3

Should you see graduate schol application questions as opportunities to provide relevant positive information about yourself, or as fiats to list absolutely everything in a category of your experience?

For example, here are a few questions from Harvard's GSAS application (I don't know what, if any, general instructions are given--such as whether it says "Provide complete answers to each question" or "Please provide the following information"):

  1. Academic Honors/Fellowships

  2. List any articles, books, and other material published, and any inventions.

  3. Other universities (Program/Department) to which applying

  4. Employment experience (including part-time) since secondary school

With some of these (#1, #2) it seems easy to believe one could choose which examples to report. That is, you wouldn't be ethically obliged to list that you once published a crossword puzzle in your town's local paper, or that you won the Latin prize in high school, even if both are true. Instead, it seems reasonable one would list the honors and publications providing the best evidence of one's qualification for the program.

By contrast, some of these (#3 and the submission of transcripts, for example) would seem to suggest that a thoroughgoing answer is expected. Others (#4) are in a gray area--it's not clear to me which approach should be taken.

There is usually a statement at the end of the application where you must affirm that your responses are "complete and accurate." However, I don't really understand what this means in light of the nuances above, and in the absence of clearer specifications. Please help!

3

Should you see graduate schol application questions as opportunities to provide relevant positive information about yourself, or as fiats to list absolutely everything in a category of your experience?

From reading some other posts of yours, I am aware you are finding it quite tedious to fill out your applications. Therefore, for you at least, it is easy to choose the right option:

opportunities to provide relevant positive information about yourself

Your motto should be

" Get 'er done."

  • Good answer, but I would worry very much about (accidentally) running afoul of ethics. – SAH Dec 24 '15 at 5:21
  • 1
    @SAH - What's unethical about neglecting to mention the wonderful job you did in an internship when you were 19 years old (for example)? If there's something specific you would prefer to leave out of the application, but are unsure about the ethics of, please be more specific. – aparente001 Dec 24 '15 at 21:04
  • The unethical part would come at the signing to affirm "completeness and accuracy," I guess :( – SAH Dec 27 '15 at 14:14
  • 1
    @SAH - What they mean by that is that you shouldn't omit mention of the biggies in your academic autobiography, such as a college or university you were enrolled in. – aparente001 Feb 11 '16 at 14:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.