Now that you’ve finally chosen your top graduate schools and safety choices, here comes the stressful part: applying. Here are some common steps to take in order to ace your grad school applications:
Make sure you know the requirements and deadlines for your program!
Graduate admissions are less standardized than undergraduate ones. So, make sure you know the application materials that each school wants from you and when they want them. Believe it or not, it’s not that fun realizing you have to write an extra essay you didn’t know about.
Ask for recommendation letters
Graduate schools will often require two or three recommendation letters, so it’s important to figure out which of your professors or former/current employers you’d like to speak on your behalf well in advance.
Make sure to be polite when asking for recommendation letters. This is a big favor that your recommendation writer doesn’t necessarily owe you. Give your writers at least two weeks’ time before you’d like them to turn in the letter. Also, you might want to show them an updated resume of yours so they know what you’ve been up to professionally since they supervised you. When they submit your letter, make sure to thank them profusely.
Study up and take your GRE
Make sure to study smart before you take your GRE. However, research if your hopeful graduate school you’re applying for offers a waiver that allows you to skip the test. For example, if you went to UH for your undergraduate degree and meet certain requirements, UH graduate programs will offer you a GRE waiver.
Request your transcripts from every college you’ve previously attended ahead of deadline
Sometimes transcripts can take longer than you’d like to be processed. So, make sure you request each one from every previous college you’ve attended well in advance.
Create a resume that shows off your academic and professional experience that prepares you for this grad program
Some graduate school applications require explanations about your employment or volunteer experience. Having a resume ready that shows off all of your professional and academic achievements comes in handy.
Write your personal statement
A personal statement for graduate school admissions is an essay that explains why you’re a perfect fit for the program you’re applying for. This is your time to talk about your passion for what you’ll be studying, why you’re applying for this specific program at this school, your qualifications and experience in the area you’ll be studying, and your goals during the program and after your graduate from it. Spend a good amount of time working on this essay. Don’t be afraid to give it a hefty amount of rewrites and edits.
Some programs might ask for samples of your work or research
Select the examples that best show off your capabilities for the program and that you’re most proud of. If you can, have your professor or employer familiar with the project or subject matter review it just in case.
Triple check all of the application steps and documents you’ve submitted
We’re all humans, and we all certainly make typos. To show that you care about every detail of your application, spend some time carefully rereading everything you’re submitting.
Submit your work and wait!
Congratulations, you’re done! Don’t forget to accept your admission if you receive acceptance into the program.