You’ve got the scores you needed but there are more important things that a university requires of you such as:
- GRE score (via ETS portal)
- TOEFL/IELTS score (via ETS portal)
- SOP (Statement of Purpose)
- Three LORs or Recos (Letter of Recommendation)
- Degree Transcripts (Till your 7/8th sem)
- Application fee (amount varies)
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
Statement of purpose implies your purpose of joining the university. Keep it to a minimum of one page and a maximum of two. You probably knew this already so start writing it using these principles:
These are the kinds of SOPs written by 99% of the applicants. These are simple, direct and answers exactly what the university requires the students to.
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?
These are the kind of SOPs written by people testing their luck for better universities than those their scores can offer. There is no format for these kinds of SOPs. Some of these examples may help you.
Eg1. 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”
“Hatsoff to the developer. My family loves this app.”
These are the reviews I got for my gesture controlled robot which was inspired by the progress of Prof. James robot … I hope your university will give me a chance to work with him one day.
Download this sample SOP format and tailor it to your requirements.
For every university, you may have to change the Professor name and field in the SOP.
LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION
Recommendation is a letter written by a professor who taught you or an employer who employed you. Most of the universities requires 3 letters of recommendations written by the professors who taught you and usually not from the employers.
LORs must be written by the professors but many of them ask the student (you) to write it for them. After you write, make sure the professors proof-read it.
Like the SOP, LOR also doesn’t follow a particular format. A typical LOR answers the following:
- How well (and long) has the professor known you and what he had taught you.
- How well you performed in his class.
- How he feels that you’re different from the rest of the students in your class.
- What you have done for the college and for yourselves (co-curricular and extra-curricular).
- Why you are the right student for the university.
REMEMBER that your professor need to provide examples of their experience with the student for each of the question above.
LORs usually follow this format:
- Your college’s letterhead (includes college logo, address and phone number).
- Professor name, designation, email and phone. (Left justified)
- LOR Body (Intro, body and conclusion) – 4 or 5 paragraphs with 3 or 4 sentences in each.
- Professor signature and stamp.
View a sample LOR here.
Ask your professor to upload the LOR through the URL provided to him by the university (They’ll receive one when you add their e-mail in the college’s application portal). Along with LOR, a set of questions may have to be answered by the professor like Rate the student and Best qualities of the student.
A common LOR to all the universities is fine.