Applying to Graduate School

Check the boxes off your application process with confidence.

Applying to Graduate School

Wondering where to start with identifying what you need to do to have your applications ready? This resource will cover common questions and processes required to submit a successful graduate school application.

  • Application necessities
  • Timeline for letters of recommendation
  • Crafting personal statements
  • Sections to consider for a graduate school resume

It depends! Deadlines vary by field of study and each program. Review the requirements and deadlines of specific schools on their website’s.

  • Research specific programs, learn their application requirements and sign up for any required entrance exams about 18-24 months before you hope to start your graduate program.
  • Materials typically included in an application:
    • Personal statement
    • Resume or CV
    • Letters of recommendation
    • Transcripts
    • Financial aid information, and more!
    • Entrance exams scores (ex. LSAT, GMAT, MCAT, GRE)

Plan at least two months in advance of the submission deadline, and be sure to follow up with your references to confirm that the letters were sent on time.

How to prepare your letter writers:

  • A copy of your statement of purpose, curriculum vitae, or resume
  • A list of the schools, addresses of the recipients and the deadlines for submission
  • Stamped envelopes pre-addressed to each program’s admissions committee or email addresses if email is the preferred form

Your personal statement tells a story that conveys to the admissions committee why you want to attain this specific type of degree in this specific field at their specific university. Yes, that’s a lot of specifics!

  • Show that you’ve done your research about the field and their program.
  • Share your personal, academic, and professional experiences.
  • You have a unique set of experiences, talents, and interests – make sure you convey what you can contribute to their program!
  • If they’ve asked you to answer special prompts or essay questions, make sure you do that clearly.

The sections you choose to include and the order in which you choose to list them is up to you. Ask yourself, “What do you want the admissions committee to pay the most attention to?”

This resume might be longer, and more academically focused than a resume you use to apply for a job, and that’s okay!

Common resume sections include:

  • Education – Academic accomplishments. Sub-topics may include Research, Scholarships, Independent Study, International Study, Honoraries.
  • Academic Experience/Course Highlights
  • Research, Papers, Conference Presentations
  • Employment, Internship, Volunteer, Community Involvement, and/or Related Experiences
  • Activities – Campus or community activities that developed your leadership, time management, or other skills
  • Additional Categories – Professional Associations, Leadership Experience, Certifications, Foreign Languages
  • Schedule time with the Career Development Center to check in on the planning stages
  • Begin tracking the programs of interest, their requirements, and deadlines.
    • Reference the Related Links section for resources on how!
  • Connect with an advisor or mentor to receive additional guidance on specific fields and areas of study