How to Apply

Application forms for the schools you are the most interested in may be obtained by calling the department (many have toll free numbers!) or requesting the information on line.

Graduate applications are very similar in format to undergraduate applications. Many will ask for short essays on past research experience and long range career goals. They are very interested in the context of your past research experience, so take great care in providing a well written overview of this material. Completed applications are usually submitted directly to the department, which eliminates the cost of an application fee (you only end up paying the application fee to the graduate program that you accept an offer from). Some schools have gone to submission of the application directly to the graduate school, which will require an application fee (around $50-100).

You will also be required to submit official academic transcripts from William and Mary (and other undergraduate programs if you transferred to W&M), usually a minimum of three letters of recommendation, and scores from the graduate record exams (the latter two are discussed in the following sections). Make sure that these materials are sent in a timely fashion as well, as application files are usually not considered until the file is complete. You may also want to send your updated transcripts after the Fall semester if you have not heard from the schools by that time.

We strongly recommend that applications to graduate programs be submitted by mid to late fall. The earlier the application is complete, the more time you will have to consider the schools as well as make visits prior to making a decision. Students with excellent undergraduate records will also be eligible for other incentives such as additional stipend monies and fellowships. Since these awards are limited, the earlier the application, the more likely such an offer will be made for top prospects into a given program.