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Found 9 results

  1. There seem to be a lot of threads asking the same thing popping up lately and I figured it might make sense to make an overall guide thread and then those who feel their answers still haven’t been adequately answered can post below for an idea of what their chances are. Here is a brief rundown of factors affecting your likelihood of getting into top-tier and well respected programs. If you fall below par in any one of these factors you can bump it up by being stellar in one of the others. I'll add to this if others point out other things I've left out. School requirements: Your first stop should be the school admissions website – this will tell you what prerequisites you need, give you an idea of GRE and GPA requirements and what work experience is expected (if any) GPA: From what I’ve seen/read over the years any GPA over 3.4 and you should be competitive. That’s not to say if your GPA is lower than 3.4 you’ll have no chance, but if you have a GPA above 3.4 you should be in good shape. GRE score: GRE scores seem to be most important for schools with demanding quantitative programs and for securing the top financial aid. Most schools will state the average GRE scores for their incoming classes on their website – use these to see how competitive you are. By and large you should be competitive if you score over 650 on verbal and quantitative and over 4.0 on the AWA. For the top schools over 700 seems to be closer to the mark. Work experience: For most programs it will be expected that you have at least 1-2 years of relevant experience in your field. This can be lowered a little if you have other pseudo-relevant work experience (management in the for-profit sector etc.) but you should have shown some level of professional interest in the area you hope to study at grad school. Applicants coming straight out of undergrad may find it very hard to get into the programs aimed more at junior/mid-career professionals such as Johns Hopkins SAIS and Princeton’s WWS. Language skills: For a lot of programs being able to speak a second language is a must, while for others it is just a very good selling point. If you can show experience working in a foreign language this will show adaptability and will endear schools looking to enrol a diverse group of applicants. Quantitative requirements: A lot of schools will want you to show experience in micro/macroeconomics and some maths/statistics courses. You can fullfil these through undergrad classes or by taking courses at a community college/diploma program. Overseas experience (work, study and teaching): Work overseas and study abroad are also viewed extremely favourably by admissions committees and if you have taught English abroad, worked in the Peace Corps or otherwise gained experience living in a developing country this will really strengthen your application. It also shows you to be a go-getter, and that you can bring this outside experience to grad school study. Statement of Purpose: This is where it all comes together. This is your chance to impress the admission committee and show how your personal 'arc' has brought you to this point - being the perfect addition to their grad school. This more than any other part of your application will determine how admit committees view you as an applicant and it's also one of the only application variables that's completely under your control. Having a cohesive narrative that brings together life experience, past academic history and professional experience is a must. It also gives you a great chance to showcase your writing style - so make sure no grammar/spelling mistakes make it into your final revision. Great list of SOP pitfalls If your profile matches at least 3 or 4 of the criteria listed above then you are competitive to apply to an MPA/MPP/IR program. What is most important about any grad school application is showing fit – that is how your profile matches the speciality of that school and its program. If you can’t articulate compelling reasons why you are a good match for them and vice versa, question whether you should be applying to that program. A note on applying to top schools: It is worth noting that nobody here can tell you what your chances of getting into a top program (Harvard, Princeton, Georgetown etc.) because getting into a top program requires a certain amount of luck as well as a great profile. Some people get offers from Harvard with a 2.9 GPA, but also happen to have singlehandedly retaken an allied command post in the Korengal valley. It’s down to who reads your application and what they happen to be looking for with the current application cycle. Spend time improving the elements of your application that you can (GRE, work experience, languages) and don’t waste time freaking out about the things you can’t change (GPA). If you’ve read all of the above and really still can’t tell if your application is competitive, post your profile below.
  2. All American universities publish on their websites the minimum requirements of their master programs. However, I can't find information about class restrictions for most universities, notably UCLA. Can a master student take more classes than the requirements of its program? Can students enroll in as many classes as they want? Can a student enroll in classes that do not belong to their department? For instance, can a EE student enroll in any CS classes?
  3. I'm a current Senior at a small liberal arts school and I want to earn my Master's in Secondary English Education in NY. The problem is that every program I look at includes a looong list of prerequisite "General Educational Core" courses in which I'm supposed to have credits before I apply. Here's an example from Hofstra:Artistic Expression/Humanities (3 s.h.)Communication (3 s.h.)Information Retrieval or placement exam (0-3 s.h.)Concepts in History/Social Science (3 s.h.)Language other than English (3 s.h.)Scientific Processes (3 s.h.)Mathematical Processes (3 s.h.)Literature, Analysis and Written Expression (6 s.h.)The problem is that my college doesn't have core requirements and so I don't have any credits in over half of these areas! All the other NY schools I've looked at, including CUNY and SUNY, have similar lists. I have a 4.0 and can get excellent recommendations, but will I have any chance if I don't meet these prerequisites? I was already planning to take a gap year and, if need be, take community college courses to make up the credits I need, but looking at this list I'm not even sure if I can take all of these courses in a year! Any guidance would be much appreciated.
  4. OnlyGodandAdComsCanJudgeMe

    Word/page count guidelines - SOP, Writing Sample

    Hello, I have a question regarding word and page count guidelines. Some Statement of Purpose guidelines say to keep it under 500 words, but people on this forum have indicated that it is not necessary to strictly adhere to these restrictions. Some program websites have also gone out of their way to say it is not a strict cutoff, while others don't specify. The same applies for word/page counts on writing samples. If this is the case, what would you say the limit is? For example, for a 500 limit, is 600 too far over the threshold? 700? 800? I typically follow the rules provided, so I automatically don't feel extremely comfortable submitting anything over 500 in this case. My current letter as stands is ~700 words and I am not eager to cut any of it down any further, but I am also hesitant to submit something ~40% larger than requested. Thanks!
  5. I'm a current Senior at a small liberal arts school and I want to earn my Master's in Secondary English Education in NY. The problem is that every program I look at includes a looong list of prerequisite "General Educational Core" courses in which I'm supposed to have credits before I apply. Here's an example from Hofstra:Artistic Expression/Humanities (3 s.h.)Communication (3 s.h.)Information Retrieval or placement exam (0-3 s.h.)Concepts in History/Social Science (3 s.h.)Language other than English (3 s.h.)Scientific Processes (3 s.h.)Mathematical Processes (3 s.h.)Literature, Analysis and Written Expression (6 s.h.)The problem is that my college doesn't have core requirements and so I don't have any credits in over half of these areas! All the other NY schools I've looked at, including CUNY and SUNY, have similar lists. I have a 4.0 and can get excellent recommendations, but will I have any chance if I don't meet these prerequisites? I was already planning to take a gap year and, if need be, take community college courses to make up the credits I need, but looking at this list I'm not even sure if I can take all of these courses in a year! Any guidance would be much appreciated.
  6. So - a few questions regarding the writing sample: should I include an abstract? Currently I am using APA style, with end notes -- keep?
  7. One of the universities that I'm applying to says that the writing sample should be 15-20 pages but no longer than 5000 words. This makes no sense because 5000 words is approximately 15 pages and most of my MA papers are still between 15-20 pages but longer than 5000 words. Should I strictly adhere to the 5000 word requirement or allow myself to submit a longer paper as long as it is within the 15-20 page limit? I emailed the department asking for a clarification about this and received no reply so I'm looking to my fellow gradcafe people for advice. That same university says that BOTH MA students and PhD students should submit a 500 word Statement of Purpose, which once again makes no sense for a PhD when every other university asks for a 1000 word one. Finally, I had another question about length requirements for the writing sample: If the writing sample is supposed to be no more than 20 pages, does this include the Works Cited? Can I still submit a paper than is 20 pages in length but has a 2 page Works Cited (making the document 22 pages in total)? Thanks in advance for the help!
  8. I'm very interested in applying to the Richard Gilder Ph.D. in Comparative Bio program through the American Museum of Natural History. I'm a recent grad from a top tier school with two majors and two minors, all in the hard sciences. I had pretty good GPA, about an A- average but just about an A average for my major GPA. 3.5 years of research experience. A presentation at a big conference and a publication pending (I'm like 4th author but it's still cool). I literally just took the GRE today and got a 153V and 160Q. I'm usually a super good test taker, like I got in the 99th percentile the one time I took the ACT in high school. I know my GRE scores aren't bad, but I was hoping to do better, especially on the Verbal. Does anyone know what a competitive score for the RGGS program is? If I could get my score up to 160 and 160, do you think that would make a big difference? Any information on getting into this program would be super helpful! So if you know literally anything, let me know! Thanks in advance!
  9. Flyers413

    Speech-Pathology Grad School

    Hi guys, I need some advice. I'm applying to grad school for Speech-Language Pathology in the fall. I got a 1020 on the GRE, my GPA is a 3.37 but I have made the Dean's List the past two semesters. I was a TA for a teacher in the field, and also am involved in research with two other professors. I am involved with a new club at my school, Operation Smile and have a leadership position. I also have a minor, Human Development and Family Studies. Please let me know what you think regarding graduate school. Taking time off to higher my GPA isn't really an option; I need to get started right away. Are there any schools that seem like they'd fit the bill and accept me? PLEASE help!! Thank you =)
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