How to Know if a Grad School is a Reach, Match, or Safety School

The problem with doing something for the very first time like applying to graduate school is that you don’t know what you don’t know. One of the most common myths that I encounter when working with clients is “I should only apply to the schools where I have the best chance of getting in.” And… Continue reading

Choosing between dream schools – the tough choice we all envy!

Scenario: You’ve been accepted to more than one “dream school” and you don’t know how to make the decision on which one is the “right choice”.   First off, congratulations!  This is the classic “poor you but not poor you” situation. That doesn’t make it any less challenging. Let’s assume for the sake of argument… Continue reading

Tackling the SAIS Analytical Essay

The instructions for the Analytical Essay on Johns Hopkins SAIS website tell you: “Discuss an issue of national or international importance and its concern to you. This essay should be no more than 600 words.” The essay is another way for SAIS to measure the intellectual maturity of applicants, including writing and analytical abilities, and interest… Continue reading

Tips and Ideas for SAIS Recommendation Letters

Johns Hopkins SAIS gives instructions in its application for two letters of recommendation: “All applicants are required to submit two letters of recommendation. Recommendations should be written by individuals who are well placed to discuss an applicant’s qualifications for graduate study and a career in international affairs. Applicants may submit an additional reference if it… Continue reading

Where Do I Start With the SAIS Statement of Purpose?

The Johns Hopkins SAIS website describes this component:  “Discuss your goals for graduate study and for your professional career. What experiences have most contributed to your desire to study international relations? How will Johns Hopkins SAIS and your intended concentration serve to meet your academic and professional goals? If you have selected International Development as… Continue reading

The Johns Hopkins SAIS Online Application

So you want to apply to SAIS? The Johns Hopkins SAIS website gives detailed instructions for completing the application so make sure to read through it thoroughly. We’ll go through a few of those in a moment. Before we start, the most important thing you MUST do is start your application early. Don’t get stuck at the last… Continue reading

Writing Your Policy Memo for the Woodrow Wilson School Application

From the Woodrow Wilson School’s website, we learn what they expect from the policy memo. They tell us: “The ability to write succinct and impactful policy memos will prove useful in both academic and career settings. For the purposes of this memo, the admissions committee is less concerned about format and more interested in your… Continue reading

Woodrow Wilson School MPA and MPP Personal Statement

The Woodrow Wilson School’s website tells you: “Your personal statement should showcase your strengths and provide an overview of your background, goals, academic and professional aspirations, and a commitment to public service. The personal statement should be approximately two to four pages. If you wish to address any weaknesses in your application, it is better… Continue reading