Graduate School Application

Applying to Graduate Programs

The application process for graduate school is very similar to the process you went through for undergrad your senior year of high school. Here is a step by step about the general requirements for applying to grad school. 

  1. You must find the programs you wish to apply to. You can do this via online searches to find Graduate School Programs and with the help of a professor that might know what you are looking for. Once you narrow down the list of programs you want to apply to, you can begin applying. Typically, people do not apply to more than eight or nine programs, as application fees are usually between 50 and 70 dollars each, and it can add up fast. Better to apply to programs you are interested in attending for sure and feel confident that you can be accepted.
  2. To apply, most school sites will have links on the admission page for graduate studies. There, you will select the program to which you are applying and fill out the application. This generally includes information such as your past education, response questions, personal information, and background information.
  3. You will also be required to provide official transcripts from any past universities you attended. That means that from any institution for which you received college credit, you will have to contact the school’s respective registrar to have your official transcript to the program that you are applying to. This can be a tedious process, and it is important to keep yourself organized.
  4. Most graduate programs will require you to take the GRE as a requirement for admission. This is a standardized test consisting of quantitative reasoning, comprehension, and writing. The test is scored out of a possible 270 points, and your score is determined by the percent that you answer correctly. This is the graduate program’s way of standardizing students’ education despite their applying from many different schools and locations. The GRE is more important for some programs than others, and many arts programs will only require you to report the comprehension scores if they ask you to take it at all. Similarly, more scientific and math-based programs might not require you to report your reading or writing scores. The test typically takes about three hours and is timed and monitored at a secure testing center. There is no material provided for you to study, however, there are test prep courses and books that might prepare you for the ways that the questions are asked. Ultimately, the GRE is important but not necessarily as important as your GPA or academic background.


Recommendation Letter for Graduate School Application

Almost all programs will require you to include at least two letters of recommendation. These are extremely important parts of your application, as a teacher’s opinion can make the difference between your being accepted or denied from the program. To decide whom to ask for the recommendation, it is important to keep a few things in mind. Think about someone that knows you well, and could accurately depict your interest in the program given your history. This person is most likely a former professor of yours that is familiar with your work and interests, and hopefully has your best interests at heart when it comes to the recommendation letter. The admissions committees will rely upon the recommendation letters as references from colleagues, other professors likely in their same field. Of course, the professor does not need to be associated with the subject or program to which you are applying, though it definitely helps. However, the most important thing is to have someone write for you that will be able to accurately depict your academic career and interests, and knows you well as a person inside and outside the classroom.

Sample Statement of Purpose for Graduate School Application

GRE Practice Test

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