Standardized tests are used in combination with your other application materials to gauge your preparation for graduate-level work. Tests may be general or subject specific depending on the subject and program requirements. Determine which, if any, standardized tests you need to take and gather information on how often the test is offered, testing locations, and cost. For GRE details and registration information, please visit the Educational Testing Service (ETS) website.
Additional considerations for Students with Disabilities who are thinking about applying to graduate or professional schools include identifying which exams are needed, how far in advance exam accommodations must be requested, and which documentations regarding your disability will likely be needed for exam accommodations.
Preparing a well-written and effective personal statement (sometimes referred to as statements of purpose or personal essays) that clearly articulates your preparation, goals, and motivation for pursuing that specific graduate degree is critically important. You will need to spend a considerable amount of time and effort crafting these statements. For individual assistance with writing your personal statement, consult with the writing tutor in your residential college or the Writing Center within the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning.
Letters of Recommendation
Graduate programs will commonly require 2-3 letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation allow an admissions committee to understand your strengths, weaknesses, and potential from another person’s perspective. You can find more information in our Soliciting Letters of Recommendation Blog.
Program application forms are typically available on the program web site; you can also call the program to request application materials. Pay special attention to any directions given and complete application forms exactly as instructed. Do not simply refer the recipient to your resume; answer all questions completely and thoroughly.
Transcripts: Graduate schools usually require that you submit official transcripts from all institutions of higher education as part of your application. You can request your Yale College transcript online through the Student Information System (SIS) or by contacting the Office of the Registrar. If you completed courses at another college or university or studied abroad, you will need to contact those schools directly to request official transcripts. For courses taken abroad, you may be required to get a translation of your transcripts if it is in another language.
Resumes and CVs: Graduate programs often require applicants to provide a resume or CV (curriculum vitae). The OCS website provides resume samples and a CV worksheet that you can use as a guide when developing your document. Before submitting your resume or CV, you should have it reviewed by a OCS Career Advisor or Graduate Peer Advisor to assure it is free of errors and is effectively conveying your skills, background, and experiences.
Writing Samples and Creative Portfolios: Depending on your discipline, you may also need to submit writing samples appropriate to your intended area of specialization, such as poetry, fiction, or journalism. For those pursuing advanced degrees in performing or visual arts, you may also need to submit a portfolio of your work or audition tapes. Review the specific requirements for the programs you’re considering and speak with your faculty advisor or OCS Career Advisor, Derek Webster, to discuss your needs.
Interviewing: A graduate school interview should be approached in the same manner as a job interview. Preparation and practice are essential. Be ready to discuss your academic preparation and motivations for seeking a graduate degree, your specific areas of interest within the field of study, and your goals following your degree completion. Also, be prepared to discuss any internships, fieldwork, research, or clinical experiences and the impact they had on you. After the interview, don’t forget to send thank you notes.