Currently on my resume for education I have the following:

University I went to                               Graduation date: Month, year
Bachelor of Science in Subject I studied           GPA: 4.0

(note: the above has one line break for a total of two lines. If you're on mobile you might see it as multiple lines)

I'm currently about to start classes next term that will be pre requisites for a Master's program. I have not yet taken the GRE, or applied to the actual program (as without the pre-requisites I am ineligible flat out).

How should I put that I'm pursuing the MS? Currently I added to the last line

Master of Science in subject I will study - in progress

The chief reasons I want the MS to be on the resume in the first place are:

  1. So employers know that I am taking classes, and may need some slight flexibility in scheduling (a 9-6 won't quite be feasible)
  2. The jobs I'm looking at are Software development positions. My BS is in Industrial engineering (nothing to do with software) but the Master's is in Computer science. This should indicate that I know more than my education alone might give away (though relevant work experience listed elsewhere should also give that away).
  • If you are doing an MS why do you need an up to date cv?
    – bharal
    Dec 6, 2014 at 23:39
  • It's a part time MS (2 classes/semester) that I plan on completing while working. Dec 6, 2014 at 23:40
  • 5
    Have you been admitted into the MS program? It looks like until you have officially fulfilled the pre-reqs, you have not been officially admitted in the MS program. If you haven't been officially admitted into the MS program, then you are getting ahead of yourself and you are falsely creating the impression that you are in the MS program. Dec 6, 2014 at 23:55
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    i would avoid the nonsense of "a 9-6 won't be feasible" when you're trying to get your foot in the door. Instead, when they start talking offers then you start discussing how you will need time off. For goodness' sake though, don't be saying "a 9-6 won't be feasible", that makes you sound terribly entitled. That you are attempting an MS gives nobody any inkling as to your capability in software - you have not done the degree, so why would anyone assume you know anything about it? The relevant work experience will be a much stronger suit than a degree you have not even been admitted to.
    – bharal
    Dec 7, 2014 at 0:08
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    While it's totally reasonable to start discussing scheduling expectations when you get further along in the interview process, I think the concern @bharal had is your phrasing. Saying "A 9-6 schedule won't be feasible" almost implies that you expect the company to work around your schedule and might sound entitled. A better tone would sound more like asking if this is a possibility. Questions like "What are the typical working hours?" are better at the early stages. Once you have a later interview or an offer, I'd ask something like, "Would [XYZ schedule accommodation] be workable?" Dec 8, 2014 at 20:39

5 Answers 5


I would put it as:

University I am attending                             Expected graduation date: Month, year
(planned) Master of Science in Subject                Current GPA: 4.0

Normally you don't put things you haven't earned on your resume. This is a notable exception because the job may not even consider you without you listing a degree in a specific field on your resume. Putting that may be enough to get you past HR who would otherwise ignore your application.

Similarly, you may want to do this if you were looking for a job just before graduation. In that case you have pretty much already earned the credentials, but you cannot say that you have yet, so you use the above as a "placeholder" of sorts to get a hiring manager's attention.

You should probably wait until you actually get into the program to do this. To an employer "Part of the program, but not yet graduated" may carry some value, but "Haven't started the program but trying to get into it" would likely seem pretty valueless.


It's pretty common to list an expected degree on a resume. The usual way to do this is to put your expected graduation date in parentheses and use words like "expected" to convey that you haven't completed the degree yet.

However, until you've at least taken a few useful and relevant classes, it may be too early to add it. You haven't really accomplished anything yet, so there's no merit to it from the potential employer's point of view. Especially before you've been accepted to the program. That could easily be viewed as exaggerating your qualifications.

Once you've made some real progress in the master's program, you can list your expected degree, as well as your GPA if it's good and any classes that are specifically relevant to the job.


My BS is in Industrial engineering

Mine too! And I am a coder as well! And doing a MS as well!

Now to answer the question. I would not list the MS on the CV. You have not completed yet any classes, so nothing to gain. But you can loose interview opportunities.

  1. List your skills (be generous here - even 1 semester course is a skill if you can defend it on an interview).
  2. List your open-source work.
  3. Apply to many companies.
  4. Let them contact you.
  5. Charm and impress them.
  6. THEN request flexibility or whatever you need. In my country you get 5 extra days of payed leave if you are a student.

You don't.

Resumes are summaries of what you've accomplished. You haven't accomplished this, yet.

  • 2
    It is quite normal to list your expected graduation date, particularly if you are in your last year of study and applying for a job for after you graduate or if you are pursuing a Master's or PhD and have completed everything except the thesis.
    – Eric
    Dec 9, 2014 at 1:49
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    @Eric - Yes, I've seen that. That circumstance is not what we're talking about, here. Dec 9, 2014 at 2:19

You can indicate the program you're currently in if it is relevant to the jobs you're applying for, but don't assume because you're in a graduate program, everyone will think you can't work 9-6. Many CS Degrees are done online and at night to accommodate people still working in the field full-time. Address your availability in a cover letter.

Many jobs post that they require a CS Degree, something close to it or experience. There are jobs that will be impressed with a Masters in CS, but don't expect that to be typical. It is all going to come to whether you know how to code or can demonstrate your ability to learn quickly. Make sure you don't give the impression that you can't take graduate classes and work full-time. Focus on needing some time flexibility until you graduate.

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