I stopped working on this website earlier this year because I had too much stuff going on in my life. Working on this blog just became too much work and I needed time off, but I understand that application season is once again in full swing. The material covered already in this blog is still good and helpful material, but some obvious things are missing.

Namely, I haven’t yet discussed the writing sample, fees and fee waivers (the fees are ridiculous, the fee waivers are often difficult to obtain and require you to do a lot of work several weeks in advance of the due date [i.e., when you’ll actually be turning in your application] and most online applications don’t inform you of the fee waivers until you reach the very end of the application where they’re asking for your credit card number–so that’s covered! Phew!), the personal statement a.k.a. the diversity statement, or the statement of purpose, which is one of the most important parts of the application.

I will try to cover those in depth next spring, when they’re not of any use to you at all. But they’ll be there for the next crop, and if I play my cards right I’ll have experience on an actual admissions committee by then.

But don’t despair because in the interim, and until the University of Chicago threatens to sue me, I’m uploading the Information Sheet that the fine folks there gave out to guide us through the application process. You’ll recognize much of the information as things I’ve already written here. But collected in those several pages–besides a lot of bluster about how great is the University of Chicago–is detailed information on how to produce an application that will be recognizable as of-value to admissions committees.

Come next spring I will try to cover that material in greater depth, as well as say some things about how to deal with acceptances and rejections.

Until then!


As the title suggests, I want to offer some tips and insights when it comes to choosing between different types of programs. How many different types of programs should you apply to? Do you know what kind of program you’re looking for? Should you be looking into social science or humanities programs? What about interdisciplinary programs?

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