Incorrect for two reasons.
(Original post by annette2010)
Don't know what you are interested in, but getting an offer (or admission as they call it) without funding shouldn't be hard, the funding part is always the hardest...
(1) Any graduate student is a significant investment in faculty time and department resources, and programs are therefore extremely selective about whom they choose to admit.
(2) Many universities do not allow graduate programs to admit students whom they can't fund.
Annette was correct that your research interests and background are of paramount importance in graduate admissions. You need to have clearly defined research interests that mesh well with the faculty members of the programs you're applying for.
In order of importance, I'd say admissions looks for:
- A personal statement explaining exactly what you've done so far, what you want to do, and why you want to do it at that particular program
- Relevant, rigorous courses and good performance in them (or papers or modules or whatever you wish to call them)
- Strong letters of recommendation from scholars well-known in that field
- Research background (any published papers or conference presentations)
- Excellent writing sample (for some programs)
- At least decent GRE scores
Graduate programs in the humanities and some of the social sciences in the US are incredibly competitive. It is not unusual for even extremely qualified applicants to take two or even three tries to get in somewhere.
Last edited by devil09; 13-05-2012 at 19:32.