Grad school application without GRE score? What are they looking for?
February 21, 2013 4:38 PM Subscribe
I'm toying with the idea of getting a Masters program in the next year or two in a specific field within my current career path. Since the program is fairly unique, the school isn't requiring a GRE score for the application (although it's a top research university in the US on the West Coast). So what are they looking for in my application? How does not needing a GRE score change things? Lots of questions!
posted by carmel to Education (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Obviously they will look at my resume, my personal statement and my recommendation letters. But how do I distinguish myself from the rest of the people applying to this program? Are they basically looking for me to prove that I can do this?
Who to ask for recommendation letters? I'm not going to ask my boss or colleagues for one, because I don't want to get fired. I have been out of school for nearly two years now and haven't really maintained a relationship with my professors, although a couple knew me fairly well. My GPA is ok - 3.5 ish. I got a degree in Electrical Engineering, I work in software now and I'm looking to get a Masters in HCI. I'm more interested in the research aspect of it rather than the creative design part of that field.
Some things I was thinking of doing:
- Getting involved in the local UX/HCI community.
- Taking some courses in some local universities
- Attending local conferences
- Visiting the school when it's closer to application time (and hopefully connecting with the professor I'd want to do research with)
- Connecting with the UX people at my current job to see if I can learn from them and get involved in any projects (although I doubt that'll happen)
Will these things help my application tremendously?
If I take a course at a local university (these are often week-long courses rather than semester courses, offered for people getting certificate programs) and I click well with the instructor and maintain a relationship with them (via networking, etc.) is it ok to ask for a recommendation?
Any other things I should think about? I've been looking at job postings for the type of job I'd want to get with this degree - to see if I think I'd fit in and to see if there are jobs out there and the answer to both is yes. I'm huge on doing research in advance so I just want to make sure I think about everything before committing myself to grad school applications.