Applying for graduate school can be a stressful time. I have been applying for Human Resources graduate programs recently, and everyone who knows me understands how much I care about grad school since I have been talking about my application to every person I know in my life J Here are 6 tips that I have learned to nail your grad school application.
1. Take the test - Wondering how to start your grad school application? The first step is to take the standardized test that your desired program requires. Whether it’s the GRE, GMAT, LSAT or MCAT, it is important to prepare extensively for these tests as they are critical to your admissions decision. They are definitely harder than the ACT and SAT!
2. GPA - GPA is very important when you are applying for grad school because the admissions search committee perceives GPA as an indication of your long-term performance and potential as a student. Your GPA should be at least above a 3.0 to be consider qualified by the searching committee, so take your undergraduate courses seriously!
3. Statement of Purpose/Personal Statement - The statement of purpose is one of the most important, and most challenging, elements in your application materials. This statement needs to reflect who you are and why you would be an asset to the program you are applying to. It needs to make you stand out from the hundreds of other applicants. In this statement you should tell a story about how did you fall in love with research or how did you choose your major in the first place. Take your time while writing this.
4. Online Application Process - Don’t ever think that you can finish the entire application process within the last few hours before the deadline. Online applications involve uploading resumes, writing samples, grade reports and personal statements. You should plan well in advance and make folders in your laptop so that you can allocate resources wisely.
5. Letter of Recommendation - During the grad school application, letters of recommendation are almost equally as important as your test scores. Sometimes grad school searching committees will make a decision simply base on your professors and your supervisor’s comments on your academic skills and job performance. After all, standardize tests are only the very first step. However, making people trust you and showing your research potential is also very important.
6. Waiting Game - Hooray, you finished all of your applications! Now it’s time to sit tight and wait for your offers and try not to panic like I did in these past few months! It can seem like forever, but as long as you give your best effort, the offers will come.
If you ever need assistance with any step of the grad school application process, come meet with a Career Advisor on the 3rd floor of the Pomerantz Center. They can connect you with resources to make your application as strong as it can be. Happy applying!
-Written by student blogger, Feigu Zhou