Getting ready to apply

(12 - 14 months before your studies commence)

The primary source of information on application requirements, processes, deadlines and fees are the institutional and departmental websites for the programmes you are considering applying to. As a general rule you will be expected to provide, at least, the following:

  • CV or resume, completed application form and Statement of Purpose
  • Degree certificates and transcripts - if you don't already have these in the required format it will take time to get them
  • Test scores, e.g. GRE
  • Letters of recommendation – see below, you will need to select and brief your referees
  • Health certificate – you may need to book a medical
  • Evidence of available finance for tuition fees and living expenses - unless you are going to be self-financing you will need to allow time to find and apply for funding

Letters of recommendation should come from academics who know you well and are able to comment on your academic performance and potential particularly in relation to your peers. If they are not familiar with your work and career goals then discuss these with them, perhaps using your Statement of Purpose to brief them. Recommendations should be written in a positive and personal tone.

* The most commonly required score is from the GRE General Test but this can vary. Take time to prepare for this and be aware institutions will see all your scores from the past 5 years. Results can take a month or more to be posted. If you are applying for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship then a Test of Spoken English may be required.


(9 - 12 months before your studies commence)

Application deadlines vary but may be as early as the November before your studies commence. Although much of the application can be completed online you will need to mail, by registered post, the supporting documentation, e.g. transcripts and letters of recommendation. The basis for admissions decisions, which are usually made between April and July, will be your academic record, your Statement of Purpose, the quality of your letters of recommendation, the security of your financing and your GRE (and other required test) scores.