How to Write a Graduate School Admission Essay

how to write a graduate school admission essay

Thinking about beginning your post-grad studies? Well done! Success is coming your way because you’re about to learn some of the best tricks to write a great graduate school admission essay.

The critical steps in writing a graduate school admission essay include identification of the audience, explaining potential gaps in your studies, and editing the essay, establishing passionate writing and showing experience,

You will almost always need to have completed an undergraduate (bachelor’s) degree, also called a ‘first’ degree, before applying for admission to grad school. Admission to grad school is a process that may require the applicant to write an admission essay just like in undergraduate programs.

What is a graduate school admission essay?

graduate school admission essay is an academic writing specifically by scholars seeking to further their education in postgraduate programs. The graduate school application essay is your chance to bring to life and express your personality into your application.

But unlike undergraduate admission essay, where you might’ve offered a provided a clever story, your grad school application essay should focus more on emphasizing your academic and professional goals.

You should also remember to include why graduate school is essential to achieving those sets of goals.

The grad school application essay should also allow the selection or admission committee to obtain a good sense of who you are and the things you value most. Isn’t that a wonderful opportunity to change the opinions of people? Yes, but it is not yet that time.

Let us first consider what should go into your admission essay for graduate school.

Highlighting Who You Are

Do you remember the trouble you went through when writing your undergraduate application essays? It was your opportunity to show the university the real you. In the essay, you were allowed to talk about anything ranging from your favorite movie, dish, hobby or game.

Well, the good news is that now that you’re about to apply to grad school with another set of application essays, the writing process is not much different.

However, the only difference is that a post-grad student has been conferred with the first degree and has the power to read and research. Therefore, your approach needs to be more strategic.

Having struggled in undergraduate studies, registering for a postgraduate degree tends to be less threatening as one is already familiar with basics of research.

What is the length of a graduate school admission essay?

Graduate school admission essays average between 250-850 words long. Our estimation is based on the average length of admission essay paper instructions for this particular level of study. So, a graduate school admission essay can be only one page long or up to three pages long.

Usually, the requirement for grad school admission essay will vary from one institution to another. So, regarding how long your admission essay to grad school should be, a lot of advice that aided your writing in undergrad studies still applies.

What do I mean? The goal is to tell a unique story using perfectly-described examples. The more genuine your story is, the more likely it is to earn you entry.

Perhaps another important consideration is to explain why joining the institution to study the program at postgraduate level will make you an asset to the program – and why you believe the study will contribute to your personal growth in future.

Since admission committees have many applicants’ essays to read, longer essays will increase your risk of being declined even before someone reads the entire document.

Also, the best shot is to follow the institution’s direction. Some universities specify the required length of grad school admission essays. When they need 600 words, do not write 750 or 450 words.

More or less words is a bad sign of rebellious student who may not suit any postgraduate learning.

Some common graduate school admission essay prompts

  • Description of a situation that you overcame or leadership skills that you learned from the failures.
  • What is the biggest desire driving you to obtain this degree at this moment in your life?
  • Are there short- and long-term career goals that you may wish to share?
  • Describe some of your proudest moments or achievement in educational life.
  • The BIG one: why have you chosen that particular university and not any other?

Whichever prompt you decide to pick, the graduate admission committee should be able to drop your essay having picked a few points to remember.

Some of the most important points you could ensure the reader picks include the following:

  1. What do you want to study in graduate school after admission?
  2. Why are you interested in studying that particular area?
  3. Is there a unique reason why you have selected the institution as the best place for you to study that course?

If your grad school admission essay reader cannot answer those questions at the end of your last full stop, something is definitely wrong.

Getting an approval would decline in the event that each one of these key ideas are missing.

How to Write a Graduate School Admission Essay

Having said all that, let’s dive into writing tips to ensure you do not fail the graduate school admission test essay.

1. Identification of the audience

Tailoring your admission essay to each school you are applying to goes a long way in boosting your points.

Everyone likes a message with a personal touch. Becoming an alumnus of as a graduate student should make you a better person. By giving an explanation to admission counselors on the issue, you set yourself as a unique student worth considering.

How do you know your audience?

Read university official blog posts and follow their social media accounts. It is easy to obtain first-hand information from there.

2. Establish passionate writing

In a crowd of applicants, something should set your graduate school admission essay apart.

Show the graduate admission committee a sense of who you are and things you’re passionate about. What excites you every day as a scholar?

3. Show an experience, don’t tell

An example would be as follows:

“I frequently left the laboratory just as the sun was rising—and long after I had completed my architecture assignments. The reason for this is because I got hooked on experimenting with laser cutting and hardly noticed as the hours passed.”

Providing examples with personal touch is definitely a good way to earn yourself entry into that desired university.

4. Being relevant

In as much as you’d love to give the story a personal feel, the examples should be discrete.

It would be a bad idea to talk about experience in Afghanistan War when you’re applying to be admitted for computer science degree.

Try not to force any story to fit your admission essay into grad school. Not all life experiences can make graduate school personal statement fodder.

5. Explaining potential gaps

Every student has an academic record. Some of your records might raise eyebrows among the admission counselors.

For instance, one semester, you might really have had very poor grades. It would be better to account for such in your admission essay.

However, always remember to avoid the temptation of blaming others or giving excuses for your academic inconsistencies.

6. Editing your grad school admission essay matters

I can’t reiterate this enough.

While completing the application essay, check and recheck your paper for style, tone, clarity, grammar, and many other issues.

It is best to have a professional graduate school admission essay writer look at it.

The reason for this we all know: no reader likes a disorganized essay without flow and is full of grammatical mistakes.

Writing the first draft, editing it, and repeating could be the surest way to catch errors.

For those ESL students who English is their second language, it is not a bad idea to seek help from services such as those offered by

Don’ts in a graduate school admission essay

As you craft your best essay, have the following don’ts in mind:

  • Giving out potentially damaging information. A story about how you were arrested while smoking or at a drinking party doesn’t paint a nice image. It is probably not necessary. Some essay readers can be judgmental even if you decided to include such information with good intent to explain a life’s turning point.
  • Don’t over-emphasize and repeat some parts of your admission essay. Having all A’s in tests is not a reason to talk about your high GPA throughout the personal statement. Someone might take you as an overly proud person.
  • Keep negativity away. The goal is to get the admission committee to see you as an ever enthusiastic spirit into their program, not a particular grouch.
  • Controversial topics should be kept off. Don’t get into discussing issues such as abortion. These touchy subjects could irritate or offend the admission personnel, making your personal statement essay worthless.
  • No flowery language. Writing this essay is not a creative process but a scholarly activity. A clear language will make your essay more compelling.
  • No copying. Lifting your graduate school essay from an existing published one or one that had been written by someone you know amounts to plagiarism. If you can’t get through the entire process alone, consider working with Top Writer for Graduate Assignment (link to sales page) at Academeter to complete it.
  • Stay away from jargon. You have several years of scholarly work to do after admission. So, focus on using active language, smooth transitions, an attention-grabbing opening, and a strong conclusion. Jargon will not impress the admission committee.

Graduate school admission essay example with analysis

Below is a great sample graduate school admission essay. This essay was written by a third party and does not seek to infringe on their copyright.

I slowly stepped towards the convention hall and kept wondering if I had gotten the room number wrong. It was impossible to hear any sign of life, and I could imagine losing my never only to open a door and embarrass myself. (This is an amazing attention grabber. I hope you’re eager to find out about being in the wrong room).

While my thoughts raced in recalling a security guard approaching me and chiding me for being in a place and shouldn’t, a hand reached past my waist and turned the door knob setting it open. That jolted me back to the real world. I stretched my neck, peeked and all surprises again.

More hands and not a few but hundreds of them. They were flying, waving and some were dancing. Another stream of awe and fear struck. You can do this young man!

In my entire life, I had never taken American Sign Language. Certainly, it was never my plan to take my heart. My first semester in college, I registered for German, a language I had secretly loved the sound of since I was 6 years old. Only one week before we could start classes, the course section was scrapped off.

Deep in frustration, I considered taking any first available language class in the course register. Guess what? It probably wasn’t the smartest move. All I know is that it was a decision that undoubtedly altered my set-in-stone plan of becoming a linguist.

Fast forward, the complexities of sign language floored me. I found myself thinking about hand signs while writing essays on Saussure’s linguistic signs. I had to rearrange every bit of my routine so I could take improv classes to help with my facial and body expressions. Theater! In as much as that may appear completely out of character, I had suddenly found myself compelled toward anything that would help immerse me in ASL and deaf culture.

Jumping to conclusion…

All in all, my dedication to language and learning about culture through communication is still the same. But the path by which I desire to pursue that passion is now different. My foray into deaf studies as well as American Sign Language may have begun as an accident. However, regardless of the countless times I still get nervous when my fingers fumble or I have to spell something out, nothing stops me from admitting that my accident led me to positive calling that I am grateful for. This accident directed me to a calling that could have remained unfamiliar in my entire life (Do you see how this conclusion has wrapped up the entire experience into something adorable. That is how to conclude a great graduate school admission essay with certainty).

As you can see, this admission essay is related to a grad school focusing on working with the deaf.

The essay has achieved several things.

First, it has identified our audience, which is the university offering that course.

Second, we have focused on showing our experience rather than telling it.

Also, relevance and passion are evident in the piece of writing.

This sample graduate school admission essay has left out a number of things. For example, we haven’t discussed why we are interested in joining the institution and not another university. Also, we have not explained the career goals beyond postgraduate studies, but that is because we have decided not to publish the entire essay.


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