Graduate and Professional School Application Documents
Each application document takes time so it is important to start well in advance of your application deadlines. Many graduate schools will not consider your application until it is complete. Consult your graduate program deadlines to ensure you are on track.
Most graduate school applications consist of the following components:
- Application form and fee
- Official transcripts from all institutions attended
- Test scores from the GRE, GMAT, or LSAT
- Letters of Recommendation
- Letters of recommendation are an important component of your overall application. Graduate schools typically request 2-3 letters of recommendation from applicants. The best recommenders are those who know you well and can speak to your professional goals and ability to succeed in graduate work. Typically, recommenders are professors, supervisors, advisers, or TA’s.
- After identifying your recommenders, schedule a time to speak with them in person if possible. In this meeting, discuss your interest and reasons for pursing graduate school, schools and programs you’re considering, and anything you’d like them to highlight in the letter. It can be helpful to bring a copy of your resume or your personal statement for additional information about your qualifications and professional goals. Remember that letters are written on a voluntary basis. If you sense hesitancy or they say no, ask someone else.
- If you are thinking of taking time off prior to graduate school, you should still ask for your letters of recommendation prior to leaving campus, when it is easier to connect with your recommender and you are fresher in their memory. Ask for a ‘general’ letter and keep them on file for future use.
- Personal Statement