Practical tips from experts

In this video, you will find first-hand advice from admissions team members from leading US universities such as Rutgers University, City University of New York, New York University and Columbia University.

Check out: Application Package for Master's Degree Admission

GradSchool Personal Statements

If you make sure that the personal statement is telling your story you can avoid the mistake of it sounding like a cliché. However, it should not be a repetition of your CV/resume. Your statement is your opportunity to reveal the experiences that led you to where you are now and gives arguments about why you are applying to graduate school.

It is essential that your personal statement be tailored to each programme you are applying to. This enables the admissions officers to make sure that they admit the right person.  Your statement should reveal that you have done your research and you know the school and programme. You should also illustrate how each particular programme will help you achieve your goals. A statement that the school is a well-recognised brand is not a sound argument that will impress the admissions committee. There should be a really good fit between what you want to achieve and what the schools offers.

There is always a word limit for the personal statement. Even if it seems short, graduate admissions advisers suggest that you plan about three months for writing it.

GradSchool Recommendations

Recommendations are a very important part of the application because they provide additional support and evidence of your potential for success in graduate school. Your recommenders are your advocates to the programme. You should select your recommenders carefully and make sure that they like you, know you really well and can comment on your skills for studies in a Master’s degree programme.  Follow universities instructions about the type of recommendations – professional or academic.

Check out: Who should your Master’s application recommendations come from?

You should inform your recommenders about why you want to pursue graduate studies in the selected programme. It is essential to give your recommenders enough time to prepare the letters of reference. Admissions officers recommend that you allow at least a month from the moment when you request the recommendation to the moment it is actually sent to the university.

Watch this video for more details and real-life examples of how to craft outstanding personal statements and get great recommendations.