Graduate Application Process

Graduate Application Process


The decision of applying to a graduate or professional school is very important. A series of essential steps need to be taken in order to have a successful application process. Please be aware of application deadlines!

Create a list of potential schools
Applying to several graduate or professional institutions will maximize your opportunities. In considering different graduate schools, find schools that interest you and have a degree program you would like to pursue. Begin your search by asking faculty members or your academic advisor to recommend different institutions.

Register, Practice, and Take the required tests
A graduate admission test is normally required for graduate programs. You should plan to take the test one year before your expected enrollment date.

Ask faculty members for letters of recommendation
A Letter of Recommendation is when your reference evaluates your traits, skills and capabilities in terms of your being able to perform particular tasks. Recommendation letters are important because graduate admissions counselors will be able to tell your academic potential and whether or not you will be a benefit to the degree program. In asking for a Letter of Recommendation, you should consider several professors that you have worked with closely. These professors could be a mentor, a research supervisor or a professor you frequently talk with and respect because of their knowledge base in your chosen field. Other quality sources for Recommendation Letters are internship supervisors, academic advisors or professionals you have worked with in your field of study.

Write a Statement of Purpose
A quality Statement of Purpose will set you apart in how it demonstrates your commitment to your chosen field, your experience within the field and that you are a diligent and hardworking student. In briefly discussing these things, you will establish whether you will be an asset to the program and your commitment to the program. A good statement will be:

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

Complete and Send your applications for admissions and financial support
You have reached the final and most important stage of the application process, turning it in. Most colleges, today, have an online application process which allows you to set-up an account and see the progress of your application. Some colleges do have a paper-based application option as well. You should review your application several times for grammatical errors, legibility and clarity. Make sure that your application is submitted well before the stated deadline to ensure your application is received on-time and, if there are complications, can be quickly fixed.