Application Tips: December-March, Senior Year
Listed below are five tips to help you meet the many requirements of applying to graduate school. (This list is by no means complete, but it is a good start.)
- Mail your application materials early. Many programs are on a rolling admissions system whereby applicants are assessed as applications are received.
- If permitted, enclose your reference letters in the application to avoid losing them in the mail.
- Order and send academic transcripts from all colleges attended.
- If you are required to interview, schedule a mock interview with a counselor in Career and Employment Services (CES) to practice. CES is located in Howarth 101.
- After mailing your application, check to make sure your file is complete, since many schools will neither process incomplete applications nor track down missing pieces.
Interviews are not required of all applicants. However, if you are asked to interview, approach it with the same degree of preparedness required of job interviews. Graduate school interviewers are assessing your ability to communicate as well as analyzing your reasons for pursuing graduate study. Develop a personal mission statement that helps you articulate your goals and how graduate school will enable you to further those goals. To sharpen your interviewing skills, make an appointment with a counselor in CES for a mock interview. Visit Howarth 101, or call 879-3161 to schedule an appointment.
Many graduate students finance their graduate school careers with a combination of loans, assistantships and fellowships. Networking is one of the surest methods of securing an assistantship in graduate school. Find a connection to your prospective graduate program, whether it be an alum, a former faculty member, or a friend of a friend. Locating opportunities is the first step in securing an assistantship. Research and teaching assistantships often cover tuition costs, and typically pay a small monthly stipend. In return, you provide between ten and twenty hours of work per week. Many schools have lists of available assistantships, although most are advertised by word-of-mouth in individual departments.
Puget Sound's Fellowship Office (Howarth 114, 253.879.3329) offers a rich set of resources and counseling about graduate fellowships and scholarships. Additional graduate school financial aid information may be found at the following websites.