How to Apply for Grad School – Some Fourth Year Tips!

As a fourth year coming to the daunting conclusion that, in just over a month, I will be a BAS alumni rather than a BAS student, much of my time has been spent reflecting on these last few years of interdisciplinarity. When it came time to write this blog post, I wanted to see if there was any accumulated wisdom I could impart. So without further adieu here are a few tips from a soon-to-be graduate on how to get into grad school!

First off, start researching different grad programs as early as you can. I started in the summer of my second year but I didn’t find the programs that I would eventually be applying to until the summer of my third year. It takes a lot of time, both to figure out what you want to do and then to figure out which programs and which schools are going to let you do that. It doesn’t help that university websites aren’t quite the most user friendly interfaces on the web.

So, once you’ve found the perfect program (or programs), start preparing your applications. The more work that you can do on your applications in the summer the easier your last year will be. The last thing that you want is to have to worry about writing your statement of interest and coming up with a writing sample while also trying to get great grades in five courses. De-stress your life and do it over the summer.

Next, make a timeline for yourself. One of the hardest things I found about applying to grad schools is that there are a pile of things that you have to have ready and no one to tell you when you’re falling behind. So, during the summer (while you’re finishing up all those applications), make a timeline for when you’re going to have things ready. Figure out when you’re going to contact profs, order transcripts, mail necessary information to certain schools, and submit your applications.

Make sure that you’re doing everything a little earlier than the deadline because things can go wrong and everything takes time. For a lot of schools, when you apply you might have to wait a few days after giving your contact information before you can submit your required documents on their website. References take a huge amount of time- I recommend contacting profs at least a few months ahead of the deadline so that they have plenty of warning and if you have to find a new reference, you have plenty of time to find one. Contacting profs early is also great because they might just help you with your applications. If they have months before the deadline they’re much more likely to read over your application and give you some pointers.

Hopefully this post was at least a little helpful for any of you who are considering applying to graduate school. For reference, most of my applications were due in January/February, so take into account that if the programs you’re looking at are due sooner then you might need to move your schedule up a bit. From my experience, applications can feel like a sixth course on top of everything else you have to do in your last year, so learn from my mistakes! Make your life easier, rock those applications, and have a great final year!

All in all, I hope you all had a fantASCI reading week, and I wish you all luck in the remaining half of this (my last…) semester!


BASSA President

The ASCI Perspective

Being a student in the BAS program, I find I often look at various issues by examining both the arts and science perspectives.  A current issue that I believe incorporates both these viewpoints is regarding the laws on euthanasia. As many of you may have heard, this past Friday, the Supreme Court overturned the ban on doctor-assisted suicide in Canada. This unanimous decision will allow those who are severely ill to have a choice in the method and timing of their death. There are limitations on who would be given such permissions, however it has been noted that the conditions of such individuals do not need to be terminal.

Euthanasia has been a topic of discussion for many years, and is something that is often brought to our attention when examining arts/science issues in ASCI. With that being said, this recent ruling was of great interest to me, and may likely be of interest to many of you.

If you want to read more about it, I have attached some links to articles on the topic.


2nd Year Representative


Hello all!

With the beginning of this semester’s deadlines looming overhead in my near future, I think perhaps I will use this post to reflect on exactly where my oases are. Up here in Guelph, I would have to say my little oasis can be found in my house off campus, among my housemates chatting, while perched upon a chair—and perhaps (actually, definitely) holding a cup of delicious hot chocolate. Of course, my larger oasis would be my family—and returning home during reading week is something I am already looking forward to. I can just imagine it: at home, reading a book, a cat loudly purring and sprawled across my lap (and in the way of my page of course), as I wait for a home cooked meal. I mean, there will of course be the whole doing work to stay on top of things, but I like to place that thought in a little box for now, hidden beneath more pleasant images; for example, the freedom from having to venture outside into the blizzard weather that is Guelph to go to class, and perhaps (actually, definitely) having longer sleep-ins. Suffice to say, I am excited for reading week.

Finally, if there is anyone reading this that is feeling stressed about something and needs a little oasis, the (relatively) new mental wellness website put up by the Wellness Center is a great resource, so check it out!

Over and out,


CASU Representative