APPLICATION PREREQUISITES

No more preparing for the exams, congratulations! Now its time to apply to your dream universities.

A typical US university program application has the following prerequisites.

  1. GRE score submission (via ETS portal)
  2. TOEFL/IELTS score submission (via ETS portal)
  3. A Statement of Purpose, SOP.
  4. Letter of Recommendation, LOR (usually 3 letters).
  5. Original Degree (if already graduated) or Degree Transcripts (up to 7th sem)
  6. Application fee (amount varies)

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

A Statement of purpose shows your purpose of joining the university. Keep it concise, up to a maximum of two pages. You can use the following helpful tips.

Type 1

The non-fancy type of SOP usually written by most of the applicants.

Paragraph 1 – Introduction

What made you choose this field?

Eg. When I was 12, my grandfather gifted me a computer. Not knowing what a computer is capable of, I spent most of the time playing games. As I grew older, my interest shifted from playing games to making games. A keen interest in game development coupled with research led me to choose your university.

Paragraph 2 – Achievements

How are you different from others?

Paragraph 3 – Projects and work

How well can you perform in teams?

Paragraph 4 – Research interests

What research did you do towards your interests?

Paragraph 5 – Purpose

Why this university? Under which professor you’d like to work and why?

Paragraph 6 – Conclusion

What can you contribute to the university?

Type 2

Fancy SOP by out-of-the-box thinkers (or people trying out their luck to make up for their bad scores).

A lil bit fancy example: “I need a Masters degree to work for Valve, a game development firm. Only a reputed university like yours can help fulfill my dream.”

Eg2. “This is the best app I installed today”

“Hats off to the developer. My family loves this app.”

These are the reviews I got for my smart home Android application inspired by the work of Dr. James … I hope to work with him and be a part of the AI revolution.

PRO TIP: Sometimes you’ll only have to change the Professor name in the SOP.

Download this sample Type 1 SOP format and tailor it to your requirements.

LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION

A letter written by a professor who taught you or an employer who employed you. Most of the universities require 3 letters of recommendations written by the professors and not usually from the employers.

If your lazy professor asks you to draft the letter, or not, make sure your LOR answers the following questions.

  1. How well (and long) has the professor known you and what he/she had taught you.
  2. How well you performed in his/her class.
  3. How he/she feels that you’re different from the rest of the students in the class.
  4. What he/she believes you’ve achieved for yourselves and for the college (co-curricular and extra-curricular).
  5. Why he/she believes you are the right student for the university.

REMEMBER that the letter needs to provide examples of the professor’s experience with you for some or all of the questions above.

Typical LOR organization:

  1. Your college’s letterhead (including the college logo, address, and phone number).
  2. Professor’s name, signature, designation, email, and phone.
  3. An Intro, body, and a conclusion, 4 or 5 paragraphs in all with 3 or 4 sentences in each.

View a typical LOR sample here.

Ask your professor to upload the LOR through the URL mailed to him by the university (They’ll receive one when you add their e-mail in the college’s application portal). Additionally, some behavioral questions about the student may have to be answered, like Rating the student and Best qualities.

PRO TIP: If you’re lazy, you can use the same LOR for all your applications.

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