Things to Consider when Researching and Applying
Quality of life
Size of the campus
cultural/recreational opportunities, internship opportunities, weather
Programs of study
Rigor of the curriculum
Tuition and fees
Teaching or graduate assistantships
Semesters/courses to complete the degree
Part time or Full time
Support Services (including McNair for TRiO students)
Facilities and infrastructure
Faculty’s teaching philosophy
Reputation of faculty
Live or online
On and Off-campus housing
Admission requirements and selectivity
Reputation of the school and/or the participating faculty
Job placement rates
Does the job you want require accreditation?
Is the specific program accredited?
Things to Remember
- Allow time Allow yourself plenty of time to gather the information you need, and to review, revise, and edit.
- Follow Directions Supply the numbers and specific types of material as requested. For example, an essay should meet the word requirements.
- Focus on content and presentation Proofread. Proofread. Then Proofread.
Nearly all graduate schools require:
- GRE or other standardized test scores
Even if the graduate programs you have identified do not require test scores for admission, they may still review scores; you may wish to take the test regardless. Some funding sources require test scores.
- Letters of recommendation
Ask the faculty who know you best and who can comment positively on the quality of your work. Letters from senior faculty in your prospective discipline carry more weight than those from faculty outside of your field or from faculty who are newer in their careers.
- Admissions essay(s), also known as a statement of purpose.
This is where you set yourself apart from other applicants and convince the committee that your experience and interests are a good fit for your prospective program.
- Other requirements
Some programs require materials specific to the course of study such as portfolios for art programs. Read every application carefully and comply with all requests.
Note that Interviews are usually reserved for finalist. Ask questions. You are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.