Thinking of following up your undergraduate degree by applying to grad school and finding a specialism? The fight for places at the world’s top graduate schools is more competitive than ever so it’s vital that your application is as strong as it can possibly be. But what are admissions staff looking for in a graduate school application? Here are some simple ways to ensure your application stands out.
Mention details about the university in your personal statement
Avoid writing a generic personal statement that makes no effort to reference the university or program you’re applying to. This kind of detail, along with the names of any faculty members you’ve met at events or any modules you’re particularly interested in, shows your commitment to the university while demonstrating you have actually taken the time to learn about what the course has to offer and whether it’s right for you.
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Have an end goal in mind
The working world might seem some way off still, but universities want to know what your plans are for after graduation. If you can show how studying this particular grad school program will further your career ambitions, it helps to validate your application. Universities would rather give a place to someone with a plan than somebody without one.
Applications can feel stiff and formal, but it’s important to remember to inject some personality and warmth into your writing. Your personal statement is the only real chance your application has to get admissions staff to relate to you on a human level, so don’t be too guarded and give them a sense of the real you. Explain how your interest in this particular field developed, what you’ve worked on in the past, and what you particularly enjoy about this area of study.
Try to meet university staff at fairs and other events
If you have the opportunity to meet admissions staff, current students and other individuals connected to your university of choice, you should almost always do so. Whether it’s at a university fair or another form of networking event, this is a fantastic chance to not only gather information but also make a positive impression. There’s always a chance that the person you meet at an event will be the person reviewing your application later on, and if they have a positive memory of meeting you then it’s likely to be of significant benefit to your application.
Want to know more about what top schools are looking for? You can meet some of the world’s best in the flesh when the World Grad School Tour comes to the New York Hilton Midtown on Saturday Sept. 16th from 12:30pm to 6:00pm.