I have some very relevant coursework that I am scheduled to take over the course of this year, all of which would be completed before my hypothetical summer internship will start. Would it be unwise to list this on my resume? I'm a junior and don't have much else to put on there, and I really do plan to take these courses.

(This is for an engineering position, but the question is relevant to many majors and internships.)


6 Answers 6


I would draw the line at courses you are currently enrolled in. Future courses aren't a certain thing, and you're applying for a position with folk who appreciate certainty.

Full disclosure: I am an engineer, and I have interviewed various levels of interns before. My work experiences are primarily US based.

Here's what I would rather see:

  • academics (GPA) to date
  • notable class projects - so we have something to talk about in the interview
  • academic society membership and activity - membership in Tau Beta Pi is far more interesting than Kegga Kegga Kegga (no, that's not a real fraternity afaik)
  • other work experience
  • high school academics (again, GPA) for purposes of consistency
  • if you've passed the FE / EIT although it's a bit early for you to have taken it

Oh, and keep it to one page, please.

You're right in that you don't have a whole lot to put down for a resume yet. On the flip side, your interviewer knows you don't have a whole lot and doesn't expect it. Your attitude and demeanor amount to a whole lot more than anything. I know I'll have to train you for your role. What I want to know is how easy it's going to be to train you and what sort of personality / work ethic / drive do you have.

  • As an aside, I would say that active participation and leadership in a social fraternity is much better than membership in an academic society. I held multiple officer positions in my fraternity, but I refused to join an academic society I wasn't going to participate in just so I could put it on my resume.
    – David K
    Jul 28, 2014 at 13:04

As long as you are in good faith about actually taking them, I wouldn't see a problem with putting it down as long as it is clearly marked as expected coursework. If the interviewer feels it is inappropriate, he can just ignore it. It's not like you misrepresented what it is.


The resume should be a list of things you've done so you should leave it off.

However the cover letter is more free form, you could include a bit in there about your plans for the school year and why that will make you even more qualified in June.

  • Saying a resume is a list of things you've done is a rather tautological answer to the question.
    – user1084
    Jul 28, 2014 at 6:45

I used to teach a class for 3rd & 4th year students in which this specific question came up all the time.

The key factors in this question (and my answer) are:

  • you are a student in a major and and are taking courses along a particular path
  • you have little to show in traditional resume form, mostly because you're a student
  • you are not applying for a full-time position somewhere, but...
  • you are applying for a summer internship in which it is likely very much assumed that you are a student

In this situation, it would be completely reasonable to frame your academic work in these terms:


  • something, at some school, expected SOMEYEAR

Completed Coursework in Major Field

  • something really specific beyond intro, completed SOMESEMESTER

  • something else really specific beyond intro, completed SOMESEMESTER

Upcoming Coursework in Major Field

  • something really specific beyond intro, to be completed SOMESEMESTER

Note that I wouldn't list upcoming coursework beyond the next semester.

What this structure allows you to do is to point out in your cover letter exactly what has & will be preparing you, as a student, for the summer internship to which you are applying.

Taking off the teacher hat and putting on the hiring manager hat, this path of learning/connection to what you'd be using this knowledge for in an internship with me, is exactly what I would want your resume and cover letter to convey.


Think of the resume as a place to list your accomplishments.

Completed projects: accomplishments.

Planned projects: not accomplishments.

Note my use of the term "projects". Let's say, for example, that you're planning to take a course in developing Android applications, later in the year. You can't put that course on your resume, because you haven't taken it yet. But if you were to write an Android application, you could put that on your resume right away.

Of course, there's a lot of self-motivated learning required there-- but if you're passionate about it, then it's probably something you're already doing, eh?

  • Nearly completed the degree, just a few courses left: accomplishment. I might not care what courses the intern was planning to apply for, but seeing that they are continuing = good thing Jul 28, 2014 at 11:24

Is it appropriate to put planned coursework on a resume when applying for an internship?

It certainly makes sense to include all coursework that is relevant to the specifics of the internship, as long as it is expected to be completed before the internship begins.

You should however indicate that this work is planned, to distinguish it from completed work. Something like:

  • Advanced Framis Design Studies (planned for Fall, 2014)

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