You have some dream colleges in your mind, and you want to apply a graduate program in these colleges. However, you don’t know where to start and which documents you need. Don’t worry! In this post, I will try to explain graduate programme application procedure by providing an example.
The first thing you need to decide is which department you want to apply. Sometimes, there are more than one department related to your research interest. If this is the case, you can check your professor of interest’s department and courses given by the departments.
Let’s look at an example application. Suppose that you are interested in robotics and you want to consider University of Washington’s graduate programme. There are several departments related to robotics like Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science Department or Mechanical Engineering. Some universities even has special Robotics Ph.D. programme like Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).
First of all, search University of Washington Robotics in Google and visit the corresponding website.
We have learned that Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering Department seems to have has various labs related to robotics. Let’s proceed further to find out specific graduate program.
Click Research & Innovation button at the top.
In the new Research & Innovation Tab, click graduate program link.
Now you can see general information such as how many students are admitted to this program, application deadline etc.
Unfortunately, we haven’t seen required documents and minimum requirements for this graduate program yet. Click Admissions Tab at the top.
Yey! This is the place that we are looking for. As you can see there is a link APPLY NOW at the end of Overview section. You will be applying using this link, but before we need to learn minimum requirements to apply this program. For this purpose, click Prerequisites tab.
As you can see in this page the requirements are:
- The completion of a bachelor’s degree and a 3.0 GPA in the latest two years
- The average GRE scores of recent applicants were: Verbal 83% (including international applicants), Quantitative 93%, and Analytical 61%
- Some courses you should took during your undergraduate time like data structures, discrete math, automata theory etc.
- For international students: The minimum TOEFL-iBT score is 80, including at least 26 on the Speaking section of the test.
Let’s check Required Materials section.
You can clearly see all the required materials in this webpage with all necessary information. Generally required documents for a graduate program is typical. For this case they are:
- Statement of Purpose (SOP)
- Curriculum Vitae (CV)
- Three Letters of Recommendation
- List of Faculty Interest (Professors of Interest)
- GRE Score
- TOEFL Score
- Unofficial Transcript
- Application Fee
NOTE: Unfortunately you need to pay an application fee for almost all the graduate applications to colleges in USA :(. You will pay this fee at the end of your application (after submitting everything).
If you have any questions in your mind, don’t forget to check Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section. You are going to realize that almost all the questions in your mind are answered here.
Now you know all the necessary documents and conditions to apply. Go Overview part and click Apply Now button.
Each university has different websites for application, but everything is almost same. You are going to create a profile in the university’s application portal. In this portal, you are going to choose the exact program you want to apply, and you need to fill many information about yourself and your education. This portal also provides you to upload necessary documents.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please be aware of the fact that even filling forms in the application websites for the universities takes a lot of time. For example, if you are going to apply for a graduate school directly after undergraduate, you will need to do this applications in your last year as an undergraduate student. Therefore, don’t fill forms late since you don’t want to spend significant time for this in your exam week. My biggest advice for you guys is that you should fill the forms for the universities that you are planning to apply for a graduate program whenever you have time. Even if you haven’t taken the TOEFL or the GRE it doesn’t matter. You can still fill the forms. Moreover, you can also fill the forms for the schools that you might apply, but you are not sure. If you don’t submit the application then it will not be processed. All of this will save lots of time. Trust me!
Depending on the applied university and program, the process and documents may vary, but more or the less it is the same. Regarding the applications you can see my other posts:
That’s all for this post. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to use comment section. I wish you will be accepted to your dream school!