April is the time for rain, taxes, and decline letters from grad schools. How can you improve your odds of getting into the program you want to next year?
- Fit. Are there several faculty members or topical/regional concentrations that make you appealing to the department, and vice versa?
- Preparedness. Do you have field experience and know the local language, and have you taken some anthropology classes before? Why are you interested in this site and topic, and will your project have legs?
- Intellectual ability. This is generally gauged through the transcripts, letters, and statement of purpose.
How can you improve your strengths in each of these areas?
- Fit. Go through the department websites, see how the department describes itself and its topical / regional strengths. Make sure there are several faculty at differing ranks that might be interested in your work, and contact them.
- Preparedness. Summer field schools, MA programs, language study.
- Intellectual ability. Work on the statement as much as possible. Make sure your letters of recommendation are written by faculty who know you well, think positively of you, and have plenty of time to craft a good letter.
Comments and thoughts more than welcome!