Arts and Cultural Leadership and Civic Engagement
Hi there! I'm Steve Wicks, enrollment advisor for graduate programs here at the College of Continuing and Professional Studies. I'm really excited that you're considering applying to one of our graduate programs. In this video, we'll break down the application process and give you a rough estimate about how long each step may take. So let's get started.
All of the pieces of your application will be submitted electronically, so the first step is to start an online application. If you haven't applied to the University of Minnesota before, you'll need to create an account, which only takes a few minutes. Once you've created an account, start compiling your application materials. This should happen about two to three months before the deadline.
Now, let's go over the different pieces of the application.
First, you'll want to request unofficial transcripts at least two months before the application deadline. You should request them from all of the institutions you attended, even if you didn't earn a degree. Then upload your transcripts directly through the online application.
The next piece of your application is letters of recommendation. Give your recommenders plenty of time, so try to get those requests out as soon as possible. The letters should come from people who can provide details about your ability to succeed in grad school like a colleague, supervisor, or instructor. Recommendations should be professional and objective, so avoid asking family, friends, or sponsors. Talk to them ahead of time about your goals. You could even show them a copy of your resume, and make sure to give them a deadline so you can stay on track. They should submit their letters about two weeks before the application deadline. They will upload their letters directly to your application online. You can always log in to your account to see if the letters have been submitted.
The next piece is the professional statement. The professional statement should really tell us details about your work and life that we can't get from your resume. Talk about your experience as it relates to your chosen field of study. Outline your educational and professional goals and how our program will help you achieve those goals. Be specific and concise, but not too personal. It's not uncommon to write multiple drafts, so we encourage you to have someone review your statements and provide feedback.
You’ll also submit a writing sample. This can be about any topic as long as it demonstrates critical thinking and analysis. If possible, include one sample of academic writing and one sample of writing from relevant work or volunteer experience.
Next, take a minute to update your resume or curriculum vitae, or CV, before you upload it. If you've presented at a conference, won a professional award, been published, or have similar accomplishments, you may want to submit a CV. Otherwise, a resume is fine.
Finally, you'll be asked to pay the application fee.
That's it! You should review your application in its entirety before you turn it in.
So to recap, a complete application includes unofficial transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a professional statement, a writing sample, a resume or CV, and an application fee. You should receive a decision in about four to six weeks, depending on the number of applications we receive. We review your application from many different angles because we know our programs thrive when we have students from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences.
And remember to reach out to me at any point during the application process. I'm here to help you submit an application that truly reflects your potential for success in graduate school.
So good luck, and I hope to see you online or in person soon!