How to Get Into Your Dream Graduate Program
Applying for grad school can be stressful and overwhelming but I’m here to tell you that getting into your dream program is possible. I’m happy to announce that I will be earning my master’s degree in school counseling with a clinical mental health certificate at Johns Hopkins University. I still pinch myself when I think of it because I didn’t think I would get into such a reputable school.
My experience during the application process was stressful and I almost gave up on my dreams to go to Hopkins because I didn't hear back from them. At the last minute, God came through and I was called in for my interview; little did I know that it was all a formality because I was already accepted. I also got into the other graduate program I applied to so I'm here to share my knowledge on how to make yourself the best candidate for post graduate applications.
Here are my tips on how to get into the graduate program of your dreams.
1. Do your research!
I cannot stress how important this is. Research both the graduate programs and career of your interest. I read a lot of graduate program reviews, compared their ratings both nationally and statewide and looked at the graduation rates. I spoke to many professionals in the field I was interested in to find out what paths they took to get to where they are. I also chose to apply to schools that didn’t require that I take the GRE because, after my experience with the praxis, I do not want to take any standardized tests. I recommend you spend the bulk of your time researching before you begin the application process.
2. Write a banging statement of purpose
Make sure your statement of purpose directly answers the essay question. Do not turn in an essay that is not peer reviewed. Make sure you get other writers to read over your essay and give you feedback. Write your essay in APA format, proofread it a million times and follow the application essay guidelines carefully.
3. Get Great Recommendation Letters
Choose people who know your character and work ethic, or who think highly of you to write your recommendation letters. In college, most of my professors knew my name no matter the class size, so I left an impression on them (both good and bad lol). When it came time to ask for recommendation letters, I asked the professor who gave me an A to write mine because I was confident that she would write an amazing recommendation. I also asked someone from a leadership position from a summer program I did to speak on my social skills.
4. Grades are not everything
If you don’t have the highest GPA, do not stress. Grades are not everything for some graduate programs (Depending on the type of program you’re applying to). Most schools look at your entire package to see if you’re a good fit for them. Many schools also offer partial acceptances where you take non-degree classes for a semester to bring up your GPA, then re-apply to the program.
5. Sell yourself
When you go to the interview, be original. They have already seen your resume and know all your credentials so focus on selling yourself. Answer the questions professionally but be yourself.
I hope this information helps. Comment below if you have any questions and good luck!