Tips For Graduate Applicants – By Disha Jariwala MHA ’18

There is nothing quite like the crucial decision of going to graduate school; it’s a significant investment in your career as it shapes your entire future and decides the course of your life. Applying for graduate schools can be daunting right from the selection of schools to the GRE, catering the best statement of purpose towards your program and getting strong recommendation letters.

Here are some tips that can help you with your applications to graduate schools:

RESEARCH.  Finding the schools which cater to your needs and goals for your program is one of the most important parts of the application process. Read through the core courses and curriculum and figure out if it matches your idea of the program. If networking is one of the key components for your success in the program, then go beyond the admissions page and read about the student organizations, networking events, and field trips. You need to understand how the school and more specifically how your program works, to figure out if it’s the best fit for you.

ADMISSION TESTS & GPA.   By no means would your GPA alone determine your admission to a program. If you have already graduated, then you no longer have any control over your undergraduate GPA. Instead, you could focus all your energy on getting the best GRE score you can.

RELAX.   Be at ease once you have your final GPA and GRE score in hand, because now is the time that you work on the most crucial part of your application: your essays and letters of recommendations. A good letter of recommendation comes from someone who has seen you grow and learn, may it be at school or work. Your essay should focus on your strengths and all your previous experiences that have helped you make the decision to apply to graduate school.

BE INNOVATIVE.  Instead of talking only about yourself in the essay, describe how the courses and activities in that school can help you reach your short-term or long-term goals. This is when all that research about the school would come in handy. The biggest mistake you can make is to have a common essay for all the schools you are applying to, instead provide specific examples of what led you to apply to the specific school.

ALLOT SUFFICIENT TIME.  DO NOT wait until the application deadline to start filling the online application. Allow ample time because it is necessary to go through each and every question in the application diligently. You do not want to have any errors in the application because that would display your negligence towards something so important to you.

PROOF READ.   Make sure you follow all the instructions given in the application and read through the entire application at least 2-3 times before you submit to it. Having an error free application shows your attention to detail.

BE YOURSELF.   Do not get mired in trying to be UNIQUE. Being genuine and authentic in your application is far more valuable. Focus on how far YOU have come and where YOU want to go with this degree.

Just make sure you enjoy the entire process and let go of it once you submit your application, because you gave it all and you are done with your part. All you have to do now is wait for the RESULT!

Disha Jariwala

Master of Health Administration – c/o 2018