HDS Application Season has officially begun and the application for entrance in Fall 2021 is open! For those of you who have decided to or are considering applying to HDS, we know this can be both an exciting and stressful time. In this post, we will highlight some key information as well as a few tips to make the process run smoother.
If you are considering applying this year, we encourage you to start early! During the process, you’ll find that some parts of the application are out of your control, such as your transcripts or letters of recommendation. Allowing yourself ample time to complete the parts you do have control over will make the process less stressful. Be sure to check out our Suggested Application Timeline blog postand our How To Apply Series that explains each application requirement in greater detail.
Editor’s Note: Kate Hoeting recently finished her first year as a student in the MTS program and as a Graduate Assistant in the HDS Office of Admissions. After a year of guiding prospective students through the application, Kate is sharing her wisdom about how applicants might approach the process.
Post by Kate Hoeting, MTS ‘21 and Admissions Graduate Assistant
I love a good plan, and if you clicked on this article, it seems likely that you love a good plan too. When you’re facing something that seems as daunting as applying to graduate school, it can be helpful to break the process down into manageable steps. But first, a word of warning: everyone’s journey to divinity school is different, and this timeline shouldn’t be one size fits all. Do not panic if you’re reading this post in October and thinking, “I’m already too late!” Conversely, if you are already working on your Statement of Purpose, that is fantastic! Please customize the timeline to your particular situation. I personally did not follow this timeline when I applied to HDS—it’s just a set of guidelines for those of you who love a good plan.
July: Decide if you want to apply to graduateschool
Going to graduate school is a serious commitment of time and resources, so it will be helpful to take some time to sort out if and why you want to apply. This process of discernment can also be helpful in writing a strong Statement of Purpose later down the line. This is a good time to do some journaling, reflecting, and ritualizing. Be in your communities—even if it’s on Zoom—and connect with mentors who can help you decide whether to apply. It can also be helpful to check out our website and sign up for one of our HDS information session webinars.
Post by Kate Hoeting, MTS ‘21, & Julia Reimann, MDiv ‘22
If you’re thinking about coming to divinity school, you might be wondering how to decide where to apply when you can’t visit campus. We at the HDS Office of Admissions feel for you, and we’re working hard to develop resources to help you explore HDS!
Draft Your Statement of Purpose
Divinity school is a big investment of time and money, so you’ll want to devote time to thinking about why you want to attend. Even if you’re just exploring, starting to draft your Statement of Purpose can give you a good sense of what you’d like to get out of graduate school and why. Having a grasp on your future goals will not only strengthen your application but also make your life happier in the long run by helping you decide which kind of school is right for you.
Make a Research Spreadsheet
Summer is a great time to research different schools before you can start filling out our application in September. If you make a spreadsheet to track your research, you can mark things like tuition, programs that interest you, and testing requirements. Just making the spreadsheet can be helpful because it will help you consider which aspects of divinity school matter to you. For example, when I was searching for schools, my spreadsheet had a column to rate each school’s library.
Post by: Kate Hoeting, MTS ‘21, Graduate Assistant in the HDS Office of Admissions
Hi everyone! We hope you’re already having a great start to the year 2020. Since many of you are wrapping up your applications for the January 8, 2020 deadline, we thought it would be helpful to re-post an article from last year called “Last Minute Application Tips.” The article answers some questions you may have about the application as the deadline approaches.
As always, please email our office at email@example.com if you have any last minute questions or concerns. We’re excited to get to know you all through your applications!
Since the writing sample is a new component of the application this year, I’m adding this article to the series to walk you through guidelines and best practices. We know that the writing sample can be an intimidating part of the application process, but remember that the requirements are open-ended on purpose, and always feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have.
What does the admissions committee look for in a writing sample?
The writing sample serves to demonstrate your academic writing ability. You may choose to submit:
An excerpt of an academic paper in any subject area within the humanities or social sciences
An adapted piece of professional writing
An original work that is based upon a topic that you are interested in studying here at HDS
The writing sample should be 1,000-1,500 words long and give the admissions committee a sense of your strengths in writing, research, and/or critical analysis.
In this article, we walk through the requirements and best practices for the TOEFL/IELTS and the GRE. Please note that the GRE is optional for all applicants!
Is the TOEFL or the IELTS required for me?
All international applicants whose native language is not English must take the TOEFL or IELTS, unless you attended an undergraduate institution where English was the sole language of instruction (e.g. a school in the U.S. or the American University of Paris). Even if your major or all the classes you took were taught solely in English, this policy is based upon the entire institution’s medium of instruction.
Post by: Tessa Steinert Evoy, MTS 2020, HDS Office of Admissions Graduate Assistant
This time last year, I was right where you are, making that difficult decision to finally press the submit button. Were there things I was forgetting, last edits I should have made, did I upload the wrong version of my statement of purpose? These were all questions that I asked myself before submitting. Looking back a year later, I wanted to share some last tips with you before you press that button.Continue reading →