Saturday, October 16, 2010

Documents Needed for Applying to Universities

This is early November and you have got your scores, GRE and TOEFL, you have your transcripts and recommendation letters ready. This is time to apply to the universities you have selected. As discussed in Introduction, one should apply to 7-8 universities which can be divided in 3 categories: ambitious, realistic and safe. One should apply to some universities which fall in safe list for him in the sense that given his credentials it’s almost certain that those universities will grant him admission with assistantship because you don’t want to waste one year in case you are unable to get admission to your dream universities.
Now that you are decided about the universities you are ready to apply to; recheck the admission documents especially the SOP and CV if there are some spelling mistakes or grammatical errors or some important information is missing. Find the deadlines of the universities which range from 1st of November to 1st of March or even later but be advised that only a few universities have deadline left after 1st of February so your choice set gets smaller day after day 1st of January. Most of the top universities have deadlines no later than 15th if January. You need to check the website of the university to find their deadlines.
In most of the universities the application can be submitted online.  For online application one needs to open an account on the university website. However, some universities may require to apply via mail. Some of the universities may accept online application but may require a recommendation letter to be physically sent to the department address. Remember almost all of the universities will require you to send your transcript to them via post before the deadline in order to view your application complete. So send these documents well before the deadline of application otherwise your application would not be considered complete and may not be reviewed by the admission committee.A list of documents that university needs:
SOP: Most of the universities accept online SOP.
CV or Resume: For most of the universities it can be submitted online.

Recommendation letters: Most of the universities accept them online however, some universities still require them to be sent physically. Most of the universities require 3 recommendation letters.
Transcripts: Most of the universities require one transcript. However, some universities may ask for 2 transcripts one for the department and one for the graduate school. So when you are requesting your school for the transcripts, carefully determined how many of them you will need.
GRE score: You need to order ETS to send your score directly to the university. You can find the school code on the university website or can find its code by its name on ETS website.
TOEFL Score: Again only official TOEFL score reported directly by the ETS will be accepted by the university. Normally ETS takes about a week to send the score to the universities so make sure you order them a week or preferably 2 weeks before the last date of submission of application.
Well… that’s it. Seal them all in a big and strong envelope and mail them a week before the deadline if you are sending them from within USA or send them at least, 2 weeks before the deadline if you are sending them from outside USA. Use a fast and reliable postal service.

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