APPLYING TO GRADUATE SCHOOL: SOME POINTERS

Undergraduate Research Program (URP), University of Delaware,180 S. College Ave. (302) 831-8995,UndergradResearch@udel.edu, website:www.urp.udel.edu
 
ADVISEMENT:
 
Find out what career paths you are interested in, which degree programs, if any, are required, and what qualifications are expected of applicants to those degree programs.
1.     Does your department offer a graduate school information session or materials (e.g., guidebooks, catalogues)?
2.     Ask individual faculty in the area in which you wish to study to recommend schools appropriate for your interests.
3.     Consult your department's graduate advisor (see list published by UR office).
4.     Visit the UD Library to:
consult graduate school guides (e.g., Peterson's Guide or guides published by professional societies).
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.

helpful links at this site: What’s Happening, Graduate School Information. Career Services offers strategy sessions for entrance exams in February of each year.
6.     Graduate Studies Office, 2nd floor Hullihen Hall (GRE booklets & guides)

Talk with UD graduate students in your proposed field of study; ask them to share with you their perspectives on the application process.

 

EXAMS (GRE, GMAT, MCAT, LSAT):
 
Mary Ruth Pierce, Testing Operations Coordinator, UD Testing Center (223 Allison), assists students in scheduling appointments to take entrance exams on campus. She can be reached at, 831-6717, or by e-mail: mpierce@udel.edu.
 
Computerized Exam: GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, PRAXIS are administered in computer format only and can be taken at the UD Testing Center. Prices: GRE - $115.00, GMAT - $250.00 (NOT GIVEN AFTER DEC 05), TOEFL - $140.00, PRAXIS I Combination- $125.00, PRAXIS I – one test - $75.00, two tests - $110.00, three tests - $145.00.
 
Written Exam: The LSAT ($115) and MCAT ($190) are administered in paper/pencil format only and can be taken at the UD Testing Center.
 
· Test booklets and information are available in the Graduate Studies Office, Hullihen Hall, Rm. 234 (831-2129), as well as at the Testing Center (223 Allison).

· 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.

 · If your native language is not English and you plan to study at an American graduate school, you may need to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Information is available at the English Language Institute, 831-2674.
 
APPLYING TO GRADUATE SCHOOLS:
 
Most schools admit students only in the fall, a few in both spring and fall, and fewer still have rolling admissions. During your Junior year determine the deadlines for schools in which you are interested.
1.     As soon as you know you are interested in a school, send for an application form. Do this over summer and early fall. Aim to return the completed application to the graduate school as early as mid-November of your Senior year. (Deadlines range from October to April.). Many schools have their application online and it can be submitted directly to the appropriate office once your information is typed in. Recommendation letters and transcripts will still need to be submitted separately.
2.     Curriculum vitae
Get a sample academic resume from MBNA Career Services or your department.
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.
3.     Personal Statement
Do not use a lot of space to talk about your childhood and adolescence; concentrate on your undergraduate years and relevant work or research experience.
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.
4.     Letters of Recommendation
Request recommendation letters from faculty in your academic field who know you well. You may also request letters from relevant work supervisors.
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.
5.     Visiting Schools
If you can, try to visit the schools you most want to attend to meet faculty and graduate students.
(revised 9/08)