Tips to Applying
It’s important to know the components of a graduate school application before you apply, as the application process can be intimidating and time-consuming. The booklet Applying to Graduate School, Tips, Timeline, and Tools of the Trade as well as the presentation Preparing for Graduate School have a lot of information that can help streamline the process.
Most graduate school applications require completion of an online application and transcripts from the institution where you received your bachelor’s or other advanced degrees. In addition, you may be asked for a personal statement (or statement of purpose), letters of recommendation, and entrance exam scores (graduate.iupui.edu/admissions/testing.shtml). Not all IUPUI programs require all of these; it depends on the program so it’s important to find out the specific requirements of the program to which you will apply.
Check out the free events and workshops the Graduate Office offers throughout the year to assist you with preparing your application package and review the Testing page to learn more about various entrance exams for prospective students » graduate.iupui.edu/admissions/testing.shtml.
Interested in applying to IUPUI? Learn more about how to apply »
Tips for Writing a Personal Statement
- Research the program, school and university you are thinking of applying to. Address in your statement why you want to apply to this program.
- Follow any specific instructions the program has provided for writing your statement.
- Help the program visualize you. Let them know who you are, what you have done, what you want to do and how you see that happening.
- Display confidence and sincerity.
- Share your passion, interests, experiences and career goals.
- Show you have a good understanding of the field, that you have a strong passion or curiosity about the field.
- Take time to reflect on yourself. Ask what has brought you here, to wanting to apply to a graduate program? What are your career goals?
- Help the admissions committee see that their program is the logical next step for you and that you are a good fit.
- Address any deficiencies in your academic record but don’t dwell on them.
- Proof, edit, revise and repeat! Ask others to read it and provide suggestions.
- Be prepared to talk about your statement with the faculty and staff who have reviewed it if you are invited for an interview.
You may find this Writing the Personal Statement document helpful as well.
Letters of Recommendation
Tips for Gaining Letters of Recommendations
- Set up an appointment with your potential recommenders to ask if they are willing to write a letter of recommendation.
- Give 2-4 weeks’ notice minimum and tell them your application deadline.
- Ask people who know your academic qualifications, preferably professors, or supervisors who can speak to your aptitude for the profession.
- Provide your transcripts, resume, and personal statement so the recommender completely understands your goals.
- Provide instructions on how to submit the letter. Many online applications request email addresses and the recommenders are sent an email asking them to submit the letter to a certain link. This is how IUPUI’s application works.
- Send your recommenders thank you notes or emails.
- Let you recommenders know the outcome of your application.
The most commonly taken test for graduate school is the GRE (Graduate Record Examination). Others include the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test), LSAT (Law School Admission Test), MCAT (Medical College Admission Test), PCAT (Pharmacy College Admission Test), (OAT) Optometry Admission Testing Program, and (DAT) Dental Admissions Test. International students are also required to take the TOEFL exam to show English proficiency.
Tips for Preparing for the GRE
- Register and take the test early.
- Take free practice tests.
- Plan on 1-3 months of preparation time.
There are a number of businesses that offer GRE test preparation materials. Some of them offer free practice tests and downloadable software for studying. They also offer online and live courses with a wide range in pricing. Be sure to take advantage of all the free materials before making any type of investment in classes. ETS, the company that administers the GRE and TOEFL, is a good starting point. Also, find information on preparing for the LSAT and MCAT.