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SAMPLE OF SCHOOL APPLICATION LETTER
In this post we will be looking at the meaning of school application letter, types, how to write and the benefits of school application letter.
School application letter is a type of cover letter used to introduce an applicant to a committee reviewing school applications. A typical school letter of intent is comprised of a header, a salutation, the body, and the closing. The contents of the letter should include either the applicant’s personal story and/or academic and extra-curricular achievements and accolades. This letter is key to an application, as it sets the tone for the rest of the documents within the individual’s application. An admission letter mainly informs any school of your request and reasons to enter a university, secondary school, high school, or college. The Formal letter also informs student applicants of a declining reply or a detailed confirmation of acceptance in a private school. There are many uses for an admission simple letter. Students and educational institutions use this as a provisional request or notice for masters, nursing school, or hospital applications. Sometimes, it contains other content such as a guarantee, scholarships, and more.
WHAT IS SCHOOL APPLICATION LETTER?
A school application letter is used to introduce an applicant to the person or selection committee in charge of admissions. This letter can be used for private school admissions for students in grades kindergarten through 12 and for students seeking admission to an undergraduate program at the university level.
An application letter is written by a potential student or their guardian to a school administrator for consideration for admission to the school. This letter introduces a prospective learner to the admission committee of the institution. The letter takes a business format and is highly polite since it is the initial contact with the reviewer.
TYPES OF SCHOOL APPLICATION LETTERS.
There are different types of applications depending on the institution one is applying to. Here are the main types of school application letters:
- Junior school application letter: This is written mostly by the parent or guardian seeking admission to an elementary school for young learners.
- High school application letter : This is drafted by high school learners applying to be considered for admission to a high school.
- College application letter : This letter is written by a student seeking admission to a course in a college institution.
- Graduate school application letter : This is written by a person seeking to be considered for higher studies such as a master’s or doctorate program.
An application letter to a graduate school is mostly required where the application package is sent by mail. Otherwise, most graduate schools have an online application form requiring applicants to fill in their details. In most cases, a school application letter is accompanied by relevant documents including but not limited to:
- Personal statement
- Application form
- Recommendation letters
HOW TO WRITE SCHOOL APPLICATION LETTER. If you want your school application letter to stand out to the admissions committee, here are the steps to follow:
1. Address your letter. Start your letter by indicating your name and contact information such as:
- Your email address
- Phone number
- Physical address
- Home address
Beneath your contact information, indicate the day you are writing the letter. The date can take any format such as month-day-year or day-month-year. Leaving some space and just beneath the date, write the recipient’s address. You can write the recipient’s name or you can use their official title. If unsure of the name or title, you may need to do some simple research to find it online or by calling the school’s front desk. Keep in mind that writing the wrong recipient may create a false perception regarding your keenness for detail, so ensure you get it right.
2. Use proper salutation A school application letter is a formal document; thus, you should use a proper salutation. If you included a name in the address section, use the same name in the salutation. Likewise, if you decided to use their job title, use the same title in the salutation. The most common salutations are:
- Dear Ms./Mr./Mrs. (recipient’s surname)
- Dear (Admissions Coordinator, or the appropriate title)
- Dear Sir/Madam
- To Whom It May Concern
Using the recipients’ names builds rapport with the reviewer. However, the other three forms of salutation are also acceptable, albeit less personal.
3. Create a subject line Write a subject line to make the reviewer know at a glance what the letter is all about. The subject line should be brief. Example: Application for Admission to Music Major. If you are sending the application packet via email, repeat this line in the email subject.
4. Introduce yourself, your purpose and your interests Use this section to give an overview of yourself to the reviewer. Keep this paragraph concise but rich in relevant content that will attract the reader’s attention. Help your audience form an image of you after reading your compelling background. Here are some of the things you can mention in your introduction:
- The program you are applying for
- Why you are interested in the program
- Your background and why you stand out
- Why you are choosing that institution
The entire introduction should be no more than one paragraph in length. Keeping it under five lines is recommendable as the reviewer may not have the time to read through winding prose.
5. Highlight your skills and achievements It is important to go over your best achievements so you can stand out amongst other program applicants. Also be sure to link your achievements with the program. Mention your qualifications and skills to convince the reviewer why they should consider you for admission. Here are a few topics you can touch on:
- Test scores you have achieved
- Your hobbies and interests
- Any interpersonal skills you have
- Your leadership abilities
- Any work experience you have
- Your mentors or notable references you have worked with
- Recognition and awards you’ve received
Depending on the level of education you are applying for, tailor your letter to fit into the above checklist. If you are applying for a graduate school program, it might be a good idea to mention your research interests. However, this may not be relevant for someone applying for admission to a junior high school.
6. Reiterate your interest In this section, reiterate your interest in joining the program. Express a hopeful wish that you are deeply interested in joining the school to make your aspirations come true. Also, mention what value you would add to the school upon admission.
7 . Thank the reviewer Express gratitude to the reviewer for reading your application letter. Invite them to read the rest of the application packet as well.
8. Closing salutation and sign Close your application letter with a professional salutation. Avoid excessively sentimental salutations as they could hurt your chances of admission. Remember the reviewer’s perception of your application letter is key in determining whether you move to the next stage of the process. Here are some effective salutations you can use:
- Warm regards
- Respectfully yours
- After the closing salutation, leave some space and write your name. If you are sending hard copies, write your official signature in the space. If you are sending electronically, you might use a digital signature or leave it blank.
9 . List the enclosures Beneath the closing salutation, list the documents enclosed with the application letter. It is advisable to include them in the order in which they are attached or enclosed. Crosscheck with the school requirements to ensure that you have enclosed all that is needed
10. Proofread and save Read through the application letter to identify any grammatical errors or poor formatting. Ask your friend to read over it as well to be certain the letter is perfect in all aspects. Here are some formatting tips to keep in mind:
- Use single-spaced text and block paragraphs
- Leave transitional black spaces between sections
- Align your letter to the left
- Use basic fonts like Times New Roman or Arial, size 10-12
You can then save and dispatch the letter along with the supporting documents through the recommended medium.
BENEFITS OF SCHOOL APPLICATION LETTER.
- Your resume is factual, your cover letter is personal
- It demonstrates your interest
- It shows you’ve done your research
- Will give them a taste of who you are.
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Nursing School Application Cover Letter Example in
Need a nursing school application cover letter example? Look no further. Nursing school applications can be tough and writing a formal cover letter requires a bit of guidance. Nursing school application cover letters can be a great way to emphasize your professional work experience or volunteer work as you apply for nursing school. But unlike a personal statement, cover letters are bit more structured and formal writing. Nursing admissions consulting services can certainly help coach students on writing cover letters but reading nursing school application cover letter examples is a good place to start, too! In this blog, we’ll look at what a nursing school cover letter is and how to write a strong cover letter. At the bottom, we’ve also included some samples of nursing cover letters.
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Article Contents 7 min read
What is a nursing school application cover letter.
A nursing school application cover letter works almost the same as a cover letter for any job application. For prospective nursing school students, a cover letter is the introduction to your application package, and a way of introducing yourself on paper to the admissions committee of a school. It is similar to a nursing school letter of intent or nursing school personal statement , but there are some key differences.
Firstly, a cover letter is typically shorter and more formal than a personal statement. It also tends to focus on your professional work experience, volunteer experience and skillset. A nursing school cover letter is designed to demonstrate why you are a good fit for a nursing program and how you will be an excellent future medical professional. A letter of intent or personal statement usually examines your personal motivations, experiences and reasons for wanting to become a nurse. It’s your way of answering the question ‘ why do you want to be a nurse ?’.
A nursing school application cover letter is a formal letter, typically no more than one page long. Or about 200-400 words maximum. Since the word count is low, you’ll need to be fairly concise and get to your point. You’ll also need to limit yourself to only a few points and keep things relevant. Like other formal letters, such as letters of intent, they include several important sections, which we’ve outlined below.
Restate why you are an ideal choice for the program and what you bring to the table. Invite them to get in touch if they have any questions about your application. Use a formal, polite salutation to close your letter. "}]'>
Writing a good cover letter means convincing the admissions committee that you are a prime candidate or a nursing program and to give you a chance to interview with them. To do so, you want to provide evidence of your candidacy by sharing key experiences or skills you have. Then align those experiences to the nursing school’s program values. The cover letter allows you an opportunity to highlight the most important sections of your application package and demonstrate how you will become an excellent future nursing professional. There are many different kinds of experiences you can emphasize in your cover letter, even if you don’t have much work experience in health care or related jobs. Read some physician cover letter examples or MBA cover letter examples to get a better idea of what kind of experiences to include. You can also look at some ERAS experience section examples to see what kind of professional and personal experiences admissions committees like to see.
Next we’ll look at what kind of experiences to include in your nursing school cover letter—and what to leave out!
If you have any nursing certifications such as a CPR course, or have achieved anything noteworthy in your academic or personal life, such as a lifeguarding save at the community pool, definitely include these in your cover letter! These can be excellent examples of what you have to offer the nursing profession, and your dedication to living by the values of the profession. ","label":"Certifications or achievements","title":"Certifications or achievements"}]' code='tab1' template='BlogArticle'>
What not to include
Your cover letter is relatively short, so avoid using too many details or launching into extensive personal anecdotes or stories. Avoid getting lost in the weeds or using irrelevant examples. Be sure to show why your chosen examples are relevant to the nursing school’s values or the nursing profession. It’s also important not to repeat too much information from your resume or other parts of your application. Elaborate and expand, but don’t just rehash old information.
Here we’ve included some samples of nursing school cover letters for your reference. Use these examples to help you write your own cover letter for nursing school!
Dear Director Higgins,
I am writing today as part of my application to your program at [Nursing School]. I am a recent graduate of [Pre-med university] and I am excited to take this next step in becoming a nursing professional. In my application you will see that I exceed the stated qualifications for your program intake, but first allow me to share with you why I believe I will be an excellent nursing student.
Throughout my undergraduate years, I have worked as a server at a family restaurant. In my years of working there, I have cultivated many desirable soft skills that make a good professional nurse, such as strong communication skills, diplomacy and conflict management. In interacting with the customers and other staff, I have developed an ease in managing all kinds of different individuals. Working alongside a restaurant team has also been very rewarding for my personal skill development, as it is a fast-paced and sometimes chaotic environment. It is challenging, but strong teamwork and collaboration is essential, and I have learned effective ways to work as part of the team.
I am also proud to have some experience in caring for patients. Although I have not had the opportunity to provide for human patients, I volunteer my free hours at an animal shelter, helping to care for sick animals, do routine cleaning and medication administration. I am consistently recognized for my strong work ethic, my compassion for the animals we help and my steady hands when helping the staff vet administer injectable medications. I have found working with these animals to be incredibly rewarding, and I look forward to an opportunity to work with human patients as a professional nurse.
I believe my experiences have give me a solid introduction to the work of a nurse, and I am excited to continue my education in health care. I will be an enthusiastic student in the classroom and no doubt an excellent example of the kind of nurse [Nursing School] can produce. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding my application. I look forward to your reply.
Writing a letter of intent instead? Read this infographic.
Free Webinar: How to Make Your Nursing School Application Stand Out ","buttonText":"Register Now!","buttonColor":"#ffffff","bannerUnderText":" Limited Spots Available ","trustpilot":false}' :url='"https:\/\/bemoacademicconsulting.com\/nursing-app-webinar-registration"' code='banner2' background-color='#000066' button-color='#ffffff' banner-image=''> Sample #2
Dear Admissions Committee,
I am writing this letter to share my qualifications for admission at [Nursing School] in this application cycle. I am a graduate of [University] and I have dedicated myself to gaining the needed experience in healthcare for the past several summers. My goal is to enter a career as a nurse in a women’s health centre or health clinic.
In pursuit of this goal, I have been gaining shadowing experience with several nurses at the [Name] Women’s Health Clinic in [City]. It was important to me to have multiple shadowing experiences so I could get some insight into my future career from actual practicing nurses and see firsthand what treating patients was like. I have found these experiences incredibly rewarding, as I have been able to assist with patients and earn valuable experience interacting with them in a clinical setting. Shadowing has shown me what I can realistically expect from a career in women’s health, and it has solidified my decision to enter this field of medicine. I have also been fortunate to meet a team of dedicated and talented nurses who have shared with me their insights on working in women’s health. Their advice and guidance on my burgeoning clinical skills has been a valuable teaching experience for me. Several of these nurses have also agreed to write letters of recommendation for me which you will find in my application package.
My shadowing experiences have given me a solid foundation of nursing and I am looking forward to starting my journey to becoming a women’s health care nurse. Please feel free to contact me at the email address or phone number on my application. I look forward to enrolling in the fall semester.
To write a cover letter for nursing school, use a formal letter format with the addressee’s name and title, an introduction, body and conclusion, followed by a formal salutation and closing. You should also include your contact information and details.
While a cover letter for nursing school is not always required, it can be a good idea to include one anyways. A good cover letter can help your application by providing some context or expanding on the information in your application.
To write a strong cover letter for nursing school, include the best and most meaningful of your professional or volunteer work experiences. Highlight the skills and abilities you have that relate to the nursing profession and provide clear, relevant examples.
Cover letters use a formal letter structure, as well as the familiar introduction, body and conclusion for the main sections of the letter.
A nursing school cover letter might include examples of your work experience, any skills, achievements or certifications you have that relate to your ability to become a good nursing professional, or how your personal values and commitment align with the nursing school’s mission and values.
No, a cover letter is not always a requirement for nursing school applications. Some nursing programs may ask for one, or they may state it as an optional part of your application.
Begin a cover letter for nursing school with a “Dear [Name and Title]. Try to address your letter to a specific person. If you’re not sure who will be reading the letter, use “Dear Admissions Committee” or similar. Avoid using “To Whom it May Concern.”
Cover letters are used to “pitch yourself” and secure an interview opportunity. They are an admission committee’s first impression of who you are and what you bring to the table. To pitch yourself in a cover letter means convincing the admissions committee that you have the experience, drive and skills to succeed in a nursing program. Essentially, you sell them on the idea that you are a prime candidate.
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Medical School Letters of Recommendation: Who Should Write Them and What Should Be Included?
You know you have what it takes to be a great physician. You wouldn’t be applying to medical school if you had any doubts. Now you need to prove it to the programs you’re considering, and one of the best ways to do so is by submitting excellent letters of recommendation.
While you’re confident in your work ethic, communication skills, and passion for medicine, it might feel a little awkward to ask someone to draw attention to these positive attributes. You might wonder if a trusted mentor really thinks you’re med school material.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but you can make things easier on yourself by going in with a plan. We asked some experts for a little advice about how to proceed. Their insight can help ensure every medical school letter of recommendation in your application package is stellar.
Before we get into the details of how the document should be formatted or anything else, you need to understand what a great letter looks like.
What does a great medical school letter of recommendation include?
Medical school letters of recommendation should be better than just good. “You don’t want a mediocre one; you want an excellent one,” says Dr. John Madden, an Emergency Medicine Physician and Director of the Office of Career Guidance and Student Development (OCGSD) at St. George’s University (SGU).
“You don’t want a mediocre one; you want an excellent one.”
A great letter should speak to your character. Medical schools look for candidates who possess certain personal qualities , including empathy, good communication skills, and resilience. Dr. Madden says letters should also comment on your academic qualifications like your ability to absorb difficult material.
Great letters of recommendation don’t just list qualities, either. Dr. Brynna Connor , Family Physician in Austin, Texas, recalls a recent letter she penned for a medical school-bound student. There were a couple of things that really stood out about this student, including his willingness to go above and beyond. Dr. Connor says she was able to illustrate this quality by pointing to specifics.
“While having a very tough course load, he still made the time to come to my office every single week and give four hours to us,” she explains. “That shows dedication. That shows perseverance. That shows he really means business.”
An excellent letter should also say at least a little bit about who you are as a person outside an academic setting. Maybe you’re a big fan of literature or a certain sport. These details might seem small, but they can make a difference should you get invited for an interview.
“It gives the interviewer something to talk to you about outside of why you want to go to medical school,” Dr. Madden explains.
Who should you choose to write your medical school letters of recommendation?
The number and breakdown of different types of letters can vary substantially from one school to the next, so make sure you research individual programs. Most applicants should gather letters from instructors, but not just any instructor will do.
“It would have to be somebody who knows you well.”
“It would have to be somebody who knows you well,” Dr. Madden says. “It doesn’t have to be a science professor, either. It could be somebody in literature or math.” He also mentions applicants who have volunteered a lot could reach out to their supervisors from those experiences.
Many students want to get their hands on a physician-authored letter, but a high level of familiarity is still important. Dr. Connor mentions students who ask for evaluations from physicians they’ve shadowed for just a few days run the risk of receiving dry, impersonal letters. It’s only advisable to request a letter from a physician if you’ve spent a significant amount of time with them.
Lastly, avoid requesting letters from family members, family friends, or members of your religious organization. These individuals won’t be able to fully comment on why you’d be a great medical student, so their input may not carry much weight.
How do you ask for a letter of recommendation to medical school?
Make sure you’re thoughtful about how you ask a professor for an evaluation. It’s a big undertaking, and they may need more information or just some additional time to think.
“You can’t surprise them at the end of a lecture,” Dr. Madden warns.
The way you ask is also important. Dr. Madden suggests, “The question should be, ‘Do you think you’d be able to write me an excellent letter of recommendation?’” If they hesitate, you should move on to someone else.
“You should visit them during their office hours, so you can have a conversation.”
If you’re looking to get a letter from a shadowing experience, Dr. Connor says you should let the physician know right away. She suggests you introduce yourself, explain your desire to attend medical school, state what you want to get out of the shadowing experience, and mention that your ultimate goal is to obtain a letter of recommendation.
“That lays it all out, and then all I have to do is think, ‘Okay, can I do it?’” she says.
How can you help those writing your letters of recommendation?
Once you’ve received confirmation from your letter writers, it’s up to you to make sure they have everything they need. Dr. Connor explains that the basics every letter writer needs are your updated resume and personal statement, but having a dialogue with them also matters.
She also says it can be helpful to discuss your goals with an individual writing one of your letters, just so they can personalize it as much as possible. Lastly, she suggests regularly checking in with them until you secure your letter.
“If you don’t ask for what you need, you’re not going to get it.”
“If you don’t ask for what you need, you’re not going to get it,” Dr. Connor adds.
What should a completed medical school letter of recommendation look like?
Letters will vary from writer to writer, which is fine. The one hard-and-fast rule is that each letter be concise. Dr. Madden says every evaluation should be a maximum of one page.
Dr. Connor agrees. “I write it like a good old-fashioned three- or four-point letter,” she says. “And no more than one page — people don’t want to read any more than that.”
Be a standout applicant
Now that you know a bit more about how to obtain great evaluations, you can start taking action. Think about which individuals can best speak to your character and qualifications, and then get started. A great medical school letter of recommendation could be the final nudge an admissions committee needs to extend you an interview invitation.
Once you’ve made it through the application, you’ll want to start thinking about how you can get ready for interviews. These conversations are your last chance to make an impression on the medical schools considering you. Make sure you’re ready by reading our article, “ How to Prepare for Medical School Interviews: Steps for Success .”
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2 Average of 2021, 2022, 2023 residency placement rate. Residency placement rate is defined as the total number of students/graduates who obtained a US residency divided by the total number of students/graduates who applied to a US residency program in a given year as of March 2023.
3 Average of 2019, 2020, 2021 scores. First-time pass rate is defined as the number of students passing USMLE Step 1 on their first attempt divided by the total number of students taking USMLE Step 1 for the first time. In order to be certified to take USMLE Step 1, students are required to pass all basic sciences courses.
4 Average of academic years 2019, 2020, 2021 scores. First-time pass rate is defined as the number of students passing USMLE Step 2 CK on their first attempt divided by the total number of students taking USMLE Step 2 CK for the first time. USMLE Step 2 CK is typically taken upon completion of third-year core clinical rotations.
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Gre prep online guides and tips, do you need a cover letter for graduate school applications.
Applying to graduate school means getting together a lot of materials. Most likely, you’ll need transcripts, letters of recommendation, a CV or resume, and a statement of purpose—but do you also need a cover letter for graduate school?
Read on to learn whether you need to submit a graduate school cover letter and how to make one. We’ll also give you six essential tips for making your cover letter for graduate school shine.
Do You Need a Cover Letter for Graduate School?
Generally, you don’t need to submit a cover letter with your graduate school application. Since most programs require you to input your personal information using an online application system, you usually won’t have to submit a separate cover letter as well.
In fact, your statement of purpose already accomplishes most of what a cover letter does: it introduces who you are as well as your academic interests, accomplishments, and goals. Therefore, you most likely won’t need to write a cover letter for your application.
Rarely, a program may ask you to submit a cover letter with your application (or allow you to submit one, even if it’s not required). If you are applying to graduate school by mail, you may want (or need) to include a cover letter in order to highlight your interest in the program and ensure it reaches the correct department.
However, most programs require you to apply online, so you can’t send in an application by mail unless your program allows it. Aside from these relatively isolated cases, you shouldn’t need to submit a cover letter for graduate school.
That said, if you’re applying for a school-related job or internship, it’s common (and often necessary) to submit a cover letter with your application. For example, if you were a current grad student looking to conduct research under a specific professor, you could submit a cover letter to that professor explaining who you are and why you’re interested in conducting research with him or her.
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Or, let’s say you’re applying for a part-time job or internship at your school. In this case, you’ll most likely need to submit a cover letter to introduce yourself, your skills, and your employment history.
How to Write a Cover Letter for Graduate School: Step by Step
If you plan to submit a graduate school cover letter, it’s important to know what to include on it so that you can make a positive impression on the admission committee (or employer).
In this section, we go over the six essential steps for writing a great cover letter for graduate school. With each step, we give you examples using our original graduate school cover letter sample .
Step 1: Address Your Letter
A clear and organized cover letter is key to making a good impression. Open your letter with your name and contact information followed by your recipient’s name and contact information (as if you were addressing an envelope).
Write your full name first and then use the lines directly beneath it to write your home address. You may also include your phone number and/or email address on a fourth or fifth line after your home address; however, this is optional.
Next, insert a blank space after your contact information and write today’s date. You may use the month-day-year format (e.g., September 4, 2017) or the more formal day-month-year format (e.g., 4 September 2017). Either is fine!
Leave another blank space after the date and write your recipient’s contact information (i.e., to whom you’re sending your cover letter and application).
The name you use here depends on where you’re sending your application. If applying for admission to a graduate program, address your letter to either the head of the department or the head of the admission committee. If you’re not sure whom to address your letter to, contact your program and ask.
Write the name of the recipient with his or her title, if applicable. On the next line, write the name of the department/school for which the recipient works along with the address of the department/school.
Step 2: Use a Salutation
Like all letters, you should begin your cover letter with a greeting, or salutation, to your recipient.
The most common salutation for cover letters is “Dear [Recipent’s Name]” followed by a comma or a colon. A comma is a little less formal than a colon, but either mark is acceptable.
If you can’t figure out whom to address your cover letter to, write, “Dear Head of Admissions,” “Dear Graduate Coordinator,” or “To Whom It May Concern.” All of these salutations are acceptable, though less personal than a name; thus, it’s best to find a specific person to address your letter to.
Step 3: Introduce Yourself (Paragraph 1)
Now, we get to the heart of the cover letter. Use this first paragraph to briefly introduce yourself and what program or position you’re applying for. Also, talk a little about what your background in the field is, why you’re interested in this position/program, and how you heard about it.
Step 4: Summarize Your Background and Qualifications (Paragraph 2)
For this next paragraph, you’ll give a brief summary of any relevant skills and experiences you have that make you an ideal applicant for this program/position. Be sure to focus on transferrable skills— skills that can be applied across a range of fields and positions.
In addition, think deeply about why you’re drawn to this program/school and what it can do for you. What are your research interests and how will this program help you fulfill them? What do you plan to do after completing the program?
Finally, consider how you’ll fit with the program. Do your interests match what the program offers or specializes in? Are there any specific professors or faculty members you wish to work with?
Step 5: Thank Your Reader and List Enclosed Materials (Paragraph 3)
The final paragraph will be a short concluding paragraph in which you thank your reader(s) and give a list of enclosed materials.
When listing what’s enclosed, you may use commas or insert a short bullet list. Normally, you’ll enclose some or all of the following materials:
- Application for the program/position
- Statement of purpose
- Letters of recommendation
Be sure to list the enclosed materials in the order in which they’re enclosed. Programs may ask you to submit materials in a specific order, so check that you’re following your program’s directions exactly (and aren’t forgetting to include any documents either).
Another option is to include a list of your enclosed materials at the end of your letter instead of in this final paragraph (see step 6 for more information).
Step 6: Add a Closing Greeting
The last step is to wrap up your letter with a polite closing salutation. There are many greetings you can use to close your letter, such as “Sincerely,” “Yours Truly,” “Warm Regards,” and “Respectfully Yours.”
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After this greeting, insert a blank line and then type your name. Traditionally, you’d insert three or four blank spaces before typing your name; these spaces would then be used to sign your name in pen. Nowadays it’s OK to skip this step, especially if you’re trying to save space!
Take care to avoid any overly sentimental greetings, such as “Love” or “Forever Yours,” as these are inappropriate for a professional cover letter. Likewise, avoid using the single-word closing “From,” as this can sound a bit rigid and emotionless.
As I mentioned before, you may also insert a list of enclosed materials after your greeting (if you didn’t list them in your concluding paragraph). To do this, insert a space after your typed name and write “Enclosed,” “Enclosure,” or “Enc” followed by a colon. Then, insert a bullet list of the enclosed materials (in the order in which they’re enclosed). Here’s an example:
6 Tips for a Great Graduate School Cover Letter
Your cover letter for graduate school needs to make a great first impression on your program’s admission committee. Here are our top tips for ensuring your cover letter exceeds even your own expectations.
#1: Use a Polite, Professional, and Positive Tone
Because your cover letter is the first document the admission committee will see, be sure to do the following:
- Avoid slang and casual phrases. Nothing says unprofessional like “gotta” and “gonna,” so limit these words to conversations only. Remember, the cover letter is a formal document, much like an essay for school, so it’s better to err on the side of too formal than on the side of too casual.
- Be enthusiastic. Nobody wants to admit an unenthusiastic applicant, so use strong, positive words to convey your pleasure in applying to the program. Stick with upbeat words and phrases such as “happy,” “pleased,” “excited,” “thankful,” “accomplished,” etc.
- Thank your readers. Being polite is all about saying “thank you.” In your letter, thank your readers for their consideration and make it clear that you understand they’re spending a lot of time looking over your application. Don’t thank them over and over, though—this wastes valuable space and ultimately makes you sound desperate!
#2: Be Concise
The cover letter is not the time to delve deep into your personal reasons for pursuing a graduate degree (this is for your statement of purpose!), so be concise without forgoing critical facts about you and why you’re applying.
You’ll typically want to keep your cover letter at a maximum of one page, with no more than two to four paragraphs. Since this letter is short, avoid getting verbose: don’t use tons of flowery language or open with a broad statement. Rather, get straight to the point of who you are, what program you’re applying to, and why you’re a qualified candidate.
If you’re not sure what to include in your letter, read through your resume/CV and statement of purpose to make note of what you’ve already mentioned in those documents. Then, cut down (or remove completely) any similar parts in your cover letter. In short, don’t repeat information you’ve already talked in detail about in other parts of your application.
#3: Use a Neutral Font Face, Size, and Color
Because the cover letter is a professional document, you’ll want to keep its format simple and elegant, as you would a school essay.
Stick with basic “generic” fonts, such as Times New Roman, Arial, Tahoma, and Calibri. Don’t get creative by choosing fonts such as Comic Sans and Chiller—this will make your cover letter look wildly unprofessional and implies you’re not taking the application process seriously.
In terms of size, don’t use a super small or super large font size. You shouldn’t need to squeeze in tons of information on your cover letter, so an 11- or 12-point font should work fine.
Finally, use a regular black font color (on regular white computer paper). Wacky colors, like wacky font faces, will only make you look unprofessional!
#4: Single-Space Text
Unlike school essays, for which you always double-space and indent your paragraphs, the cover letter is single-spaced and uses block paragraphs. This means that instead of pressing the “tab” button to indent each paragraph, you’ll separate each paragraph from the next using a single blank space.
You should also insert a blank line when indicating any sort of transition from one element in your cover letter (e.g., a salutation) to another (e.g., a paragraph). Use our graduate school cover letter sample to better understand how spacing should look.
#5: Align Everything Left
On cover letters, everything needs to be aligned left, from your address and date to your salutations and paragraphs. As I mentioned above, you do not need to indent your paragraphs, so keep these aligned left as well.
There’s no need to justify your paragraphs. In fact, I advise against doing this, as the justification tool on Word often inserts bizarre spacing between words, making paragraphs more difficult to read.
#6: Edit and Proofread
Like every part of your application, take time to edit and proofread your cover letter. Go over the technical and stylistic sides of your writing: make sure your paragraphs flow well together, and check that you haven’t made any glaring grammar, spelling, or formatting mistakes. (For specific tips on formatting, see tips 3-5 above as well as our graduate school cover letter sample .)
I also strongly suggest getting someone else to read your cover letter. A separate pair of eyes will ensure that your letter is as clear and cogent as it can be.
Remember, your cover letter is the first part of your application the admission committee will see, so it must be as close as possible to perfect. Typos and errors will set a negative tone for the rest of your application, even if your other materials are strong. Don’t let the cover letter be your downfall!
Recap: How to Write a Cover Letter for Graduate School
Cover letters for graduate school are generally quite rare. Most programs require you to fill out your personal information and submit materials online, so you won’t usually need to submit a cover letter with your application.
That said, if you are applying for a graduate program by mail, have been asked to submit a cover letter, or are applying for a school-related job or internship, you’ll need to know how to write a cover letter for graduate school.
A graduate school cover letter must include the following elements:
- Your name and address
- Your recipient’s name and address
- A greeting (usually “Dear [Name]”)
- Two to three paragraphs explaining who you are, what you’re applying for, and why you’re a qualified applicant
- A concluding paragraph thanking your recipient for considering you and including a list of any enclosed materials (e.g., a statement of purpose, transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.)
- A closing greeting with your name (typed, or typed and signed)
Finally, to make a great cover letter for graduate school, be sure to follow these six tips:
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- Use a polite, professional, and positive tone
- Use a neutral font face, size, and color
- Single-space text
- Align everything left
- Edit and proofread
You should now have no trouble creating a strong cover letter for graduate school!
You know how to write a graduate school cover letter—but what about a CV? A resume? Check out our guides on how to write a CV and resume to learn what to include, what to leave out, and how to raise your odds of getting accepted to your program. And if you get stuck, use our high-quality resume and CV templates as a guide!
Need to write an essay for graduate school, too? Learn how to write a personal statement and how to write a statement of purpose using our in-depth guides and expert tips. We’ve also got samples of both personal statements (coming soon) and statements of purpose .
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Author: Hannah Muniz
Hannah graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in English and East Asian languages and cultures. After graduation, she taught English in Japan for two years via the JET Program. She is passionate about education, writing, and travel. View all posts by Hannah Muniz
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