- 1). Determine your specific research interests or other specializations you will be pursuing if you are not pursuing a research-based program. Research scholars in the field in which you plan to specialize. Contact them via e-mail or phone to introduce yourself and, if possible, ask them questions about their research or work. Regardless of what field you are going into, you will likely be working with a faculty mentor who will provide you with tutelage throughout the program. Try to find one whose work closely corresponds to your own interests as a scholar.
- 2). Visit the websites of doctoral programs to find one that meets your academic and vocational needs. One of the more common types of doctoral programs is the Ph.D., which is a research-oriented program, while other programs like the doctor of education or Ed.D. is a little more practical in its orientation. Other types of doctorates are offered in fields like business and psychology. Ensure that the type of program you apply for is what you need for your career.
- 3). Ensure that you can meet all of the necessary requirements for each program that you apply to. Some schools will require or at least recommend a minimum grade point average. Most schools will also require that you submit scores from the GRE general exam or whatever the equivalent exam is for the field of study you plan on going into. You will also need to be able to obtain letters of recommendation from faculty members at your undergraduate institution.
- 4). Submit all of your application materials along with a letter of intent, biographical statement or whatever is required by each doctoral program. Tailor your statement to each program and its particular area of emphasis. Mention the specific scholars you hope to work with and what ways your research interests can make a contribution to the department to which you are applying. Schools look for doctoral candidates who can make significant contributions to their field of scholarship.
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