What you need to consider: ((These should be arrow-links so the can
go down to the most appropriate title.)
- Extra Curricular Activities
- Interview Preparation
- Entrance Essays
Get a Good GPA
- Grad programs are highly competitive because most graduate programs (master
and PhD) have limited seats available. You will need a strong undergraduate GPA
in order to show the admissions committee that you are capable to succeeding in
a highly competitive academic environment. In addition, graduate school requires
a lot of fortitude.
- When faced with highly competitive academic environment, you will be
required to read, work and research more than you did as an undergraduate
student. In order to ensure you are prepared, you must have a
high GPA, or be able to explain your low GPA in your interview/essay.
Nail your GRE
- A high GRE score will not guarantee acceptance, but a very low GRE score may
guarantee rejection from most schools. You must prepare for your GRE enough to
score within the average for your target school.
- A good GRE score is one that will get you into the school of your choice.
- Many schools just require that you take GRE. Please check with both the
general graduate office and the office of your chosen discipline.
Get Involved in Extra Curricular Activities
- Applying to good graduate programs requires more than great grades. You also
need to think about extracurricular activities. Typical students spend so much
time worrying about GPA that they ignore the differentiating factors of their
personal lives and their applications.
- Successful people do many things, but they do not do too many
things. Admissions officers want students that are involved in a
few extracurricular activities throughout their entire high
school career. In addition, they want to see that you start as a beginner and
end as a leader. Leadership in a few activities is much more positive for your
application that pseudo-membership in many activities.
- Many top ranked graduate programs will require an interview. The interview
is your time to represent yourself as someone perfect for the program.
- You must prepare your interview questions specifically for each school.
- All programs will requite letters of recommendation. The single most
important factor when choosing someone to write your recommendation is how well
they know you.
- A recommendation must be from a professional that you have close ties with:
ideally your boss will write a good recommendation. It is integral that you get
along with your supervisor.
- Your admissions essay may be the single most important factor to your
admission chances. Your essay is your chance to explain who you are, what you
want to do, and how they will help you achieve that goal. It is your chance to
explain poor grades, to expand on work or life experience, and to make your case
for admissions. You absolutely must spend a lot of time
preparing your essay.
- Having instructors, counselors and private companies read through your
essays is the best way to get constant feedback. Your essay must explain why you
are the best candidate for admittance without being brazen or arrogant. You must
walk the tightrope between talking yourself up and being humble. This is a very
difficult task, but one worth taking the time and effort necessary to succeed.