If you are a student that is hoping to continue on from their bachelor degree to a deeper study of your subject, then this article might be of help. One of the significant obstacles I had to overcome in applying to graduate programs and post-graduate programs was figuring out how to apply to them. Every resource I looked at had little helpful information, and it was almost impossible to find a source on how to present a proper dissertation proposal. Although most universities are similar in what they expect from the potential student they can vary on certain points of the application. Here are some pointers-

  • Narrow down what you want to study- The move to a Graduate degree from a Bachelor’s degree is going from general studies to more precise and focused research. It will require more reading and more work than your undergraduate studies.
  • Make sure to have a good GPA and GRE score- If you graduate under a 3.0, then you are essentially out of the running for graduate school. This failure does not mean you can’t make it up through a good GRE score or if you are further pursuing your major in graduate school, you could have a 3.5 in your major classes even if you didn’t do so well in your non-major classes.
  • Find the university that wants to train students in your field- Depending on where you live you may have to move to attend the institution that will handle your field of study.
  • Observe their application dates- If you are a final year undergraduate, then you will need to prepare in the fall to submit your application.
  • Contact the department at some of the universities in which you are interested- Go and speak with one of the professors in your desired department so they can get to know you and you can show them you are serious about your future study.
  • Obtain recommendations- Make sure in your undergraduate years you have performed well and built a little bit of a relationship with some of your professors, so they will feel comfortable writing you a recommendation.
  • Submit a paper- Confirm you have one or two papers from your undergraduate career that were commended by the professor and may deal in some way with the subject you want to study in graduate school.
  • Write a statement of purpose- This should be one to two pages and concise. Make sure to write about why the university you are applying to is one of your choices. Include a paragraph about your past academic expertise and skills that will add value to their graduate program. Focus one to two paragraphs on what you hope to study and how you wish to use your graduate degree once you obtain it. Make sure to include a section that deals with your subject from individual scholars in that field and the work they have done. In other words, answer the question what is relevant about current scholarship in your field, and how can you add to it? Then let someone read it and grammar check it so that you are not submitting something that will deter the department from being soured by your application.
  • Here are some links for those who wish to apply to Doctoral programs-