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Graduate School Admission Applications and Writing the Personal Essay Rosemarie Sena Center Career Development Services The Application Process Applicants will usually be required to submit some combination of the following: Graduate Admission Test Scores (GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, etc.)

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graduate school admission applications and writing the personal essay

Graduate School Admission Applications and Writing the Personal Essay

Rosemarie Sena Center

Career Development Services

the application process
The Application Process
  • Applicants will usually be required to submit some combination of the following:
    • Graduate Admission Test Scores (GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, etc.)
    • Application Form with a Personal Essay
    • 3-5 Letters of Recommendation
    • Academic Transcripts
    • Portfolio
    • Financial Aid Forms
    • Application Fee
  • And may be asked to interview
hints for filling out application forms
Hints for Filling Out Application Forms
  • Make a copy of the form
  • Read each question carefully
  • Make notes on copy about what is being asked and about what you don’t understand
  • Call university/program with your questions
  • Have some one else proofread application for you
  • Word process application
  • Consider applying online
what is a personal statement or admission essay
What is a Personal Statement or Admission Essay?
  • The personal statement paints a picture with words of who you are.
  • It should NOT be a repeat of the information found elsewhere on your application.
  • It is an opportunity to tell the university of your choice why they should grant you admission.
  • It is important to convey enthusiasm, commitment, motivation, and determination in your essay.
personal statements and admission essays
Personal Statements and Admission Essays

Ask yourself

  • What’s special, unique, distinctive, or impressive about me?
  • What are the origins of my career interests? How did they develop?
  • What are my career goals?
  • Are there any discrepancies in my academic record that should be addressed (e.g., great grades but low admission test scores)?
  • What skills and personal characteristics enhance my chances of success in my chosen field?
  • What makes me competitive?
  • What have I learned about my field through internships and/or research?
guidelines and hints for the personal essay
What’s important is what you say and how you say it.

Be sure to answer the admission committee’s questions.

When appropriate, use a theme for your personal story.

Maintain a positive and upbeat tone.

Be honest.

Grab the reader’s attention in your opening paragraph.

Avoid potentially controversial subjects.

Remember the 3 C’s: clear, concise, and correct.

Proofread, proofread, proofread!

Guidelines and Hints for the Personal Essay
guidelines and hints for the personal essay7
Read instructions carefully — different schools want different items.

Be sure that you follow any guidelines for length and margins.

If no guidelines are given, go with the standard—no more than 2 pages double-spaced with one inch margins all around.

Try not to be too perfect or too idealistic.

Use real life experiences to illustrate a point—put yourself in the essay.

Guidelines and Hints for the Personal Essay
resources for more info help with personal essays
Resources for More Info & Help With Personal Essays
  • For more tips, a tutorial, & editing services for all types of graduate school essays:
    • www.essayedge.com
  • Common Business School Essay Questions:
    • www.princetonreview.com/mba/apply/articles/application/essayBook3.asp
  • Attributes of a Great Personal Statement for Law School:
    • www.princetonreview.com/law/apply/articles/application/essayBook1.asp
  • Tips to Get Started on the Medical School Essay:
    • www.princetonreview.com/medical/apply/articles/essays/tips.asp