I had a couple of very talented undergrad philosophy majors ask me after class yesterday about grad school. Of course, I gave them the usual warnings--and some statistics--about seeking a graduate degree in philosophy, and I was glad to see that they took the information very seriously. Before I gave them the relevant warnings, however, they asked me what it takes to get into a good grad program, and specifically, what grad admissions committees care about, comparatively speaking:
- Gre scores?
- Recommendation letters?
- The writing sample?
Given that I've never been on a grad admissions committee, I couldn't give them an unequivocal answer. And perhaps there is no such answer (perhaps different committee members look for different things). However, to the best of my recollection, when I applied to grad schools I remember hearing that GRE scores and writing samples matter the most--which seems right to me. But of course, as someone who mistrusts intuitions, I tend to be dubious of merely appealing to what "seems right." :) So, I wonder, are there any of you out there--the Cocoon's readers--who are in the know on this issue? Have you been on a grad admissions committee, and gotten a clear sense of what matters the most? If so, what? It would be great to be able to give students clearer direction.
Thanks, in advance, to everyone who chimes in!