Going to Grad School: The Application


To be quite honest one thing I was incredibly nervous about was the application, solely because I wasn't sure what the application was going to look like. It had been over six years since I applied to college, and I honestly couldn't remember what the application looked like to save my life. Plus, since it's an application for a graduate program, I figured it would be a lot different from the normal college application. I was wrong. 

Essentially each application looks pretty much the same - they all ask you for very general information. Personally, I applied for graduate programs for European History so depending on the program your applications may look a little different. However the very generalized information should remain the same: where are you from, your education history, what program you're applying for, who you're looking forward to working with in the school, and what specific aspect of the program you're looking to study (for me it was cultural/intellectual modern European history). There's also a section on you standardized test scores - GRE, MCAT, LSAT - depending on which one you took for which program. 

The easiest thing that you can do is gather all your information before actually starting the application. Get together your scanned copy/electronic copy of your transcripts, your resume, statement of purpose, GRE scores, writing sample, information on the colleges/professor you would like to study under. If you have everything together in one place it makes it easy to go through the application portion relatively quickly. 

The last part of the application is the application fee. Some colleges have fee waivers if you apply before a certain date, but most you still pay the application fee (unless you're able to apply for a fee waiver). These fees can range from $75-120 per application. This is definitely not a cheap process, so you need to be sure that it's something you really want to do before investing in the application. Most have you pay online by credit card after you've submitted the application.

All in all the application is pretty easy and not something you should worry about too much. If you're prepared for it and have all the information gathered in front of you, it shouldn't take more than 30-45 minutes to complete the application. I would complete what you have in one sitting, then before you hit submit you take a day or two and then go back to review and make sure all your application to make sure that all the information is accurate before you hit the submit button. 

If you’re interested in graduate school and are unsure where to start, I’ve done a couple of posts describing my experience with the application and the process. If you are thinking about if you want to go to graduate school, need to know how to find a graduate school once you decide to apply to graduate school, or how I wrote my resume for grad school

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