The Admissions Process
 
 
 
 
The Admissions Process

No uniform procedure exists for graduate admissions in the United States. The graduate admissions office almost always shares the responsibility for admissions with the academic departments, and most commonly there is a graduate admissions committee for each department made up of faculty members and graduate admissions office staff. However, the roles and the relative authority of the graduate admissions office and the academic departments, as well as the relationship between them, vary markedly from institution to institution. To make your admissions experience more positive, it is a good idea from the beginning of the process to network with both the graduate admissions office and your specific department of interest. Develop a clear understanding of the institution's general admission requirements and the department's academic and research objectives to see if they match your personal and professional goals.

In addition to the match between the strength of your application and the admissions standard of a school or department, two other factors may influence your chances of admission. First, graduate student research may be highly specialized and dependent on the availability of a faculty member who shares a student's interest, and on resources available in the department. A department may suggest that you be admitted because your research interests match well with those of a particular faculty member, or may advise against admission because faculty members and resources for your research are lacking. Secondly, since faculty members review applications to decide who should receive any available research or teaching assistantships, departments often look for applicants who can teach or do research in particular areas.
 
 
 
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