"From Working Poor to Elite Scholar"

A: We receive approximately three hundred applications each year, and we are able to offer admission to approximately 18 of those applicants. The Graduate Admissions Committee weighs a number of factors when considering candidates. The admissions committee places the most importance on a candidate's personal statement and writing sample. These pieces of writing must show, first of all, that the applicant would like to be a part of and is capable of succeeding at a graduate program whose goal is to train students to be professional literary scholars. We look for applicants who are asking provocative and potentially productive literary questions and who are interested in exploring such questions in a rigorous intellectual environment. The personal statement and writing sample must also demonstrate that the candidate would fit in well with our program's strengths. Third, they must show that the candidate has the skills and abilities required for those who are to be trained in literary studies. Obviously, a candidate's undergraduate and -- if applicable -- graduate record is very important in determining admission, as are test scores and letters of recommendation.

Sample Law School admissions essays for undergraduate, graduate and professional programs
Photo provided by Flickr

Once you have identified the schools to which you would like to apply, it is important to understand each program’s admission process. (for some recommendations on how to identify graduate programs, see our Finding Graduate Programs page link -- if you would like to learn more about how to identify the programs to apply to, visit here.] Generally, it is better to apply early. Some graduate programs will review applications as they are received, in which case applying early may increase your chances of admission. Keep in mind that deadlines and application instructions are non-negotiable. Applications received after the date they are due may well be disregarded, and personal statements and/or writing samples that do not adhere to guidelines may similarly be rejected.


Free Admission Essays & Personal Statement Examples

Sample Business School admissions essays accepted by Stern and NYU for undergraduate, graduate and professional programs
Photo provided by Flickr

offers all users free access to over 100 admissions essays accepted by the United States' top undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. The following Sample Admissions Essay is for Law School.