APPLYING TO GRADUATE SCHOOL: SOME POINTERS
consult the Gourman Report (assesses graduate programs), available at the Reference Desk.
consult the catalogues of appropriate schools.
visit the Library's Financial Aid website for information on and a database for special grants and fellowships.
Talk with UD graduate students in your proposed field of study; ask them to share with you their perspectives on the application process.
· All students must take the "general aptitude." Many institutions also require the “subject area” exam.
· Allow yourself time to prepare for the exams; summer of your Junior year is a good time to study and practice taking the exams. Self-help books for this purpose are available in bookstores. For a substantial fee, you may also take "prep courses." For the computerized tests, each student takes a tutorial before beginning the actual test. For advice on how to review for the subject area exam, see the people listed in the "Advisement" section above.
List relevant courses, including independent studies, senior thesis, honors coursework.
Include brief description of research experience(s).
Include all relevant work or internships (credit/paid/volunteer).
Include honors and scholarships.
Include skills (foreign language/computer).
Ask faculty in your department to review.
Be as specific as possible about your academic interests and goals.
Explain how the program or faculty in the department to which you are applying are particularly appropriate to your own goals.
Do not denigrate or belittle yourself; this is no time for modesty.
Show first draft to people who know you well; show the next draft to as many faculty as you can get to read it.
Most schools expect a 1-2 page statement.
When you ask for a recommendation letter, spend some time with each letter writer reviewing what your goals are, how during the last few years you have come to have these goals, and what your thinking is in applying to the schools you have chosen. Leave a copy of your personal statement, your curriculum vitae, an unofficial transcript, and stamped and addressed envelopes with each person you ask to write a letter. If there is something on your transcript (such as a low grade) that needs "explaining," explain it.
Indicate if there is a deadline for return of the letter; check before the deadline to be sure each letter has been sent.