Application and Fee - Make sure the application is neatly typed or written (preferably typed) and is mailed by the deadline. If the schools you are applying to have rolling admission, you should apply as early as possible as applicants are reviewed as their applications are submitted. Even those schools with a regular admission process like to see applications that are submitted in advance of the deadline.
Admissions Test Scores- Each institution has their own requirements regarding admission tests requirements and this information can be found in either the Peterson's or GRE's graduate guides. The GRE, GMAT and LSAT Registration booklets can be picked up in the Center for Experiential and Integrative Learning in Golisano Hall. Within the registration booklet, you will find the dates of the exams, pre-registration deadlines and one practice test. It is advisable to spend some time going over individual questions and taking more than one practice test. Test preparation books are useful and preparatory classes such as those run by Kaplan may be helpful, though costly.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE) - Most general graduate schools require the GRE General Test and many (especially programs at the Doctorate level) require the GRE Subject Test. The General Test contains a verbal section, a quantitative section, and two essays. The Subject Test measures knowledge of a particular subject matter. The General Test is offered on computer at any time of year, and the Subject Test is a paper and pencil test offered only on particular test dates.
Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) - The GMAT is required for most students seeking an MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree. The 4-hour test measures general verbal and mathematical skills. It does not test specific knowledge or achievement gained in a particular subject area.
Law School Admission Test (LSAT) - The LSAT is designed to measure abilities needed for the study of law and to assist law schools in evaluating their applicants. There are five multiple-choice sections assessing the ability to read, understand and reason; and one writing sample. The use of the LSDAS service is highly recommended as it assembles, in one report, all of the information required of the applicant by most law schools.
Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) - The MCAT measures the applicant's abilities in chemistry, physics, biology, reading and quantitative and analytical skills. There is one test in August and one in April. Applicants are encouraged to take the MCAT 18 months before entering medical school.
Miller Analogy Test (MAT) - The MAT uses verbal analogies to test reasoning ability. Some graduate schools will accept the MAT in lieu of the GRE. The test is given in NYS by appointment only. Check in the Center for Experiential and Integrative Learning for further information.
Official Transcripts - Most schools ask that an official transcript be sent from the Registrar's Office. The transcript demonstrates your receipt of an undergraduate degree, the courses you took and grades received. If you have taken classes or received a degree at another institution, you need to request a transcript from that school as well.
Letters of Recommendation - Letters should be requested early from either professors or employers who can attest to your abilities. Individuals who can speak most clearly about your abilities and accomplishments are your best bets. Admissions officers like to see specific examples about different facets of the applicant. The reference should include some statements about your skills, accomplishments and character. They can also be used to explain a negative in your application.
The Center for Professional, Service, and Global Engagement (PSGE) has a "Credentials File Service" available to students who are planning to apply to graduate school within five years of graduating from Hartwick. This service maintains your career credentials (unofficial transcript, letters of recommendation, resume, etc.) on file with PSGE and will distribute copies of them to graduate schools upon written request from you. Your credentials will be kept on file for five years and is a free service if you elect to set one up. See Gladys Freeland in PSGE to open and activate your credentials file.
Personal Statement - The purpose of the personal statement is to give you the opportunity to articulate your goals and reasons for applying to graduate school in your particular field of study. You may need to brainstorm before starting the draft on what's unique about you, how you became interested in the field, your personal characteristics and skills and your previous experiences. A good resource is How to Write a Winning Personal Statement for Graduate and Professional School by Richard J. Stelzer (Peterson's Guides,1989) located in the Career Services Resource Library.
Interview- Some schools will require an interview for acceptance. If you are applying for an assistantship or internship, an interview may also be required. If the school does not require an interview, it would still be advantageous to schedule a time to meet with a faculty member or chairperson of the department for which you are applying. This meeting will provide an opportunity for you to find out more information about the school and the program. Before the interview, you should read over the catalogue to become familiar with the institution's goals and functions.
The following are possible questions asked by graduate schools in an interview:
- Why did you choose this graduate program?
- What are some of the reasons that you have chosen this profession?
- What do you think it takes to be successful in it?
- Tell me about your experiences in your field of interest.
- Tell me why we should choose you over the many other applicants.
- What are your long-range goals?
- Describe three of your strengths and three weaknesses.
- What are some of the rewards and some of the frustrations of this profession?
- What was your most rewarding college experience?
- How do you spend your spare time? What are your hobbies?
- Tell me about yourself.
Other - Samples of previous work may be required for some programs such as Art, Architecture, Public Relations and Journalism. A portfolio can be created to highlight any work you are particularly proud of. Putting together a portfolio can be discussed with an advisor. Other programs may require evidence of previous work experience in the field. This shows your enthusiasm and interest in the field and demonstrates out of class learning.