Getting Into Graduate School In Social Work:
Some General Advice (Part II)
(To visit Part I of General Advice, click here.)
- How can I get really strong letters of recommendation? Are these really that important? Letters of recommendation are extremely important. If they're positive, they can compensate for weaknesses you might have. If they're negative, they can undermine all of the strengths you might have. So how do you get good ones? You must get to know your professors and your supervisor at work (or your supervisor at the place you volunteer). It is best to have one letter from someone who has seen your work in an employment or volunteer setting, and the rest of your letters from professors. How can you get to know professors better? Talk to them during their office hours, be vocal during class, and see if you can assist them in their research for a couple of semesters. Do whatever you can to help them remember your name and your outstanding ability.
- How should I prepare for the Graduate Record Examination? A pageful of information about preparing for the GRE can be accessed by clicking this link.
- I'm too lazy to read all of the information on this web site. Can you give me a summary of what I need to do to get admitted to graduate school?
- Sure. The first thing you need to do is learn how to put up with reading a lot of information. If you have trouble reading the information on this web site, you'll probably have trouble reading the tedious instructions on your applications! But other than that...
- Talk to graduate students, professors and practitioners about your intended career and about graduate school and make sure that the field you are interested in is really for you.
- Get the best grades you can.
- Do as well on the GRE as you can.
- Write the best essay you can, and make sure you have intelligent people read over it for you.
- Get to know your professors as well as you can so that they can write favorable letters of recommendation for you.