The application for an advanced degree is an opportunity to describe your past accomplishments, express your desires and goals for the future, and attest to your strength and determination in meeting life’s challenges.
In addition to filling out a form which includes your name and address, test scores, and schools attended, you will need to write an essay, or perhaps two or three, depending on the degree and university to which you are applying. In this section we will look at some of the standard components of a graduate school application and some examples of each kind of written product. Some programs and universities require interviews, but for many, the essay is the one place where you are able to ‘speak’ about yourself in terms other than the numerical representations of grades, GPA and test scores. For some applications you will be required to include all of these written forms and others will require only a few. Still other universities may conflate the Statement of Purpose and Personal History or even ask you to address a particular question as a prompt for an essay. Knowing the requirements of the forms described here and writing drafts in advance of the application deadline, will help you prepare for nearly any kind of question you might be asked.