| APPLYING TO A GRAD SCHOOL IN MISSISSIPPI
| Applying to grad school in the US is a great move for your future! The process of applying to grad school is similar from state to state. Therefore, the information on the application process below is a guide for students applying to American grad schools in general, and is relevant to grad schools in all states. For the most current and specific details, students should therefore also refer to individual state higher education agencies, as well as individual grad schools.
American grad schools are competitive, usually receiving applications from more prospective students than they can accept. Programs have limited enrollment, and admissions committees use both objective and subjective elements of the application process to determine which students are most likely to succeed and make positive contributions to the institution. Here are some basic steps for applying to grad school in any state:
How to apply
Step 1: find out what's required
Each grad school sets its own minimum admission requirements for all applicants, and the Graduate Studies office at a university is therefore a good place to start. Additionally, many grad schools in the US will ask prospective international students to contact the individual program department they hope to apply to for information on program-specific admission requirements. Admission requirements for international students and recognition of foreign academic credentials may depend on the country from which you are applying. Some grad school websites list international student requirements by country.
Generally, applications to grad schools in the US require a completed application form, official university transcript, any relevant test scores including language tests, a personal letter of intent detailing your academic and professional background and goals, a list of referees (people the school can contact for references about you) and, possibly, reference letters from them. With regard to your referees, make sure you ask permission before using their names, and give them as much information as possible about the application(s) you are submitting.
In terms of English proficiency, individual graduate programs may set higher language proficiency requirements than those listed in the general graduate studies admission requirements.
Students who meet all academic requirements, but do not meet the minimum language requirements, may be eligible for conditional admission. Some programs may also require specific program-specific entrance tests (such as the LSAT for law schools and GMAT for business schools) as well as standardized tests like the GRE. Check with the specific grad program department you are applying to.
Step 2: know when to apply
Most US grad school application deadlines are in the late winter/ early spring (anywhere between January and March, depending on the school), and university students are encouraged to begin their inquiries to grad schools and external scholarship sources at the beginning of the fall term of their final undergraduate year. Be aware that many graduate programs in the US have earlier application deadlines for international students, and check the deadlines for your intended program.
If your program requires a test, find out when the sittings are so that the scores will be ready for the application deadline. For example, many law schools require that the LSAT be taken by December for admission the following fall.
Step 3: submit your application
In most cases you can download applications directly off the website of the grad school you wish to attend. Some grad school applications are submitted entirely online, with additional documentation (as required) forwarded directly to the program office. If you cannot apply online, you can request an information package or paper application from the program that interests you. Leave plenty of time for the postal service to get application materials to and from wherever you are.
No application will be considered until it is complete. The responsibility rests with you, the applicant, to ensure that all documents (e.g., transcripts, letters of recommendation, test results or scores) are submitted by the program's application deadline.
When you make an application to grad schools in the US, you are required to pay an application fee. For online applications, the fee must be paid with a credit card. If you do not have access to a credit card, you will need to contact the program(s) to request a paper application package. For paper application, the fee may be paid in US dollars by check, money order or bank draft (make sure you know to whom it should be payable). The application fee may be waived for international applicants whose citizenship and address is located in one of the world's 50 least developed countries, as declared by the United Nations.
It is extremely important that your grad school application be complete, as informative as possible and free from errors. Fill in all forms neatly and thoughtfully; read all instructions carefully. It is a good idea to have someone read over your application and check for errors before you send it.