Preparing a strong application that demonstrates how a student is capable of meeting the expectations and demands of graduate school is critical during the admissions process. There are multiple components to a graduate school application and schools vary in what information and documentation they require to complete an application.

The majority of colleges and universities request personal identification information, transcripts from all schools attended, a resume or curriculum vitae, personal statement and standardized test scores. Applicants may also be invited for an interview with faculty members as part of the process as an opportunity to present how their qualifications match the school’s offerings and to clarify any concerns they have.

The focus of an essay is often in response to a specific question, or a generalized statement regarding a prospective student’s interest in the program, what makes them qualified to succeed in graduate school and an explanation of future career goals. When discussing future career goals applicants should examine how the educational curriculum at a college will assist them in achieving their goals.

Students may reflect on how their bachelor degree programs contributed to helping them consider the benefits and disadvantages in continuing at the graduate level. The essay would then expand upon the additional knowledge and experience a student hopes to gain through a graduate degree program.

Prior to writing the entrance essay it is essential to research the academic programs of interest at a particular school and highlight how your individual strengths, level of motivation and accomplishments make you an ideal candidate for this school. Ensuring that the essay response answers the question posed by the application is also important as admissions committees utilize the essay as a way to learn more about each applicant and how it is written demonstrates writing ability and critical thinking skills that will be required to excel in graduate school. Any examples you choose to include in the entrance essay should be specific and if possible, tailored to the objectives of the particular program and college being applied to.

Experienced career professionals often discover that in order to continue advancing in their chosen field it is necessary to return to school.