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Applying for a Ph.D. is quite different from your typical college application process. In simpler terms, it’s more like applying for a job.
Here, you’ll be applying to get a job as a research assistant with a reasonable compensation scheme. The only difference is you’ll also be taking degree classes to further your education as well.
However, there’s a bit of a catch; you’d have to prove that you’re up to the task by having something valuable to show for all your research work.
If you’re in your junior or senior year in college there’s still enough time to build your CV before applying. That way, by the time you get to senior year, you’ll be well prepared to apply for a Ph.D. application at any top university of your choice.
On the other hand, if you’re already in the middle of your application, it helps to perfect your writing skills which will boost your odds of favorably showcasing your research skills.
The chances of a successful Ph.D. application depend heavily on your previous research experience. There has to be some proof to show that you have what it takes to be a hardworking and result-oriented assistant with impressive creativity.
Other qualities such as hobbies, your service to the community, and leadership experience don’t count as much. This is because the research assistant position is only interested in your ability to do research.
Looking for a graduate school Ph.D. admission, application & consultation service? Contact us!
This section is one that you’ll want to pay a great deal of attention to. First, you’d have to make sure to write it in such a way that it agrees with the program you wish to apply to. Different programs have different requirements on what to include in your personal statement. But you can expect to write an essay that is more than one and a half pages in length.
Here, you’d be required to talk about your objectives in research. You also need to describe in detail why you feel like you should be part of the program.
Tips for Writing a Personal Statement
The best thing you can do for yourself at this point is to familiarize yourself with the program requirements. Preferably much earlier before writing your personal statement. Following these steps will edge you closer to your goal.
This will most likely be the part you’ll have to spend more time preparing for your application. The good news is most personal statements closely resemble each other.
Once you’ve decided on a program you like, go over their requirements first. After that, write up an essay that is in line with the program guidelines. You can later modify this statement to coincide with other programs if you need to.
You’ll need to make a convincing argument on why you feel like you’re a good fit. It helps to have a professor in mind with whom you want to work together.
You can bring them up in your personal statement and explain why you feel confident about working with them. That will place you in a favorable position, showing that you took time to do your research.
In case you have any previous cases of poor grades, be sure to explain that lapse in performance. The application committee has no idea who you are except for what’s on your resume.
They won’t misinterpret poor marks if you carefully explain what happened. It could be that you were dealing with loss or grief during your semester that made it challenging to remain focused in school.
The Bottom Line
Making your Ph.D. application is probably among the most important steps you can take in your academic life. Here at Themba Tutors, you can rely on our personalized, direct approach to better your chances at a successful Ph.D. application. Themba Tutors can also help you create a professional-looking CV, help you prepare for the GRE, and prepare you for the interviews. Reach out to us to get started now!
Meet our Program Tutor
Ethan, is a Harvard PhD student studying systems and synthetic biology as well as an elite private tutor. Ethan graduated (summa cum laude) from The College of William & Mary with a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and Mathematical Biology and has helped countless students improve their grades and standardized test scores.
Ethan works with middle school, high school and undergraduate students in a number of areas including standardized test prep (SAT, ACT, SSAT, ISEE, GRE, AP tests) and high school and college level STEM subjects (Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, etc).
In addition to helping countless students improve their test scores and grades, Ethan is also an accomplished research scientist with multiple peer reviewed publications in the fields of synthetic biology and bioengineering.
Currently Ethan is a Ph.D. student in the Systems, Synthetic and Quantitative Biology program at Harvard University whose research focuses on methods development and synthetic biology tool design. He scored 165V/167Q on the GRE and was accepted to Ph.D. programs at Princeton, Stanford and others. During his undergraduate, Ethan led William & Mary’s International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) team to numerous awards and a world 2nd place finish. His unique scientific skills and background makes him the perfect fit for students struggling in their STEM subjects, undergraduates applying to graduate programs, students looking for custom enrichment courses and prospective scientists looking for help with a science fair project or finding a lab. Outside of his scientific career Ethan has worked as a consultant in the private credit markets. In his spare time Ethan enjoys running, aquascaping and watching the Eagles on Sundays.