Monday, September 30, 2013

If you are thinking about Graduate School or Professional School...

Dear fellow UTSC students,

Yes it's that time of the year: 
Graduate/Professional School Applications! Hurray!

(Panagiota, 2013) has outlined a very important guideline that would be very beneficial if graduate school or professional school is an option for you.

This is undoubtedly a tedious process which requires quite a bit of time and preparation.  However, it is definitely possible, and the following guide will equip you with all that you need to become a competitive applicant. Along with your general application, the following components are also required:

The Written Statement

This portion of your application provides information about who you are as an individual apart from your grades.  The requirements for the written statement vary relative to the school and program you'll be applying to. Topics may include: personal influences, compelling learning experiences, overcoming loss, meaningful travel, and volunteer experiences (Panagiota, 2013).  Take advantage of the services available on your campus and seek professional assistance to help write your written statement.

The Transcript

The universities you'll be applying to require a copy of your official transcript supplementary to your application. Make sure you request this from your office of the registrar well in advance, leaving enough time for the schools to process your request and send in the transcripts. You don't want to be in a position to have your application rejected because your transcripts were not submitted on time (Panagiota, 2013).

Letters of Recommendation

Two to three letters of recommendation are required to be submitted for both graduate and professional school programs. A recommendation letter provides information about you, your accomplishments, personal attributes, and experiences. Your academic strengths, research potential, and work experiences are all information you want to include. Note, that writing a letter of recommendation takes time, so make sure you give at least a one month notice to your referee, well in advance.  It would be wise to provide a guideline including all the information that you would like your referee to include in your letter of recommendation well in advance (Panagiota, 2013).

Curriculum Vitae

CV (Curriculum Vitae), highlights your scholarly accomplishments, i.e. academic resume. This is a rather time consuming process, so definitely take a look into on-line resources and use them as reference when writing your CV (Panagiota, 2013).

Standardized Test Scores

These tests are required for most professional and graduate schools such as: GRE, LSAT, MCAT, and GMAT. Make sure you write your exam early, either in the spring or summer session before you apply. It would also be wise to ensure that your scores arrive to the schools before the application deadline. In addition, note that the deadlines for the application process for the exams are well in advance, so pay particular attention to those dates (Panagiota, 2013).


Doing some research beforehand, and looking into the types of questions you'll be expected to answer would definitely ease the interview process and ensure your preparedness.  Book a mock interview with an advisor at your career centre.  If you are considering either graduate or professional school make sure you start early.  This makes you a rather competitive candidate (Panagiota, 2013).

Now that you have some information on what the application process involves, I'm sure you are all very well equipped to begin!  If you have any questions or concerns you'd like to address, feel free to book a career counselling appointment with us.

Just a friendly reminder:  Professional and Graduate School Fair is happening on Thursday October 3, from 11 am to 3 pm in the gym. Hope to see you all there! :)

Best Wishes,
Priya Antony

Panagiota, P. (2013, April 1). How to Apply to Grad School. Retrieved from

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