What if you did apply and were unsuccessful? How can you strengthen your candidacy for re-application?
The first step is to conduct an honest assessment of your candidacy.
Did you apply to too few programs? To the wrong programs? (Applying only to Harvard is not a great strategy!) Consider broadening your list of schools.
Were there weaknesses in your application that you can remedy by gaining more experience, retaking your GRE, adding a stronger LOR, or taking courses? Some applicants can benefit by pursuing a master’s degree before entering a PhD program – especially if you’re changing fields or if you have limited research experience.
Look at your research experiences. Do you need to take some time before reapplying to develop your research experience and skills?
When it comes to the practicalities of reapplying: make sure that you craft a new, stronger application. If your SOP was unpersuasive last year, it probably won’t be more persuasive this year – you need to re-evaluate and revise.
It is disappointing not to get in the first time, but making a serious reapplication can give you a chance to analyze your skills and your goals – and even leave you better prepared for grad school.
By Dr. Rebecca Blustein, Accepted consultant since 2008, former Student Affairs Officer at UCLA’s Scholarship Resource Center. Dr. Blustein, who earned her Ph.D. at UCLA, has helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to top MS, MA, and Ph.D. programs. She’s also an expert on grad school funding and scholarships. Want Rebecca to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!