Application Process for MS in US Universities
For Indian/International Students [with specific inputs for students of Uttar Pradesh Technical University(UPTU)]
Arranging Required Documents
Topics on this page:
|Writing Statement of Purpose (also called Personal Statement) :|
You will have to pay special attention to draft your Statement of Purpose. Your Statement of Purpose is a reflection of your goals, aspirations, academic highlights, co-curricular achievements and your enthusiasm for higher studies. Be very meticulous in framing your SOP. It is something that the professors are surely going to read. You need to highlight all your strong points and also explain (in short) the reasons of any shortfall in your application.
You need to spend time on your SOP. The step by step manner in which it should be prepared is:
NOTE: Although the basic content of the SOP remains the same for all the Universities, you need to modify the specific contents based on the program and University you are applying for. For eg. if your are applying for network security program, your SOP should highlight your network related works. If you have applied for Operating Systems specialization in another University, this time your OS related projects and research need to be highlighted.
There are some good websites that will help you in this regard. You can find many sites on google that have tips to write a good SOP.
I have a nice collection of sample Statement of Purpose.
I took extensive help from these SOP. By reading them, I got a fair idea
of what all things a good SOP should have. I am sharing this zip file having a
collection of statement of purpose.
You can download them
A transcript is an official copy of a student's
academic record. It is issued by the University on demand. Generally
Universities charge a fee for each copy of the 'Official Transcript'.
Some Universities ask for 2 copies of transcript (one for the graduate school and one for the department). You should always apply for more transcripts than the number of Universities your are applying for. Normally if you are applying for 10 Universities, you should get around 15-16 transcripts.
General process of procuring a transcript goes like this:
To be on a safer side, you should procure the
transcripts well in time to avoid any last minute hassles.
|Letters of Recommendations :|
recommendation are another action item where you need to be very proactive. You
may have to spend a lot of time for this activity. You need to identify the
professors (or supervisors at work place) whom you’ll entrust with this
responsibility. You’ll need to tell them well in advance and seek their approval
for the same.
Ideally for MS programs, most Universities ask for 3 recommendations. Some restrict you to 2 while a few allow even a fourth recommendation. There are two ways you can submit recommendations: Online recommendations and Paper Based recommendation.
Universities prefer online recommendations. It is very much convenient for them as it requires no paperwork and no overhead on their part (scanning etc. – for your information, most of the paper documents that we send are usually scanned and archived into applicant's folder on a computer).
Online recommendations are also convenient for us as applicants. Once you enter the email id of your professor, he’ll receive an auto generated email with the instructions and URL to submit recommendation. This is specially helpful if you have left your institute or any of your professors has left on a sabbatical. Obviously your professor needs to spend some time on the internet for each of your recommendation.
I took all of my recommendations online. There are a very few Universities which no more allow you to give paper based recommendations.
You should go for a paper based recommendation when there are problems in getting a online recommendation. Every University has a format for the paper based recommendation. Download the recommendation form from the University website and hand it over to your professor to fill it. It will have some questions about you and a space for your professor to write some text about you. Your professor can attach any extra sheet in case he wants to write more. Actually this is what is normally done. Professor fills up the recommendation form and attaches a separate sheet of text along with the form. The professor should use his own letterhead (preferably) or Institute’s letterhead to write his text. The professor should ensure that he has signed both the University recommendation form and the extra sheet that he attaches with it. You are required to get the recommendation in sealed envelopes and you are not supposed to see your recommendation.
What is all about Waiving off of the rights to review recommendation?
Although letter of recommendation is primarily your professor's task, but in some cases, your professor may ask you to draft a rough text about yourself and give it to him. In such a case, you'll require to know the basics that are covered in a letter of recommendation. I am putting a short summary below:
Every recommendation letter should include three key components:
The content of the recommendation letter will depend upon the needs of the person who is requesting it, but there are some common topics that can be addressed:
|Writing a Resume :|
|You'll need to write a
well drafted resume to be sent along with the applications. Some Universities
get it uploaded on their online application while some ask to send it along with
the additional documents that you send via courier.
By now, resume writing must not be new to you. There are thousands of websites what tell you how to write a good resume. Basically, your resume for your MS application should clearly capture all your academics, academic related achievements and significant co-curricular activities. Also mention your work experience (if any) and the kind of work you have done.
I will not delve deep into resume writing. Any intuitive resume that has all
your pertinent details will serve the purpose.
In case you want to refer to what kind of resume I made,
you can refer it here.