Here you will find information and resources that will guide you through your graduate school application process.
Graduate School Application Resources
Científico Latino Project
The Científico Latino Project comes from a drive to increase the pool of minority scientists and professionals by creating a platform where everyone—regardless of ethnicity, gender, or immigration status—has equal access to fellowship and scholarship opportunities, and the chance to learn from their peers to becoming successful STEM professionals and other related fields.
This project will match you with a current graduate student in the same research field of interest to offer one-on-one guidance for your graduate school applications.
A thorough graduate school application guide can be found here.
MIT BE Application Assistance Program (BEAAP)
BEAAP is a volunteer-based, student-run program which provides assistance to BE applicants from underrepresented groups. Applicants are paired with a graduate student who can answer questions about BE and MIT, provide feedback on materials to create a stronger application, and guide applicants through the BE application process.
For most applications, you will be required to submit a single or multiple statements about your past experiences. A graduate school application statement showcases the academic and extracurricular experiences that make you a great fit to the graduate program you are applying to. Although the name of the statements are often interchangeable and include the same basis, there are differences between them worth ponting out:
Personal Statement, a statement that describes the personal motivation, challenges and major accomplishments that have influenced your decision to apply to such program.
Statement of Purpose, a statement that explains how your past experiences have forged your current interests and what do you expect after you finish the program you are applying to.
Research Statement, a statement that focuses on discussing your research project(s), including the research rationale, hypothesis, current implications and future ideas if you were to continue to develop such project(s).
Diversity Statement, a much newer statement that displays your commitment to diversity. Graduate programs seek to accept students that prove to be inclusive and supportive of underrepresented minorities in STEM.
It is essential that you write a statement that reflects your own process and professional development. You can always contact me for further advise and comments on your statements.
Lillian Horin and Tré D. Artis talk about statement differences and tips on how to write them in the following videos:
Ph.D Admissions Series: Statement of Purpose vs. Personal Statements
Ph.D Admissions Series: Statement of Purpose Tips
Graduate School Interviews
After the first round of submitting your application to the preferred graduate school programs, you will be invited for interviews. This interview session will serve as an opportunity to convey your motivation and goals in order to determine if the program you are applying to is the right one for you. During this visit (or video call), you may encounter questions such as:
- Tell me about yourself.
- What are your strengths and/or weaknesses?
- Tell me about a significant achievement.
- What are your career goals? What are your short-term and long-term career goals?
- Why are you interested in this research field?
- Why are you interested in this specific school?
- What are your plans if you are not accepted into graduate programs?
Even though these questions may seem basic and open-ended, you can use it to your advantage by showing your capacities as a potential graduate student. Use all the experiences you acquired during your undergraduate studies (coursework, challenges, lab work, extracurricular achievements) to establish a strong answer.
Here you can find materials that will help you prepare for your interview process:
Lillian Horin talking about Acing Grad School + Ph.D Interviews | 3 TIPS
WIU’s Graduate School Interviewing Tips
Accepted’s Grad School Interview Tips
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)
The NSF GRFP helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. NSF Fellows are anticipated to become knowledge experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering.
Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend along with a cost of education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution), opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose. You can apply once as a undergraduate senior student and once as a graduate student. Only US students can apply.
Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship
The Ford Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, maximize the educational benefits of diversity, and increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students. Only US students can apply.
Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans
The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans supports thirty New Americans, immigrants or the children of immigrants, who are pursuing graduate school in the United States.
GEM Fellowship Program at The National GEM Consortium
The National GEM Consortium is to enhance the value of the nation’s human capital by increasing the participation of underrepresented groups (African Americans, American Indians, and Hispanic Americans) at the master’s and doctoral levels in engineering and science.
There are three different fellowship programs under The National GEM Consortium: MS Engineering Fellowship Program, PhD Engineering Fellowship Program, and PhD Science Fellowship Program. Applicants must directly apply to a minimum of three GEM Member Universities STEM graduate departments.
Hertz Fellowship at The Hertz Foundation
The Hertz Foundation mission is to provide unique financial and fellowship support to the nation’s most remarkable PhD students in the applied physical and biological sciences, mathematics and engineering. Only US students can apply.
National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Program at the USA Department of Defense
The NDSEG Fellowship program seeks to increase the number of US citizens and nationals trained in science and engineering disciplines of military importance.
Post-Baccalaureate (PREP) Programs
A post-bac program is designed for those who seek a professional experience prior to their higher studies. PREP Programs offer research experiences, graduate-level courses, stipends and network opportunities. This program will serve as a transition to graduate school.
For more information on PREP Programs, visit the NIGMS Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program website, as well as the PREP Participating Institutions.
Visitation opportunities are offered on most schools, and often include applications for travel awards. Here you will find different visitation programs, though I encourage you to look for the equivalent program at your preferred school.