It is a daunting process, the graduate application. However, although some vary on their documentation requirements, many programs require similar materials. If you are thinking about pursuing a graduate degree, here is the first stop for getting organized!
pause - a few things to keep in mind, first!
KNOW YOUR WHY
This sounds obvious, but before sending off that application I want you to reflect on why you are wanting to pursue the degree. Here are some good reasons and some not good reasons for getting a higher degree! Not 100% convinced? That's okay - here is why I was questioning pursuing a doctoral degree and some things to consider before going to graduate school.
Thinking about applying for graduate school? Here's your go-to checklist! Have a solid WHY? Here is how I am going about three degrees with no student debt. Thinking about getting a PhD? Here is what to look for in a PhD supervisor.
LEARN FROM ANY REJECTIONS
Unsuccessful application? After the initial sting, contact the relevant department to request feedback. They might be gracious enough to give you specific advice on your application!
The usual general requirements
Grad school application form
A generic form either offered in paper or online format is required for all universities. This generally reflects the information normally found on a person's résumé or overall CV and includes personal details, grades, standardized test results (when required), volunteer services, and references.
Grad school application fees
Especially if you are applying to international grad schools, be on the look out for fees! If you cannot cover the fee, reach out to the admissions office who may be able to waive the fee.
Many universities require original academic transcripts but others find certified copies of transcripts to be suitable. Some graduate schools may allow you to submit copies to speed up the process, but will require originals to still be sent.
Statement of purpose or personal statement
Depending on the institution you apply to, it will be required you submit a piece that outlies why you want to study at the particular institution. It is here where you should blend of your personal and professional experiences - it is of utmost importance and might be one of the most vital pieces of your overall application.
References or supporting letters
All grad school applications require a minimum of two or three letters of support from referees. Who these references varies; some programs require only academic references, others only professional, but most accept a mix of both.
Grad school test scores
Although they are slowly being dropped from being a requirement for grad school programs, many still require one or more of the standardized, internationally recognized tests (i.e. the GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS or PTE) to be included with the above.
These are just some of the common elements for graduate school; many programs, especially international onnes, may ask for more including project proposals. Good luck!
Hi! I'm Melissa, an Australian-based Latina science educator, podcaster, and freelance writer. I spend a lot more time on Instagram and Twitter, but blogging is my first love. Thanks for stopping by — I hope you stay a while.
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