Elements of a Strong M.S. or Ph.D. Application

We find that the best applicants to the M.S. and Ph.D. program show evidence of undergraduate research in a STEM field, although it is not required for admission. In addition, we have specific advice on the following elements of your application:

  • GPA: we do not admit or deny applicants on the basis of their GPA; rather, we aim to consider the applicant as a whole. We look for high grades in foundational science courses (math, chemistry, physics, etc.).
  • Statement of Purpose: the Statement of Purpose should be an essay describing past experiences relevant to the M.S. or Ph.D. program (e.g. undergraduate research experience) and should indicate your research interests. We strongly recommend applicants contact faculty with whom they share research interests and mention these faculty by name in their essay.
  • Letters of recommendation: Letters of recommendation should come from academic referees, rather than previous employers; however, in cases where your workplace involved issues relating directly to your planned M.S. or Ph.D. course of study (e.g. a summer internship in a related STEM field), then letters from supervisors are encouraged.