Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Top 5 Things to Remember When Applying to Graduate School

It's never to early to start working on your graduate school applications! The Hopkins-Nanjing Center's early notification deadline is November 1 and the general deadline is February 1. As application season gets underway, we have compiled 5 tips to keep in mind. You'll find even more application guidance by clicking on the links below.

If you have more specific questions, feel free to reach out to the admissions team at nanjing@jhu.edu.   

Tip #1: Write a specific personal statement that clearly addresses your individual career goals. It’s not called a “personal” statement for nothing!
  • Admissions officers like to see that you have taken the time to become familiar with the Hopkins-Nanjing Center and can articulate how you see yourself and your career goals fitting in to the specific program.
  • Don’t waste this opportunity to tell admissions officers about your interests and career goals by rehashing your resume. In the past, we have had students write about lessons they learned from playing ping pong with a Chinese classmate. Another student wrote about her experience at a Chinese rural hospital. We encourage you to get creative! 


Tip #2: There are more funding opportunities than you think and fellowship deadlines may be before the HNC application deadline. 
  • Online resources such as Fastweb and Collegenet can guide your search for fellowships that apply for you intended program of study. 
  • Be sure to submit your financial aid application by February 1 for general admission and November 1 for early notification. All students who do will receive a fellowship if accepted, regardless of their program choice. You also may be eligible for one of our new fellowships
Tip #3: Go for quality over quantity for your letters of recommendation
  • You can submit 2-3 letters of recommendation. Don’t feel pressured to find a third recommender just to meet the maximum.  A good letter of recommendation should come from a professor, adviser, or work supervisor who knows you well and can speak to your specific strengths. 
  • Be sure to ask your recommender for your letter well in advance of the application deadline. Since many graduate programs share similar deadlines, chances are that you will not be the only student asking your professor for a recommendation.

Tip #4:  Submit a polished resume.
  • A resume should be no more than two pages, include specific experience and be personalized for your skills and your experience. 
  • The look and feel of a resume is important. It can make a difference to standardize the formatting and spacing on your resume. 

Tip #5: Proofread, proofread, proofread!
  • The last thing you want is for an admissions officer to have a negative impression on an otherwise great application because of a grammar mistake. It’s always great to have a second pair of eyes (or third or fourth!) on your application. Ask a friend, professor or colleague to look over your application.