Two Months Checklist

For those of you applying to schools with a Dec deadline, it’s time to start ramping up your application preparation.

What do you need to accomplish?

  • Determine how much time you will really need to get your manuscript ready for submission. The manuscript accounts for 95%+ of your application, so allow yourself the necessary space to work out your narrative, revise, edit and proofread. Then schedule these blocks of writing time in your calendar to get this work done. Don’t wait until the last minute.
  • Assess how many statements of purpose and teaching statements you’ll need to tailor to your list of specific schools. Writing a great statement is more than substituting in the name of the school into each copy. Research the school program, figure out with whom you’d like to work and what courses you’d take there.
  • Register for the online application. Start early so that you don’t get bogged down later.
  • Equip your recommenders. Send your recommenders your CV as well as a write-up of your projects and work in that instructor’s class. It’s important to send them a refresher, and your gratitude.
  • Do your best on the GRE and have a list of school codes ready so that you can send your score when needed.
  • Stay calm. You’ll do your best work if you can organize your time and follow through.
  • Optional: select one or two really trustworthy and critical readers to take a look at your manuscript before you submit. Having an extra set of eyes can be helpful when you’re under a lot of pressure. You can also contact me for manuscript feedback at any time.

Good luck, writers!


(Art by Chiharu Shiota)


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