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UO App: Grad School

The University of Ottawa’s guide to … GRAD SCHOOL

Applying to grad school can be nerve-racking! The overwhelming amount of programs and steps discourages many 4th year students from applying to a Masters at all. While there is a decent amount of work involved in applications, as long as you start early you will have no problem!

First of all, do your research. There are many programs and many choices found throughout the world. Start with basic google searches, there are many sites devoted to exploring the many choices in programs that exist. Once you decide an area, make sure you research to find out what university would offer you the best experience. For example, check to see what universities have special departments or schools devoted to research your topics of interest.

Make a list of programs you are going to apply to, and find out the important dates. The last thing you want to happen is to apply to a university only to have missed an important date. All programs are different but in general Canadian universities require your application submitted in full during January. European schools work off of rolling admissions with deadlines reaching into April, so the sooner the better. Also make sure you research the deadlines regarding any pertinent scholarships.

Prepare your statement of interest. The exact length of your personal statement depends again on the program, but you can expect to be writing anything from 500 to 2000 words. This is your chance to really sell yourself to the university. Be careful not to make it too personal, but outline your accomplishments and achievements. This is also where you can explain any semesters where your grades were below average due to a sickness, emergency and so on. Have a friend and a professor look over your statements of interest to perfect it.

Make relationships with professors for reference letters. Every program requires references, some up to three academic in addition to three professional. If you have not build a relationship with any of your professors, now is crunch time. Ask your potential references well in advance so that they have plenty of time and research your program to see if it is an questionnaire or letter your application needs. Check out this past UO App on making relationships with professors: http://www.hercampus.com/school/u-ottawa/uo-app-building-relationships-profs

Finally make sure the University of Ottawa sends your transcripts to the schools you are applying to. Go to Tabaret to get this done and make sure you allow enough time for the schools you are applying to receive your transcripts before the deadline.

Good luck 4th year collegiettes with all your future endeavours! And even if you are in 3rd year. do not hesitate to start thinking about grad school, it is closer then you think.


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