Keystone logo

Master's Application Handbook

Sep 20, 2023

Master's Application Documents

Academic transcripts *
Personal statement
Letters of recommendation
Academic CV/Resume
English language proficiency certificate
Application form
Proof of application fee payment**

* May need to be officially translated
** If applicable

Personal statement

Dear Admissions Committee,

I am writing to express my interest in pursuing a Master's degree in[field of study] at [university name]. As a [your unique trait or interest that's related to the program], I believe that I am a great fit for your university's [program name] program.

Firstly, I have gained a solid foundation and developed a genuine enthusiasm for [area of specialization] through my undergraduate studies in [related discipline]. The topic of [area or course(s) the Master's program covers in depth] is something I have a particular interest in, and I would be honored to have an opportunity to learn directly from experts such as [professor(s) that research the topic you're interested in].

[A paragraph where you discuss a story which led you to consider applying to this program. The story can be of personal nature (overcoming a challenge like poverty) or something related to your academic life (i.e. you took a course in a related field during undergrad and discovered a new passion)]

Lastly, what drew me to [university name] specifically was [unique trait of this university that benefits your major]. This attention to detail is what makes me want to grow and learn in an environment that is committed to excellence.

In conclusion, my education and experience outlined above, combined with my fascination [area of specialization], makes me confident that I would be able to contribute to the academic community at [university name] and make a meaningful impact in the field of [field of study].

Thank you very much for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

[FirstName LastName]

Academic CV/Resume

Academic CV or resume

Master's Application Checklist

✍️ Research phase

Understanding your career goals:

Identify your long-term career goals and how a Master's program aligns with them.
Research potential industries and roles you aim to pursue post-graduation.

Selecting the right program:

Identify the specializations or tracks available within your chosen field.
Research the reputation and ranking of different programs.
Investigate faculty profiles, focusing on their research and professional background.
Look into alumni networks and where graduates of the programs are working.

Financial considerations:

Research tuition fees and other expenses.
Explore scholarship, assistantship, and fellowship opportunities.
Consider potential return on investment (ROI) for your selected programs.

📁 Preparation phase

Academic background:

Ensure you meet the minimum educational qualifications.
Gather and organize your transcripts and other relevant academic records.

Test preparation

Determine if standardized tests (like GRE, GMAT) are required.
Prepare and register for necessary standardized tests.
Schedule and complete language proficiency tests (like IELTS, TOEFL), if necessary.

Experience and skills:

List and detail relevant work experience, internships, or research projects.
Document your technical and soft skills that align with the program’s requirements.

📝 Application phase

Statement of purpose (SoP) or personal statement:

Understand the guidelines and requirements for the SoP.
Draft and revise your SoP, illustrating your motivation, interests, and why you chose the specific program.
Seek feedback on your SoP from mentors or peers.

Letters of recommendation (LoR):

Identify potential recommenders (academic or professional).
Request LoRs well in advance, providing recommenders with necessary information and guidelines.
Follow up with recommenders to ensure timely submission of LoRs.

Resume or CV:

Update your resume or CV with recent achievements and experiences.
Tailor your resume or CV to highlight skills and experiences relevant to the program.

Application forms:

Complete the application forms accurately, adhering to guidelines and deadlines.
Make sure to pay any application fees (if applicable), and save the payment slip in case you're asked to show proof of payment.

🗓️ Post-application

Financial planning:

Develop a financial plan, considering tuition, living expenses, and potential funding opportunities.
Apply for scholarships, assistantships, or fellowships.

Visa and travel arrangements:

Research and understand visa requirements.
Prepare necessary documents for visa application, if studying abroad.
Plan your travel and accommodation arrangements.

Networking and professional development:

Join online groups or communities for incoming students.
Start networking with future classmates, alumni, and industry professionals.
Explore opportunities for professional development during your Master’s program.

Ready to start applying?

Browse thousands of Master's programs here!

Discover programs →
Keystone Team


The Keystone Team is comprised of experienced educators and advisors dedicated to providing valuable resources and advice to students all over the world.

Find a program in these categories