If you are planning to go into graduate studies and get a graduate certificate for a Master's education, you must be prepared. Any university has the right to pick who’s in and who’s out – but it is not random. Regardless of fields of discipline, whether it be psychology or mathematics, all graduate school admissions applications basically have the same requirements – the transcript of records, the standardized test scores, recommendation letters, and an admissions essay. You will have to make sure that you have accomplished all of these components, as incomplete applications are not considered and are automatically rejected.
- Transcript. Your academic resume is reflected on your transcripts. These include your grades, GPAs, the courses you took and your standing as a student. This gives the committee for admissions a basis on how you fared as a student. Do not expect that a higher GPA would translate to higher rankings. Even if your transcript is filled with easy A’s, you’ll definitely fare lower than a student who has a lower GPA with hard science courses comprising his grades. You are not the one who is going to send your transcript to your desired graduate program. It would be your school’s registrar’s office that will send your transcript to them. You have to complete this as early as possible, as processing of forms and sending of the transcript may take at least two weeks to reach the recipient.
- Standardized tests. One thing you have to do is to take standardized tests on time. This is for you to have a guide in selecting the programs that will suit you. Also, make sure that your scores arrive at the graduate programs early before the deadline of admissions.
- Recommendation letters. At this point, it is time for the admissions committee to know you more as a person and the quality of your relationships with your professors and mentors. You have to make a good impression on your teachers. Search contacts with the members of the faculty, and explore experiences wherein you will outshine other students. Choose the best letter writers, since only those good letters can help you get your desired program. In asking for someone to write for you, be respectful and courteous. If needed, provide pertinent information so that you can help your professor write a letter the way you want it to be presented. Do not include friends, spiritual leaders or public officials as referrers, as they typically can't offer proof or real knowledge of your genuine passion and involvement in work that suggests your appreciation for your field.
- Admissions essay. This is possibly the only requirement where you can stand for yourself and express what you need to say. Be careful with the structure of your essay. It has to be creative and informative at the same time so that you will be able to introduce yourself uniquely and expound on your inspirations and motivations in applying for the graduate school and program that you have chosen. You need to declare in your essay why it is a perfect fit, in line with your knowledge, skills and training, for you to get the slot.
You have to outline things out. Consider your qualities and parallel your essay to what you think they are looking for. Explain your skills, experiences and accomplishments that can help justify the field of discipline you are trying to enter into. You have to focus on strengthening the point that your educational and occupational training has led you to deserve to access graduate education. Discuss how it will benefit you and how others (and their faculty) can benefit from you, in return.
The interview is not really a part of the application, but sometimes schools tend to observe more when they see the person face-to-face and see if it is a perfect match for them and the applicant to be in the program.
The first step in making your application and experiences shine is to seem irresistible to your dream graduate program. Most importantly, they want to see the potential for you to become an asset – an important element of their institution, in the industry and field that you belong to.
Who knows, if you are good enough, maybe they’ll scrap your graduate tuition. This way, you wouldn’t need to look any more for study grants and scholarships or loans.