One of the "hidden secrets" of PhD admissions is applying to fellowships. I had no idea what a fellowship was until I started randomly searching on The GradCafe forums and discovered the sub-forum known as the "The Bank". The first thread that I came across was for the 2017-2018 NSF GRFP application cycle and I … Continue reading PhD Admissions: Fellowships!
When it comes to grad school admissions, the last two components that I want to talk about are GPA and the GRE. I will first share my thoughts on the importance of an applicant's GPA in PhD admissions specifically, then dive into the GRE. If you have a low GPA or GRE scores, this post … Continue reading PhD Admissions: GPA + The Dreaded GRE
A great way to initiate contact with a potential advisor is by introducing yourself through email! If you are applying to programs where you don't need an advisor lined up, then you don't necessarily have to do this step. However, if you are applying to programs where you are expected to have an advisor before … Continue reading PhD Admissions: Emailing Potential Advisors
Asking for letters of recommendation (LORs) can be a very daunting task. Why? Because you have no idea what the response will be. I was definitely nervous when I had to ask, but thankfully it all worked out! Here are things to consider when asking for LORs along with the email template I used: PRO … Continue reading PhD Admissions: Letters of Recommendation
The statement of purpose (SOP) is probably the most important part of your application. It is where you get the chance to discuss how your past research experience has influenced what you want to study in grad school and why the specific program you are writing about can help you reach your personal and professional … Continue reading PhD Admissions: Statement of Purpose vs. Personal Statement
One of the most important aspects of your grad school application is the curriculum vitae (CV). A CV is slightly different from a resume in that it mainly focuses on your academic and non-academic accomplishments related to your field. Another difference is that most resumes are usually one page, whereas a CV can be as … Continue reading PhD Admissions: CV/Resume
One of the biggest worries that students have when applying to PhD programs has to do with, you guessed it, money! The process can be really expensive and if you are sending out multiple applications, the cost can add up very quickly. What may help to alleviate these costs are…. FEE. WAIVERS. Fee waivers are … Continue reading PhD Admissions: Application Fees
A great way to gain research experience for PhD admissions is through REU programs. Research Experiences for Undergraduates are 8-10 week summer programs funded through the National Science Foundation (NSF) for students interested in science, engineering, and mathematics. Although these programs are mainly for underrepresented students in the aforementioned fields as well as those who … Continue reading PhD Admissions: Research Experience
When it comes to applying for PhD programs, I would say that your research experience, CV, statement of purpose/personal statement, and letters of recommendation carry the most weight in the eyes of the admissions committee. What carries less weight is your GPA and GRE scores. The GPA and GRE are normally used to initially "weed … Continue reading PhD Admissions: What Carries the Most Weight?
When researching programs, one way to keep track of all the info you find is to create a spreadsheet! I did this and it was really helpful in keeping everything in the same place. Here is a checklist of factors to include in yours (I will also include the downloadable PDF at the end of … Continue reading PhD Admissions: How to Keep Track of Program Info