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McNair Scholars Program

Graduate School Application Resources

Applying to graduate school is very different from applying to college. These resources can help prepare a strong application. 

Conducting Research

Participating in undergraduate research can give you an edge towards acceptance into the graduate program of your choice. Participation in the TRIO McNair Scholars Program is one way to develop professionally, but a number of other opportunities exist.

The Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry (OURCI) has several resources to help students gain mentored research experiences. 

In addition to a list of funding and research opportunities, they offer the following programs:

Writing Application Essays

Programs will ask for application essays; usually, you will need to write a statement of purpose or personal statement. Most graduate schools will provide instructions and page lengths/word counts. If they do not, find out if they have a preference by emailing the department. The Writing Center is a great place to brainstorm content or get feedback on drafts.

Statement of Purpose

Introduction

  • Who are you and what do you want? You need to capture the reader’s attention and make them want to find out more about you.
  • Make sure you name the program you wish to enter and why this is a goal of yours.

Relevant Experience

  • This is the longest part of the essay.
  • Talk about all of your experiences: classes, research, research assistance, presentations, publications, relevant work experiences, volunteer work, honors, etc.

Current Interests

  • What do you want to accomplish in graduate school?
  • What are you going to do when you finish?

Your Fit Within the Program

  • Why does this program interest you? Show you have done your research. Name professors you are interested in working with and why.

Conclusion

  • Remind your reader of your main points.

 

Personal Statement

Introduction

  • Who are you and what do you want? You need to capture the reader’s attention and make them want to find out more about you.
  • Make sure you name the program you wish to enter and why this is a goal of yours.

Your Passion for the Field

  • Talk about what led you to want to continue your career in this discipline.

Your Fit Within the Program

  • Why does this program interest you? Show you have done your research. Name professors you are interested in working with and why.

Conclusion

  • Remind your reader of your main points.

Taking Entrance Exams

Some graduate schools require applicants to submit exam scores. K-State Libraries offers a range of online and offline study materials. See their Exam Prep Resources page for access. 

The most common entrance exams are:

  • Graduate Managment Admission Test (GMAT)
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
  • Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
  • Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
  • Principles of Learning and Teaching (Praxis)