I was studying computer engineering and during my third year, I had to travel abroad to another country because of the outbreak of a civil war in my country. This interrupted my studies for a year but then I continued in the same major in another country and graduated there.

Should I mention in my resume that I had changed my university? Or just list the university that I've graduated from?

  • You don't have to but if they ask for your transcript(s) it will show so maybe best to show the two up front. – paparazzo Aug 17 '15 at 16:23

I was in a similar situation. I changed both major and university halfway through my educational career. During the change I had a one year gap where I was "finding myself" and working full time.

If it is the first job that you are applying to after school, I would put in all of that information. Otherwise people generally only care about the university that you graduated from and your most recent experience (last 5-7 years or last 2-4 jobs worked). As you gain more experience and work for a few years you can phase that information out.

As anecdotal evidence of this I had one hiring manager ask whether I had graduated from the first university during the interview. When he learned I had not he drew a big X over the first university on my resume. I stopped including it after that and have had no issues.

  • don't forget in my situation i have one year gap. – Asem Aug 17 '15 at 16:41
  • @Asem I'll add that into the answer – Conor Aug 17 '15 at 16:45
  • If you went to school A first but graduated from school B, your employer is only likely to verify that you graduated from school B. There is no reason to verify school A, unless there is something interesting about it. Just leave it out. – Mohair Aug 17 '15 at 17:56

Your situation is very very easy.

You list both. You put an "asterisk" next to your second university. Below the university info you explain your "asterisk".

"asterisk" Due to civil war in my country I had I moved to _____. I continued university as quickly as possible after settling in.

The wording could be better but I would love to see this on a resume. If you have this good of a reason for a gap it needs to be explained. An employer would love to see that after moving from unrest that you picked up quickly.

  • Hmm, I'm inclined to disagree that OP should explain the situation in the resume itself as you don't want to be seen as trying to invoke pity. If worded well it could work but it'd make more sense to me to stick to years and locations and explain the gap during an interview. Employers hiring graduates are sure to ask about it and since the universities are from different countries are unlikely to discount OP as a candidate because of it. – Lilienthal Aug 17 '15 at 18:45
  • @Lilienthal - I wasn't saying this to invoke pity. There are just things that happen in life that when explained, explain a lot. I had an applicant that both his parents died in a car accident and he took care of his teenage brothers for 3 years. So he had a gap in college. He didn't have to put this on there. But by explaining it concisely on the resume I knew why and there was no doubts on what he was doing those years. The fact that he had a GREAT reason, he was a shoe-in for the job. – blankip Aug 17 '15 at 19:24
  • I didn't mean to imply that you were, just that some interviewers might interpret it as such. Stating it as "studies interrupted due to relocation" or something similarly neutral might be better and the OP can tell the full story in an interview. Both in the OP's case and in the situation you mention I would much rather see the gap explained in the cover letter than in the resume where it doesn't really belong. That said, your advice is useful and should work well for the OP if he can word it properly. +1 – Lilienthal Aug 17 '15 at 21:43

Many people in the United States start at a two year college and then switch to a four year school. The basic classes at the two year school are cheaper. When they graduate the only school name on the diploma is the one they they finished with. That is also the name on the CV.

The exception to only mentioning the final school is if there is something significant from the first school. For example winning an award, or writing a published paper.

Note: they do require that a certain number of credits be from the final school. Otherwise they would only take one final class from the prestigious university and all the other classes from a less prestigious school

  • I've always thought it's standard to list the years you attended, so to avoid a gap you should list the school you transferred from. However, this appears quite debatable. My own feeling on this is that I'm always very annoyed when I find out someone hid that they didn't attend all four years at the final school. – Chan-Ho Suh Aug 17 '15 at 16:35
  • With the number of people changing majors and schools it is rare to include the years in school. Unless the information is for a background check where they want to account for every place you worked since age 18. In those cases they count school as work. – mhoran_psprep Aug 17 '15 at 16:40
  • @Chan-HoSuh I generally include the two years I attended in my graduating school or only my graduating year and if people ask I fill them in. In the times that I have started leaving it off my resume I have had not one person inquire (although my sample size is admittedly less than would be necessary to quantify under the central limit theorem) – Conor Aug 17 '15 at 16:50

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