People send thousands of applications to our graduate school, and in turn, we return thousands of admission decisions. From the outside, it can look like a black-box process. Applications in, decisions out, and what happens between is a mystery.
There’s actually quite a bit of activity within that black box, and I’d like to give you a glimpse of what goes on once your application is here.
Application In: The application arrives at the Graduate Admissions office. It is immediately processed, archived, and posted to our admissions database software. An email is sent to the applicant confirming receipt and giving login information into myUTTyler, which is the side of the database that applicants and students can see – where they can track their applications and enroll in classes, etc.
Documents In: Once the application is in our system, we need to receive supporting documents. Typically, these include official transcripts and GRE / GMAT scores, but depending on the program, we might need to receive essays, recommendations, informational forms, or interview transcripts. Some documents come to us in the Graduate Admissions office, and some go directly to the department. The program’s web page will have details about where to send which documents. As these documents come in, they are scanned, added to the applicant’s record, and marked off of our checklist in the database.
To the Department: When all documents for an application have arrived, the application packet is sent to the department for evaluation. This process can take anywhere from one day to six weeks, depending on which department is receiving the application and how busy they are at the time. Decisions are made by faculty committees of varying sizes, and take multiple factors into account including grades, GRE / GMAT scores, other documentation, and interview results.
Decision Out: The department will send the application back to the Graduate Admissions office along with an admission decision. At this point, we will process that decision in the database and notify the applicant of the outcome of his or her application. For accepted applications, this is when we push the button that turns a hopeful applicant into an admitted student. That’s our favorite part of the day!
This peek into admissions is very basic and simplified. There are many smaller steps that make up each of these larger steps, but they are pretty technical, and without actually training you to use our systems, it would be hard to present them in a way that makes sense. But I hope this gives you at least a better idea of exactly what is happening inside the black box of Graduate Admissions.
Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions
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