How to Apply to Grad School in 4 Simple Steps

Christine Tamms

Christine Tamms, Student & Alumni

You’ve decided to apply for the M.S. in Communication program at Purdue. What’s next?

An admissions counselor will walk you through all the stages of the process.

Steps for Applying to Graduate School:

Step 1: Speak with an Admissions Counselor.

Step 2: Receive your Application Checklist. You will receive a checklist with everything you need to do. If at all possible, see if you can start early on the application instead of waiting close to deadline dates. It just reduces stress and you could potentially be one of the first ones accepted – how exciting is that!

Step 3: Apply Online. The application is online and it’s really important if you have any questions to ask your admissions counselor instead of just guessing. You will need to get official transcripts from your undergraduate school(s) and have them sent directly to Purdue. You will also need three reference letters for the application. Make sure you ask the people writing the letters in advance (I’d suggest at least six to eight weeks). You might need to chase them a little. You will also submit an updated professional resume.

Step 4: Draft Your Statement of Purpose. You will also need to write a statement of purpose letter as part of the application. This letter is extremely important and it needs to impress upon the school why you are interested in the program and Purdue and why you want to become a communications practitioner. How will this academic program help you in your career and career goals? Talk about your work experience and anything else that may contribute to the program (i.e. community service). It’s an opportunity to express yourself, show off your excellent writing skills and paint a picture of you. It is the one piece that can actually give the biggest window into you. Try to be creative and reveal yourself and your personality.

The application process is pretty straightforward. You will always be able to ask questions. Hopefully your application will lead to an exciting educational experience full of challenges and rewards.

Learn More

Christine Tamms is a student in Purdue’s online Master of Science in Communication degree program. The program can be completed in just 20 months and covers numerous topics critical for advancement in the communication industry, including crisis communication, social media engagement, focus group planning and implementation, survey design and survey analysis, public relations theory, professional writing, and communication ethics.

*The views and opinions expressed are of the author and do not represent the Brian Lamb School of Communication.