It's that time of the year...application time! A time filled with tracking down professors for recommendation letters, writing essays, sitting in front of your blank computer screen, and making the decision to continue your education. Applying to a doctoral program
can be is a stressful experience. It is completely do-able, however! I put together some tips that I hope you can find useful if you are considering embarking on the application process.
1) Don't be afraid to get in contact with people who attend MSPP. Although it might seem intimidating, it is definitely worth it! While it can be great to speak with alumni as well, it may be most helpful to talk to someone who can tell you about new developments in the program, general information about the student body, and other information.
2) MSPP’s application involves more than one essay. Really take this time to let the school know about you and what you can offer. The questions are unique and may seem daunting at first. However, this format shows that MSPP is truly interested in learning about you.
3) Check out http://www.studentdoctor.net/. It is a helpful site that provides an open forum for doctoral students ( and future doctoral students) to communicate about the experience of applying. It offers information about different programs, as well.
4) Although I just recommended that you contact others and converse, it’s also really important to visit MSPP first. You may find you have a completely different impression than the one you thought you had before when you read about it online, etc.
5) It can be difficult to find people to write you a great recommendation letter. Don’t find yourself scrambling at the last moment by making an effort to talk to professors. Also get involved in some form of research, clinical, or volunteer work earlier than your senior year (unless you plan on applying to a program after taking time off).
6) After you write your essays for the application, have somebody whose writing abilities you trust look over your work. They may catch some small error you overlooked (like copy-pasting a previous essay and having the name of the other school in the new essay).
7) Consider the location of the program. Will you be able to live far from family? Close? Endure long winters? Live near a city? Although the academic aspect of MSPP is extremely important, if you really can’t see yourself living in a specific location, don’t ignore that feeling. You will be starting an intense program and it’s super important to have support and feel comfortable in your environment.
8) Last but not least, breathe. If you don’t get in this year, there are always things you can do to bulk up your resume. Try volunteering, working, or applying for a master’s program.