Some grad school programs require applicants to have a 4 year undergrad degree and/or a degree from a specific disciplineSome schools may place more emphasis on grades from the third and fourth year“B” or “B+” grade is typically the minimum; however, many accepted applicants will have a much higher GPA Examples of professional schools: medicine, law, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, architecture, social work, etc. professional schools prepare graduates for specific careersRelevant experience may be measured by number of years
Examples of other supporting documents:Statement of research interestWritten sampleTell students that you will primarily focus on 4 components today: CV, personal statement, references and admissions exams
First, try to get a definition from the students.Define CV:A CV is a summary of your educational / academic background, applied experience, achievements and interests. In Canada, it is typically used for academic or research environments, fellowships or grants.Mention that in Quebec and some international countries, the terms CV and resume are used interchangeably.
A CV and resume are similar in that they are both marketing tools with the aim of showcasing credentials and presenting you as the ideal candidate.CV:No page limit; however, ensure that info included is relevant“Academic experience” typically refers to research or teaching related activities and details
Organize sections/content based on relevance and strength, for your program of interest
Provide a verbal overview for a majority of these sections (many of these sections will be similar to a resume). A few sections (i.e. more academic-oriented sections) will be highlighted in the following slides.Applicant informationOn the first page, include your name, address, phone number, and email address. Can also include a link to your professional website. EducationList all of your post-secondary education (e.g. degrees, diplomas), names of institutions and graduation dates. List the name of yourthesis title/project and supervisor. Honours and AwardsIf you have a lot of grants, you could create a separate section called “Research Grants”Research ExperienceOutline materials and/or techniques used,if relevant. List name of institution, professor, project, and dates. Teaching ExperienceWhere, What, When you have taught and your titles i.e.) teaching fellow or lecturer.Professional ExperienceAny practical experience that is related to your targeted program or position, i.e.) conference organizing, tutoring, committee work.LanguagesIndicate knowledge level of a language: native, fluent, proficient or working or reading.ReferencesMost academics tend to operate within small informal networks, the names of references may convey significant information to readers. Applicants tend to list their references at the end of their CV. Get: full name, title, institutional address, telephone address/email/ fax
Avoid listing published abstracts in with papers. List Abstracts as a separate section.
A personal statement is an essay that provides graduate admissions committees with insight about your personality, motivation for entering a particular program, and fit for a school. They also allow evaluators to assess your writing skills (i.e. can you articulate our thoughts in a clear and concise manner).
Review the Q’s you need to answer some schools provide specific questions, whereas others will leave the essay “open” to interpretationPen your 1st draft – content over style first draft, don’t worry too much about wording and getting everything to flow “just right”. Focus on flushing out your ideas (i.e. content); “write like you talk”
Academic background – how have you prepared? Convince the reader that you will succeed academicallyMake a good case for why you are unique and how your experiences will help you excel in your chosen program of study with your education. The reader should get a sense of your stamina, resilience, creativity, and other personal resources that would lead him/her to believe you could draw on these reserves to be successful in achieving your goals.
Research schools and programs to address why that school or program. For e.g.) is there a specific supervisor you would want to work with, a particular area of research that is conducted at that school, availability or resources, a practicum component that’s offered (for hands-on experience), etc.Look up research interests of supervisors – ensure they are a good fit with your own do this before contacting!Contact / speak to potential supervisors in advance (esp. for thesis based programs) can mention in your personal statement that you’ve been in contact with this individual and that they’ve agreed to act as your supervisor (if applicable)
Details, details, details – use specific examples to back up relevant experience
“Letters of recommendation should be from professors or other individuals who have been involved in the student’s education and research activities” (“Kisses of Death in the Grad School Application Process” article)Notify early, allow 2-6 weeks for references to write letterStress date you will apply by. Never talk about deadline. Avoid needing letter just before or after end of term
Materials students should bring or give to potential referencesSuggestions for letter refers to possible skills, experiences, etc. that the prof can highlight on behalf of the student
Q’s to ask to find out:If you can get a strong referenceWhat your reference might highlight about youIf your reference can get your letter in on time
Some graduate programs and professional schools require students to submit scores for admissions examsThe minimum scores required are typically indicated by the school
Tacky attempts to impress e.g.) applicant being critical of their undergrad program or giving unsupported praise for the grad program of interest
Mention that there are additional hard copy resources in the Career Resource Centre, if students would like to see examples, etc.
Grad school application essentials
Location: POD 60Phone: (416) 979 – 5177Email: email@example.comHours: Mon – Thu 8:30 am – 6:30 pm/Fri 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Career Development WorkshopsGet ReadyKnow yourself and what youwantGet SetPresent yourself with styleGOMake your move• Discover Your CareerPassion• The “Wow” Factor: Resumes& Cover Letters that standout• Job Search Strategies thatMaximize Results• Pinpointing Resources forCareer Planning• Interview Techniques thatLand the Job• Leveraging Social Media forYour Job Search• Grad School ApplicationEssentials• LinkedIn: Developing CareerConnections & EffectiveProfiles• Keep It Pro: BusinessEtiquette & Dress• Make it a Breeze:Transitioning from School toWork• Don’t Slurp the Soup! Tipsfor Dining Etiquette Success• Showing Achievements:Crafting an EngagingPortfolio
Agenda1. Introduction2. Curriculum Vitae (CV)3. Personal Statements4. References5. Admissions Exams6. “Kisses of Death”7. Summary
IntroductionSo you’re thinking about grad school?First things first…
DisclaimerGraduate school requirements and applicationswill vary depending on the program and school
Introduction• Undergraduate degree• 3 or 4 years• Often pre-requisite courses• Academic achievement• Minimum “B” or “B+” GPA or higher• Minimum GPA usually higher for professionalschools• Often emphasis on 3rd or 4th year• Relevant experience• Admissions exam (if applicable)• Grad school applicationGraduate school admissions requirements:
Introduction• Curriculum vitae (CV) or resume• Post-secondary transcripts• Personal statement / Letter of intent• References• Admissions exam score (if applicable)• Other supporting documents (if applicable)Grad school application components:Curriculum vitaePersonal statementReferencesAdmissions exam
Curriculum Vitae (CV)What is a Curriculum Vitae or CV?
CV vs. ResumeCV ResumeLengthContentUseFor employersoutside of academiaor researchNo page limitEmphasis on academicexperience (e.g. research,teaching, publications)Skills, experience,education1 or 2 pagesFor academic or researchpositions, grad school,fellowships, grants
CV: Tips & Formatting• Clear, well-organized and logical• Relevant and necessary info (concise)• Full name and page #’s on every page• Professional font, size 11-12 (body)• 1 inch margins• Consistent formatting• Reverse chronological orderWhen writing your CV, aim for:
CV: Possible SectionsApplicant Information PresentationsEducation Professional ExperienceHonours and Awards /Grants / Fellowships /PatentsProfessional Affiliations /AssociationsResearch ExperienceConferences / SeminarsAttendedTeaching Experience Travel / Study AbroadAcademic Experience LanguagesPublications References
CV: Academic ExperienceCombine research and teaching under “AcademicExperience”, if you have less experience.
CV: Publications & PresentationsPublications section can be divided into:• Books• Book Reviews• Abstracts• Peer-Reviewed Articles• Work Submitted• Work in Progress, etc.• Include dates, locations, presentation titlesFor publications and presentations, use appropriatecitation form for your field.Presentations
Personal StatementsWhat is a personal statement?
Personal StatementsPreparation:• Start early!• Think about your achievements, challenges, orobstacles – what makes you unique?• Speak to family and friends to get their views onyour achievements/challenges• Brainstorm and write freely• Review the Q’s you need to answer• Pen your 1st draft – content over style• Edit and write several drafts, make sure youanswer the Q’s that are asked
Personal Statements• Why you?• What makes you unique?• Highlight relevant experience, skills,qualifications, achievements• Research interests? (If applicable)• Academic background – how have you prepared?• Why that program?• Why that school?• Career goals (short and long term)• Address discrepancies (e.g. grades, program change)• How would you be an asset to the program?Topics usually addressed:
Personal Statements• Research schools and programs• Look up research interests of potential supervisors –ensure they are a good fit with your own• Contact / speak to potential supervisors in advance(esp. for thesis based programs)Additional tips:
Personal Statements• Interesting intro paragraph with a “hook”• Details, details, details – use specific examples / stories• Write clearly – avoid run on sentences and jargon• Proofread! No spelling or grammar errors• Avoid clichés• Avoid controversial subjects (e.g. religion or politics)• Get feedback from career centre, professors, individualsin fieldAdditional tips (Cont’d):
References• 2-3 references usually required• Notify references as early as possible• Letters from professors or professionals who canattest to your academic ability and fit for a program• Get reference letters from individuals who can giveyou a STRONG reference• Provide gentle reminders about application date• Send thank you once letter sent
ReferencesMaterials to give to (potential) references:• Transcript• CV or resume• Written sample• Correspondence with grad programs• Personal statement draft• List of other perspective references• Stamps, envelopes, forms (if applicable)• Suggestions for letterSource: Donald Asher, Graduate Admissions Essays
ReferencesQ’s to ask references:“Dr. _______, would you be comfortable giving me astrong recommendation for graduate study in _______?”“Dr. _______, what will you be able to say about me?”“Dr. ________, I’ll be applying by (date). Will you be ableto have the letter ready by then?”Source: Donald Asher, Graduate Admissions Essays
Graduate School Admissions ExamsExam TypeDental Admission Test(DAT)Dental SchoolGraduate ManagementAdmission Test (GMAT)Business SchoolGraduate RecordExaminations (GRE)Graduate SchoolLaw School AdmissionTest (LSAT)Law SchoolMedical CollegeAdmission Test (MCAT)Medical School
“Kisses of Death”• Damaging personal statements• Discussing personal mental health• Excessive altruism• Too much self-disclosure / unprofessional• Harmful letters of recommendation• Unsuitable applicant characteristics• Inappropriate references• Lack of program focus / fit• Poor writing and grammar• Tacky attempts to impressMajor grad school application turn offs:Source: Appleby, D. & K., Kisses of Death in the Grad. School App. Process
SummarySubmit a strong grad school application bypreparing well in advance, conductingresearch, and getting feedback from trustedsources.