Hope you all are doing well. Hopefully today I will be able to finish the series, yay!
The graduate school application consist of your personal information, transcripts, scores, CV, often attachment of publication and certification and essays. I will suggest you to draw a timeline because these applications take a lot of time and you want to be able to do all the steps in the best way possible and also making sure that all results and transcripts will arrived on time
I want to talk about this because I had some international friends that paid people to complete their application, we are talking of paying 1000$. First of all this is completely wrong and you should never do it. You don’t want to spend that kind of money on that, plus if the university knows that you pay someone you will received an automatic rejection and will affect your chances for a re-application. In my friend case the person didn’t even help at the end and retain the money. My friend applied in a rush and couldn’t apply to any of the schools that wanted because the deadline pass thinking that the person already submitted everything. If you are international and you are afraid that your English is not good enough, practice the language, read that helps a lot when writing, but don’t get tempted to cheat that will ruin any chances. You see that my English is not that good and I have so many grammar mistakes but I try. I will recommend you to do the same, try on your own to do the essays and ask someone to check the grammar errors or go to the writing center at your university and they might be able to help you with grammar and composition.
Take the standardized test before November. You want to maximize your chances and if you don’t do well and want to re-take it, you are required to wait at least 21 days, so take that in consideration.
For transcripts, depends on the program that you are applying because now they usually ask for a pdf version of it, which can be the official in some school if not you will need to scan it and make an attachment. I advised you to request it on advance if your university only have the normal mail version.
Publications, they might ask you to give a list of your peer-review publication, book, patent, etc. Sometimes they required you to attach them as well. For the certifications you might be required to list them separately. Where you can get these certifications? There are tons of online courses like Coursera or edX that they offer certifications ,also you can take extended education certifications in your school or your desired school. You don’t need or required to have a certifications in order to be admitted to a program. You often just do it because it is required for your job or you just want to explore a little more a new topic to see if it is the right one for you.
CV, you should have one and I recommend that if you don’t have it look at the page of your professor, they often are available or ask them to provide one for you that can be use as a guideline. You can also go to the career service and they can help you build one.
Essays, it depends on the school but it can be from one essay to usually three or four essays. You will see the following topics in the essays: personal statement (talk about you and how you get inspired to study that particular field), research statement (your research experience and what type of research you will be interested in conducting and maybe even with which professor) how your diversity bring something to the school (it doesn’t mean only you ethnic background but also situations that you pass, or your age at the time of the application, etc.) and also maybe one based on hard situation that you had suffer or if you are from a disadvantage back ground , if you need to explain a flaw in your application this is the part to do it and if it doesn’t have a separate essay for it include it on the personal statement.
Continue being inspired and inspiring others