Saturday, September 30, 2017

2018 Admissions Guideline: How to Prepare for Application Season

The fall academic school year is always a busy time for prospective students researching and gathering documents to apply for different graduate programs. We understand how overwhelming this could be, so we've created a list of some tips on how you can start preparing for the application season.

Tip #1: Relax

Trust me, we know how overwhelming the information overload could be. Most of us have been in your shoes at one point and we know this could be a stressful time of figuring things out, but my biggest tip for you is to relax, have a positive attitude, and take this opportunity to grow.

Tip #2: Visit the campus


If you're in the area or find an opportunity to travel to DC, Nanjing, or Bologna, come visit us. Stop by the Admissions Office to meet with an admissions representative, go on a campus tour, speak with current students, and best of all, attend a class to get a taste of the academic life at SAIS. Visiting the campus is a great way to know if a program is a good fit for you, and the insights gained by visiting the campus will help you craft your Statement of Purpose later on.

To RSVP for a class visitation, click here.

Tip #3: Attend recruiting events


If you haven't already done so, we highly encourage you to attend one of our many recruiting events throughout the school year. Every week, the Admissions Office hosts several types of information sessions on-campus, online, and at fairs located all over the world.

Click here to get a detailed look at all our events on the recruiting calendar.

Tip #4: Prepare for an interview

A unique part of the SAIS MA application process is the optional opportunity to interview with a current student as part of your application. These interviews are evaluative in nature, and offer candidates an opportunity to add another dimension to their application. Slots for these interviews fill up quickly, so we highly encourage you to check the calendar and pick a date as soon as the calendar goes live. For some tips on preparing for your application interview, click here.

Tip #5: Schedule your standardized tests


Depending on which degree program you will be applying to, you may be required to submit GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, and/or IELTS scores. If you are not familiar with US standardized testing practices, you may want to begin researching them this month because you will need to register in advance and pay a testing fee. It should also be noted that applicants can take standardized tests multiple times without hurting their application. The earlier you take the exams, the more time you have to retake them if you are unhappy with your scores.

Tip #6: Plan ahead for requesting letters of recommendation 

Thinking about who you want to ask for recommendation letters is a good way to prepare for the application season. If possible, it's always best to request a letter in person from someone who you know will have good things to say about you; however, if that is not an option, make sure you send your email request early to give the person adequate time to prepare a well thought out letter.

Tip #7: Research graduate school funding opportunities


Johns Hopkins SAIS offers a number of fellowships that students can use to fund their studies. Do your research early to make sure you meet the requirements and stay up to date on deadlines. Find out more about different fellowship opportunities here.

Rebecca Chun
Admissions Coordinator