Application Process



    General Information

    Planning Guide

    Application Process

    Financial Aid

    Entrance Tests



    The decision of applying to a graduate or professional school is very important, but once you have decided, the specific steps in the application process are as follows:

    Create a list of potential schools
    In order to maximize your opportunities, you will need to apply to several schools or more. Find out about schools that interest you and that offer the degree you want to pursue. Start from asking faculty members to recommend institutions, and you can also find a number of schools in the School Section, which provides some useful links.

    Register, practice, and then take the required tests
    Schools generally require a graduate admission test, which you should plan to take approximately one year before your anticipated matriculation date.

    Ask faculty members for letters of recommendation
    Often applicants will try to impress admission committees with letters from a local politician, a high ranking university official, or even their pastor. They can say nice things, but they do not know you well enough. Find faculty members that know you well in both academic and school activities, and in out of school life.

    Write a statement of purpose and have it critiqued
    The statement of purpose often distinguishes between the winners and the losers. What sets a good statement apart is its overall quality and its ability to clearly articulate your potential for graduate study. A good statement will be:

    • Concise - say it as efficiently as possible
    • Organized - well throughout and structured
    • Clear - no ambiguity
    • Honest
    • Personal - write about you
    • Positive - sell yourself with positive attributes

    Complete and mail your applications for admissions and financial support
    This is in fact a very important part of the overall process of applying and you should not leave anything to chance. Complete your application, making sure it is neatly typed. Make copies of everything! It should look nice and should be legible. MAIL ALL MATERIALS WELL IN ADVANCE OF ANY STATED DEADLINE!

    Also complete all financial aid forms (some are separate) and fellowship/assistantship requests in a similar manner. While most students receive funding from their graduate institution, it is always advantageous to have outside funding. This funding may come from major corporations, professional organizations, special interest programs, or other sources. They often have Fall application deadlines and they typically require good grades and test scores. Contact these funding sources directly or check with your school for other sources. These funding sources can be found in reference journals at your library or on line at Web sites such as It must be noted that due to under-representation of certain groups at the graduate level, there is plenty of funding to go around. It is up to you to find your financial support.




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