Your application is one of the most revealing indications of your motivation towards graduate study. Often times it also might be the first impression that the institution will receive of you. It is critical that you are attentive to details and deadlines. Apply early!
- Download or request an application from your selected programs.
- Complete the application thoroughly. Pay attention to deadlines.
- File a copy for your records before sending.
- Confirm that the institution has received your application materials in advance of the deadline.
- Read the question and answer what they’re asking! What does the reader want to know?
- Write straight from the heart. Create a sense of your personality. Catch the reader with a bold or interesting opening statement.
- Include specific reasons for your interest in this area of study, highlights from your academic achievements (i.e. Independent Study), future plans and details of special and unique experiences (i.e. travel or community service).
- After writing your first draft, take a break and then return to it later for revision.
- Ask a faculty member, career advisor, and writing center tutor to review and critique it.
- Keep a copy for your files and refer to it in preparation for an interview with graduate school faculty members. Many interviewers use the statement of purpose as an opener.
- For details regarding requests for and costs related to obtaining academic transcripts, please visit Registrar’s Office
- Don’t forget to obtain transcripts from other colleges/universities you have attended, as necessary.
- Most schools do not conduct interviews, however; you may be invited to the school for a personal interview. This is your chance to “make it or break it”. For details on preparation for the interview, please review the Interviewing Guide available in Career Planning.
- Another opportunity available through Career Planning is to practice your interviewing skills in a videotaped mock interview. Learn how to market yourself and make your mistakes with an advisor rather than during the actual interview.
- Try Optimal Interview - An interactive interview practice program. Refine your interviewing skills from the comfort of you dorm room 24/7.