After having decided where and when to apply, your next step
is to obtain application forms from the various schools that
you've selected. Call the admissions offices around July and have
them put you on their mailing lists. Also check the school's Web
site. Many have downloadable applications.
Once the applications begin arriving, you'll notice one thing
quickly: No two applications are exactly alike. But despite their
differences, most follow a general pattern with variations on the
same kinds of questions.
A Marketing Tool
When it comes to applying to graduate school, think of yourself
as "the product." Your application is your marketing document.
Marketing yourself doesn't mean that you should lie or even
embellish the facts. It simply means that you need to make a
lucid and convincing presentation. Everything on your application
should contribute to an overall picture of yourself that clearly
demonstrates that you belong in the class and will make a solid
contribution to the learning of your peers. Sell yourself.
Your application should be as clear as possible, typed or very
neatly printed. Use your full name on everything, even the little
cards and other trappings that schools often request.