Tips for Assembling a Successful Application Dossier

Tips for Assembling a Successful Application Dossier

The EES Admissions Committee looks for three main qualities in an applicant: (1) a record of past accomplishment; (2) qualities that indicate potential for success as a doctoral student; and (3) a good fit with our program.

 

A record of past accomplishment:  The Admissions Committee considers each element of your application to evaluate your past accomplishments.  Your transcripts offer a clear record of your grades, but you may also wish to highlight an aspect of your past record or experience–not evident in your transcripts–in your applicant statement.  We accept students with Bachelors degrees, as well as those with Masters degrees, with no priority placed on either group.

 

Potential for success in a doctoral program:  A doctoral program offers rigorous training to become a professional research scholar.  Each element of your application dossier provides us with crucial information that helps us determine your potential for success in this regard.  In assessing your potential for doctoral study, the Admissions Committee puts considerable weight on your applicant statement, letters of recommendation, and writing sample.  In that light, be sure to obtain letters of recommendation from current or former professors, or others, who can speak knowledgeably and frankly about your scholarly achievements and potential.  And be sure to craft your applicant statement very carefully, as it is central to your application dossier.  Your writing sample is also an opportunity for you to demonstrate your critical and analytical acumen  and ability to synthesize data in a coherent fashion.  You can submit a paper you wrote for a course, a lab report, a published conference abstract, a published article, book chapter, or essay; or a chapter from your thesis. Please do not submit anything longer than 15-20 pages.Finally, the Admissions Committee regards GRE Test scores as one component in the overall application.  We do not have a minimum GRE score for admission, and have sometimes accepted applicants with low scores on portions of the GRE when other parts of the application were strong.

 

A good fit:  In a Ph.D. program, a good fit between an applicant and the program is essential.  Prior to assembling your application materials, be sure to identify several faculty members in the EES program who share your research interests and with whom you would be interested in taking courses.  It is very helpful if you contact those faculty directly as you are assembling your application, to gauge their interest in your work.  Please also mention those faculty members in your applicant statement, and discuss why the EES program and the CUNY Graduate Center would be an appropriate place for you to pursue your doctoral training.

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