate - certificate obtained on [date] from [university]

If you consider it ok, you can then describe some key aspects of that training you wish to convey, like specializations obtained or similar, so it better fits your application to this current role you seek.

Another way to make it have more impact could be enhancing it to mention your current advanced studies on that subject (usually listing studies from most recent backwards):

  • Currently coursing the PhD in Awesome Studes
  • MPhil in Awesome Studies Graduate - certificate obtained on [date] from [university]
  • FYI, I restructured the question to make it more generalized.
    – anonymous
    Jan 8, 2018 at 19:41

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