Applying to Graduate Studies


Application forms and transcripts-find out what is required for applying to most programs.


Applying to graduate school often requires:

  • Application form
  • Application fee (waivers are often available for low income students)
  • Official Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Test Scores

Personal statementGraduate programs often require some form of a written statement or essay as part of their application process.  These statements are sometimes called a “personal statement”, “letter of intent” , “statement of purpose” , or “graduate admissions essay”.

Typical personal statements are 2-3 pages double-spaced or 500-700 words.  Although there is no “perfect way to write a statement” here is a suggested outline to help you get started.

  • Paragraph 1:  A personal story that relates your tale
  • Paragraph 2:  Your achievements and interests academically
  • Paragraph 3:  Your relevant research and work experience
  • Paragraph 4:  Your Career interests
  • Paragraph 5:  Your interest in that particular school
  • Paragraph 6:  The qualities you would be bringing to the school


Letters of RecommendationAlmost every graduate school requires letters of recommendation as a part of the application process.

The following are some questions that will help you choose the best people to write your letters:

  • Does this person know you well?
  • Are they one of your “Professors”?
  • Did they act as your professor during your undergraduate studies?
  • Have they earned a degree in the field you are pursuing?
  • Have they been your supervisor in a job or internship that pertains to the degree you are pursuing? (e.g. Public Health, Social Work, Business Administration)
  • Did they know you in an upper level class?
  • NOTE:  It is recommended that you avoid asking friends, family, political figures or other similar contacts:  This may be detrimental to your application.


How do you choose a school?

It is critical that you select the right program and the right institution for your graduate studies.  This requires careful study, researching and comparing programs, and often a visit to the school.

Where can I find schools to apply to?
You are always welcome to make an appointment with the Career & Graduate Services Office here at Marian University or feel free to stop in and look over the library of graduate school resources we have available. We are located in the Student Development Center (campus location). Or, if that doesn’t work for you, there are also many great links available that assist you in graduate school search.

Useful Link: This is an excellent resource that offers tips for writing and critiquing essays. 


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