Components of the admission application
Updated on Mar 20, 2017 - 11:16 a.m. IST by Sumita Vaid #United States of America
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Components of the Admission Application - The mere thought of applying to US universities for MA-PhD programmes is enough to send a shiver down the spine to the average student. 

Like any other intimidating and complex task, US graduate school applications too can be successfully executed if one clearly identifies the various components of admission application.

Test scores
Remember, GRE and TOEFL scores are only one component of your application and it is easy to get overwhelmed by preparation for these exams.  However, it is important to keep in mind that these scores are not the ultimate determinant of the success of your application. As, if not more, important are the other components of your application. They are the statement of purpose (henceforth, SoP), writing sample, curriculum vitae (cv), transcripts of your marks and recommendations from teachers or other relevant people.

Statement of Purpose (SoP) 
Start working on this latest by late October. Stay within the word limit specified by the department to which you are applying. State briefly and clearly what you want to work on, why you want to work on it, how you will do it (i.e. what particular place or archive or data you will examine), what is the relevance of your proposed research to your discipline and what relevant qualifications you have to pursue your research (such as language skills or technical training or prior research experience).


Writing sample(s) 
Again, start work on this by late October. Applications for an MA-PhD in the social sciences require one (or sometimes two) sample of your academic writing. This essay may be something you have already written in the course of your MA or may be something that you write afresh for the application. Be sure that it is what you consider the best example of your academic abilities. If the sample has nothing to do with the topic on which you are proposing to work, that is alright but do not exceed the specified page limit.


Letters of recommendation 
Make sure that you inform your referees (that is, those who will write letters in support of your application) at least 6-8 weeks prior to your application deadline. While choosing your referees, choose those teachers or employers or academics who know you well as a student and who will be able to reflect upon your abilities as a writer, thinker, speaker and person. You should offer a brief overview of your proposed research to your referees so that they are familiar with what you want to study and can incorporate it in their letters. Most universities require three letters of recommendation.


Curriculam Vitiae 
Your CV should contain basic information such as your date of birth, your marks (class XII, BA, MA etc), educational institutions attended, degrees earned, scholarships/fellowships/ grants, prizes/awards, work experience, research experience, publications, extra-curricular interests and achievements -- whichever of these you may have.


Transcripts of your marks containing a detailed break up of marks you earned in each paper in the course of your BA, MA (and MPhil, if applicable) and the exact title of each course you took are required. Usually two copies of each transcript are required for each university. Make sure the transcripts are signed, stamped and sealed in envelopes before you send them with your application. Start this process by mid-October since it can often be tied up in red-tape and bureaucratic paperwork.


Application form:
Each department to which you apply will have a link to its online application. Fill out each of the sections in the online form and pay the fees online through a credit card when your application is complete. Send the paper components (usually the writing sample, transcripts and cv, and sometimes the SoP too) of your application through mail or courier to the address stated on the department website. Letters of recommendation can now be submitted online by your referees. If you prefer to take them all in one go from each referee, you can send in paper copies in sealed envelopes.

In case you do not have access to a credit card, you can download the application form, fill it out on paper and pay through money order.  Be sure to mail the application at least 2 weeks before the deadline and keep a photocopy of the final application for your own records. Send your GRE and TOEFL scores to the department through the ETS. Make sure your application and its various components reach the department by the stated deadline, so mail/courier them well in time. You should receive an email confirming the receipt of your online application and later, an email confirming that your application is complete. Make sure to track whether each of your applications is complete so that you can re-send those components of your application that may get lost in transit.

So, between the months of September and December you can easily accomplish the various tasks that make up a US grad school application. 

Break it down into each of the steps described above and then tackle each step at the appropriate time. With this approach, you will be in control of the situation and not the other way around. Graduate school applications need not consume your entire life and can easily be executed well by putting in 3-4 hours a day.


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Showing 19 out of 19 Questions

How to get admission in university to do phd (computer science).How to approach university.Can i do Phd after completion of msc?

Ina 6th Feb, 2020


Hope you're doing well.

Yes, you can do PhD after completion of M.Sc, Even you can do Integrated PhD while perusing your M.Sc. For PhD, you must need to complete your masters in the same area of specialization.

Most Universities/Colleges offer admission based on the score of CET (like UGC NET) or conduct their own entrance test (like JNU) for admission into Ph.D. courses hence students would have to make an application for such exams.

For Reference of colleges here is the link:

Thank you.

All the best for your bright future.


Top Hospitals in the USA which will pay higher for Neurosurgeons and their Salaries?

Sanjay Khandelwal 25th Jan, 2020
It is difficult to name which hospital pays more salary to neurosurgeon in USA, it will depend upon which city you are getting recuited or where you are living. Salary will depend upon the hospital, whether they are big well known hospitals or small in size. It will depend on many factors. So if you can tell me the city i can answer further.

Top cities in the USA where Neurosurgeons are paid higher?

prerna vats 25th Jan, 2020

Hello dear student !

Salary of neurosurgeons is quite good worldwide, especially in USA . In USA  also, the salary differ as per the cities and is different in different cities. The top cities in USA , as per the data, where neurosurgeons paid highest are :

San Jose , California

New York City

Los Angeles



Hope this will help you!

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