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Getting Into Graduate School In Social Work:

The Seven Deadly Sins of Applying

Note: The information on this page was adapted from a similar page at Graduate Study in Psychology.

Here are seven things you definitely don't want to do as you are preparing your graduate school applications:

  1. Give your professors only three weeks notice about writing your letters of recommendation for you. That way you can make sure that they are annoyed and angry with you while they write them.
  2. Don't do any background research to find out what the program you are applying to really focuses on. That way you can make sure that you are completely wasting the committee's time by applying to a program that isn't even what you think it is.
  3. Don't even try to find out what the average GPA and GRE scores are for the program you're applying to. That way you'll be sure to either be way out of your league or way overqualified for the programs you're applying to.
  4. Ask your friends and family members whether a social work graduate program is a high-quality program instead of looking at how it is ranked by U.S. News or other ranking services. That way you can be sure that you get really useless advice about the quality of the programs that you are applying to.
  5. Don't read the web sites of the graduate programs you are applying to, and don't carefully read the directions on the applications that you are completing. That way you can present yourself to the admissions committee as someone who is too lazy to follow instructions.
  6. Don't bother looking at the cost of the graduate program, the cost of living in the area that the program is located in, or the financial aid opportunities that will be available to you. That way you can be in debt for most of the rest of your life.
  7. Don't let anyone who is smarter than you read over your statement of purpose/application essay before you send it. That way you can ensure that the faculty members on the admissions committee think that you are a terrible writer.