Graduate School Application Cover Letters

Sample Cover Letters for Graudate School Admittance

Dear Graduate Coordinator (get the name so you can make the letter more direct),

I am very interested in pursuing a masters degree at the University of UNIVERSITY NAME in Cardiac Rehabilitation (or the area you are interested in). From my review of graduate programs, and discussion with other professionals, it is very evident that the University of UNIVERSITY NAME Exercise Science Program has an excellent Cardiac Rehabilitation program.

I am completing a very comprehensive Undergraduate Program in Exercise Science at the University of New Mexico. As you can see by my resume, this program has prepared me well for the graduate education challenges I now wish to pursue. I hope that the skills and knowledge I obtain from this graduate degree will give me the opportunity to seek a challenging opportunity within a dynamic rehabilitation setting.

I have enclosed all materials required for acceptance into the masters program. Thank you very much for your consideration of my application.

Very truly yours,


Your Name


Sample Cover Letter for PT School (From Lynette Ewer, ES UG Student)

Lynette Ewer
#############
Albuquerque, NM 87113
December 4, 2002

Kathy Dieruf
Admissions Chairperson
UNM School of Medicine
HSSB Room 204

Dear Ms. Dieruf,

I am very interested in the physical therapy program at the University of New Mexico. I volunteered over 220 hours at the Veterans Administration Hospital (2001- 2002), which gave me the opportunity to experience and enjoy several different aspects of the physical therapy field. I am currently completing my undergraduate degree in exercise science, which I feel will enhance my abilities as a therapist.

My volunteer background has included the following: wound care, rehabilitation exercise programs, and spinal cord injury and mobility impaired patients in the therapy pool. I also gained experience in patient rehabilitation in the areas of knee and hip replacement surgery.

My bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science has provided me with the knowledge of exercise testing, EKG interpretation, fitness assessment and prescription, anatomy, and kinesiology. I have also taken courses that involved special populations, such as people with disabilities and the elderly.

The UNM physical therapy program came highly recommended by graduate students and physical therapists that I have talked with, and that the curriculum is outstanding. Through my research on deciding which school to attend I found that the New Mexico School of Medicine is one of the top in the nation. I would be proud to be a student in the UNM physical therapy program.

Through my volunteer work at the VA Hospital I have developed a compassionate approach and commitment to assisting people with medical and physical disabilities I would enjoy becoming a physical therapy student and look forward to speaking with you in the near future. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Lynette Ewer
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Grad School Cover Letters: Making a Good First Impression

Guest Post: Dave G. Mumby received his Ph.D. in 1992. He has been a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Concordia University since 1994, and has supervised many undergraduates and graduate students during his career. He is also an academic advisor and frequent contributor of original advice columns for MyGraduateSchool.com and myGradSchool blog.

We all know that first impressions can have lasting influence on what others think of us. It can be difficult to reverse a negative first impression, whereas a positive one can sway people to overlook minor misgivings that come up later. Grad school applicants who make positive first impressions on the members of an admissions committee or a potential graduate supervisor have a much better chance of eventually being accepted than those who initially come across as run-of-the-mill. Many programs receive a huge number of applicants each year, from which there may be only a few selected. Paring the pool down to only applicants who stand out in some positive way facilitates the selection process. Bad first impressions can lead to a quick rejection. For very competitive programs even just a flat first impression that is not particularly bad can still be an impediment.


First Impressions

Cover letters can provide the basis for a first impression and set the tone for further evaluation of an applicant. A good letter can spark interest and enthusiasm for your application, whereas a poor letter can undermine it. Cover letters display your organizational and writing skills, your judgment and priorities, social skills, personal style, and your ability to focus on important matters and to avoid irrelevant ones.


When to Include a Cover Letter

Most graduate school applicants encounter situations in which a cover letter is required. One situation is when contacting a potential supervisor before applying. This may be done by e-mail, of course, but it should still be fashioned as a proper cover letter. Another situation that calls for a cover letter is when applying to programs that do not require a separate application form. A cover letter is not usually needed to accompany an application form, but in some cases it may be a good idea to include one, such as when important information about you is not covered in another part of the application. A third situation calling for a cover letter is when contacting schools to request additional information on the programs they offer or to request their application packages. This situation is becoming less and less common, as nearly all schools now allow people to download program information and application forms and instructions from the Internet.


What to Say in a Cover Letter

What does one say in a cover letter? What should be left out? Not surprisingly, the answers depend on whether it is a general cover letter that will introduce you to an admissions committee, or one that will be used to make contact with a prospective supervisor. The admissions committee is looking to find applicants who have excellent scholarly potential, as evidenced by past academic and related accomplishments, and who also have priorities and interests that fit with the program's objectives and specializations.

The introductory paragraph should state your interest in applying to this particular graduate program. One or two sentences in either the first or the second paragraph should provide a background summary of your education and training experience that is most relevant to your graduate school application. This would include such things as relevant work experience, years of experience, any degrees held and/or the degree program you are currently enrolled in, and degree completion or expected completion dates. Make this summary brief. Its purpose is simply to indicate that you have the necessary background, without going into detail. Details of your background are in other parts of the application, such as your transcripts and personal statement.

The best way to spark a potential supervisor's interest in you is to know who they are, what they have done, and what they do now. Avoid describing your own interests too narrowly. Remember that grades often have little relevance to the needs of graduate supervisors. They are more likely to be interested in knowing whether you have an aptitude for research.

Copyright © Giulio Rocca. All rights reserved.
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