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Graduate School Applications

The graduate school application section contains resources to help you through the process of applying to graduate school. This section contains an overview of applying to graduate school, words of advice on writing graduate school profiles to help with your decision making, drafting a graduate school personal statement, and the etiquette of requesting references. 

Please note, that these resources focus on applying to graduate studies programs in the United States. The information contained in these resources may or may not be appropriate to other contexts. 

Graduate School Applications: Overview

The resources in this section will help you prepare your graduate school application(s). This section includes an application-planning timeline, advice on researching and choosing a program, a summary of needed materials and how to develop them, rhetorical principles for building a statement of purpose, and suggestions for how to handle competing offers.

Graduate School Applications: Researching Programs

This section details what to look for in a graduate program--both on a personal and professional level. Personally, you need to consider location, community, campus culture, and other non-academic issues that will affect your happiness. Professionally, you need to figure out your research interest, map the field, research the faculty you’ll be working with, understand your funding package, calculate work requirements, and analyze research resources.   

Graduate School Applications: Statements of Purpose

The statement of purpose is perhaps the most important, and most challenging, element of your application packet. This letter 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 and yet stay within the genre-based expectations for a statement of purpose. This resource provides information on writing statements of purpose specifically for graduate school applications.

Graduate School Applications: Requesting Recommendation Letters

During the application process, much of the process is in the hands of the applicant, but recommendation letters are often in the hands of the recommenders. You can't control what someone says, or whether or not they'll meet the deadline, but you can make the process run more smoothly overall. This resource is designed to offer applicants advice on handling the occasionally sticky process of requesting letters of recommendation. 

Graduate School Applications: Writing a Research Statement

The research statement is a common component of a potential candidate’s application for post-undergraduate study. This may include applications for graduate programs, post-doctoral fellowships, or faculty positions. The research statement is often the primary way that a committee determines if a candidate’s interests and past experience make them a good fit for their program/institution. 

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