GREady: Get Ready for Graduate School

Do you want to attend graduate school? If the answer is yes, shift the gear in drive. This blog will help you 1) stay informed about graduate programs, 2) decide on graduate schools, 3) apply for graduate schools (including the GRE and personal statements), 4) prepare for interviews, 5) find funding and lots more. Although this site cannot guarantee a masters or doctoral position, it does promise that you will be a very competitive candidate for your desired program!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

What to do if you are waitlisted

Some graduate school programs have waitlist candidates that they feel will fit nicely with their program. If graduate school programs’ do not entice their top choices, they will often offer admission spots to those on the waitlist. Graduate programs might not even notify a candidate that he/she is on a waitlist and many times candidates never know. The tell tale signs that you have been waitlisted is if you have been waiting to hear back from your graduate school program for over a month and/or if you cannot seem to get a definitive answer from the graduate school coordinator or committee. If you believe that you have been waitlisted, do not delay but act so that the graduate program will absolutely know what a wonderful candidate you are and that it simply cannot go on without you. Here are following tips to use if you believe you are on a waitlist:

1) Send a new and current transcript. If your new semester grades are in (most likely fall), send it to the graduate school and graduate program. If there is any unique class you took, such as a graduate school level course, be sure to stress this.
2) Send another letter of recommendation. Perhaps you are conducting a new research project with a faculty member; let the graduate program know through a letter or recommendation. The more faculty members that support you, the better your chances of admission are.
3) Talk with faculty members from the graduate program. Before contacting faculty, read at least one paper he/she wrote so that you can meaningfully discuss his/her research. Faculty love to discuss their pet projects. Once you feel comfortable in conversing and it is at the end of the meeting, you can tell him/her that you are on a waitlist for that program. It is possible that he/she has enough academic weight to get you an admissions offer.
4) Programs. If you are involved in any summer research programs and internships, write the program a letter. This will strengthen the research experience you have in the field. Experience is highly valued in applying to graduate programs.
5) Awards. Receiving any accolades? Tell the program. This boosts credentials and shows the graduate program that you are an emerging leader and will contribute vastly to the program.
6) Apply for outside funding. If you have received outside funding, send the information on to the graduate school program. Faculty members as well as the graduate program committee are more willing to accept someone with funding so they are not dependent upon the funding from research grants like other potential graduate candidates.

Basically, you want to reinforce why the graduate program should accept you, demonstrate that you are a perfect fit for the program and school, address any concerns that the program might have raised about you, and present a polished and mature look. Remember as long as you are waitlisted, there is still a chance for you to win the graduate program over!


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