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How hard is it to get into graduate school?

Ky-anh TranKy-anh Tran . Posts: 259 Junior Member
edited July 2007 in Graduate School
Basically, are there any statistics about acceptance to graduate school, especially the less prestigious ones?
Is the competitivity cutthroat like the one with medical school?
Is the process of application as hectic and expensive?
If the GPA and GRE scores don't play major role, what becomes crucial then?

I'm definitely clueless about graduate school in the US, so any clarifications are welcome!
Post edited by Ky-anh Tran on

Replies to: How hard is it to get into graduate school?

  • molliebatmitmolliebatmit Registered User Posts: 12,374 Senior Member
    There are not many statistics about acceptance to individual programs, and of course the acceptance rate for an entire university would be useless, since programs generally do admissions individually.

    Graduate school admissions are generally not considered to be as competitive as med school admissions, except in a few fields (most notably clinical psychology). The application process is not quite as expensive as for medical school, but comes close -- each school might have an application fee of $50-100, taking the GRE and subject tests costs $125 per administration, and it costs $15 per school to send the GRE to more than four schools. I spent about a thousand dollars to apply to nine schools.

    GPA and GRE scores are important, but not as important as in professional school admissions. Recommendation letters are very important, as are experiences that people in your field are expected to have (research, writing samples, etc).

    Basically, it's difficult to talk unitarily about "graduate school admissions", because admissions practices and policies vary from field to field and from department to department.
  • ladistarladistar - Posts: 219 Junior Member
    This is a really vague question. Different programs from different schools have varying standards for admissions. Just to play it safe, try to maintain a decent GPA and score well on the GRE (1000 or higher to stand a chance) and you have a solid shot almost anywhere you look. But as I said, all programs have dissimilar requirements for admission, so I'd suggest doing some research on their admission stats online or something.
  • larationalistlarationalist Registered User Posts: 916 Member
    It definitely varies by school and by field. For instance I know someone else headed to the same university as me in the fall, in a different program. His program's acceptance rate was around 30%, while mine was around 10%. Some of the other schools I applied to had rates as high as 60% in my major. So it's pretty hard to generalize how hard it is when acceptance rates vary that much.
  • ladistarladistar - Posts: 219 Junior Member
    Plus the type of program you go into is a huge factor as well. For instance, highly mathematic fields like science and engineering will probably look at your grades in math-related courses all throughout high school and probably necessitate a 700+ score on the GRE quant (this isn't to say that you can't get in with sub-700, but any program worth a damn would be looking for a score within that range). Fields such as English, Psych, etc. will probably looking at your grades in liberal arts classes and a more balanced GRE score, emphasizing Verbal and Analytical writing.
  • dietcokewithlimedietcokewithlime Registered User Posts: 221 Junior Member
    If you're willing to dig, you can sometimes find acceptance rates and GRE score range stuff on either the webpage of the grad department you're looking at or the webpage for the whole graduate school itself. I suspect that public universities are more forthcoming than private ones, generally, though it doesn't hurt to look.

    For example: http://www.grad.umn.edu/programs/select_program.html?l=t (there you'd choose "program statistics" and select the program you're interested in)
This discussion has been closed.