Graduate School Application, As Easy As A-P-P-L-Y

By Concordia University - School of Graduate Studies Modified on October 19, 2015

Are you thinking about pursuing studies beyond your undergraduate degree? Does the application process seem daunting? Follow the easy acronym of A-P-P-L-Y to submit a strong graduate school application.

Application documents: See which documents are required to support your application by checking out the admissions requirements section of your program. Supporting documents that could be required include a CV/resumé language proficiency test scores, proof of citizenship, letters of recommendation or a letter of intent (also known as “Statement of purpose”).

People: Discuss your research interests with your academic mentors, current professors, potential supervisors, Teaching/Research Assistant, and current graduate students. This process is beneficial to your thinking and refinement of research ideas (see point “P” below) and to identifying those who might serve as your potential supervisors or strong referees. In some graduate programs, it is important that you have identified a supervisor prior to acceptance. To explore the faculty at Concordia, visit

Explore the strengths of the department and university to learn whether the institution offers what you need to excel academically. Talk to graduate recruiters, tour the campus, and chat with current graduate students. Create a C2C account to register for a campus tour and recruitment events at

Proposal: Your discussions with faculty and graduate students will play a role in drafting a research proposal. The proposal may be a useful tool to interest potential supervisors. Your ability to articulate your research interests and ideas will impress them and provide referees information to comment on your research abilities. You may also include relevant sections of the proposal in the letter of intent. A proposal may not be needed for certificates, diplomas, or course-based programs.

Letter of intent: The letter of intent is an important document to show the program is a good fit for you. At a minimum, it serves as a writing sample, provides a glimpse of how your research ideas align with faculty research projects, and how your leadership experience and community service make you a strong candidate.

Yearlong: Getting into graduate school involves starting a year ahead of time. Application deadlines vary across departments, as do start dates. Some programs offer up to three possible entry points per year, September, January and May. Download Concordia’s graduate program overview and application deadlines.

Graduate school is an amazing way to develop your research and soft skills (e.g., presentation skills, project management), key factors in your marketability after graduation.

When you’re ready to apply, go to Happy applying!