Apply for Postgraduate Degree



Typical Application Components:

  • Biographical information
  • English scores
  • GRE scores
  • Transcript
  • Research and/or Professional Portfolio
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Essays/Proposal
    • Discussion of proposed research
    • Often, discussion of one or more research experiences

What are they looking for?

  • Will you be a successful graduate student and researcher?
  • Do you understand the research process?
  • Do you do your homework? (i.e., read the literature in your area, understand previous work, etc.)
  • Can you express your ideas well?
  • Is your selected area of research something they want to support?
  • Varies in importance depending on mission of funder
  • Are you one of the best candidates in the applicant pool?

Writing Strategies

  • Start early and get others to edit your work!
  • Write in a scholarly style
    • Make it clear you understand your subject
    • Cite references if allowed
  • Make it clear that you understand the research process
  • Clear hypothesis, goals, and objectives
  • Discussion of your planned approach with sufficient detail to show your understanding of the topic

Do your Homework

  • Do your homework and demonstrate your knowledge
  • Be organized and clear
  • State the important points up front
  • If research proposal, state your hypothesis and goals clearly
  • Explain what you will do and the logic behind your plan
  • Check spelling, grammar, and follow format requirements\ Friends, peers and even parents can go for proof reading/evaluation/iteration.

Recommendation Letters

  • Find a Professor  who know you well
  • Select a Professor   who will give you a positive reference!
  • Undergraduate research experience great opportunity to develop references
  • Follow up and make sure they sent in your reference letter

Research Proposals

  • Be original.
  • Research in your topic
  • “A less polished essay that shows evidence of the student’s own creativity is usually more impressive than a sophisticated plan that is not original.”
  • Be rigorous.
  • State a hypothesis
  • “The best research proposals…demonstrate that the applicant understands how to conduct research in his/her discipline using the scientific method”
  • Be clear and well-organized.
  • Italicize and bold your research question
  • “The best proposals… demonstrate creativity in thinking about research questions as well as communication and organizational skills.”
  • Is your research beneficial in a global context?
  • Narrow down your scope, show feasibility and do ability
  • Cite some related work