The Facilitated Graduate Applications Process (F-GAP)
What is F-GAP?
The Facilitated Graduate Applications Process (F-GAP) is a Math Alliance program that provides undergraduate seniors and masters students with the advice and assistance needed to begin the application process as they consider applying to graduate programs. F-GAP will help students choose departments that are most appropriate to their goals and aspirations. The Math Alliance Community will work with the student as they prepare their applications to graduate programs and will assist in tracking the progress of their applications through the admissions process. The Math Alliance Community will assist in maximizing the chances that Math Alliance Scholars will be admitted, with support, to a department or program where they will thrive.
How are students selected to participate in this program?
In January or February of each year Math Alliance staff will review the list of Math Alliance scholars and select the students that appear to be in line to graduate during the Spring of the following year. The names of these students are sent to their predoctoral mentor inquiring whether the student is eligible and would like to participate in the F-GAP Program (students must meet certain criteria). Predoctoral mentors can then nominate these students and any other graduating senior or Master's student that they determine would be eligible and would benefit from this program.
The Student Nomination ProcessTo participate in the F-GAP program a student must be:
- A Math Alliance Scholar
- Nominated by their Math Alliance Predoctoral Mentor.
- A graduating senior or Master’s student looking to apply to a graduate program.
After a student is nominated by their Predoctoral Mentor, Math Alliance Staff will contact the nominated students to make sure they are interested in participating in the program.
How F-GAP works
Graduating seniors or Master’s students that have been nominated by a mentor will be paired with a doctoral mentor (faculty facilitator) from among our Math Alliance Doctoral Mentors. (Many Math Alliance Doctoral Mentors are faculty members from Math Alliance Doctoral Program Groups (DPG's).) Math Alliance staff will pair the student with the doctoral mentor. The student,the doctoral mentor and the predoctoral mentor form the graduate mentoring team for the student. Students that have agreed to participate in the F-GAP program are required to prepare the following materials:
- Personal Statement to a graduate program(first draft)
- Transcripts & grades in math sciences courses
- GRE Scores (if available) or date GRE Exam will be taken
- List of References (include the reference name and their relationship to student, i.e. professor, employer etc.)
The student will send this material to his/her Predoctoral Mentor for review. After the predoctoral mentor approves this material, the student will then send this information to their F-GAP Faculty Facilitator/Doctoral Mentor.
The F-GAP Facilitator will:
- Examine the draft personal statement and make suggestions of how to improve it to make it more appealing to a graduate director. (this may take several revisions).
- Read the résumé and offer suggestions of material to include or leave out
- Study the transcript to see what courses have been taken and where necessary, make suggestions of courses that would be beneficial to the student’s chances that could be taken during the final undergraduate year.
- Look over the references to see if they appear to be appropriate.
- Review the GRE scores and based on the minimal scores that are accepted at their university may make suggestions on possible retakes.
The student, the Predoctoral Mentor, and the F-GAP Facilitator will have a discussion by email, Skype, or phone to suggest which graduate programs will be best for the student.
Once the personal statement, résumé, and reference list are finalized, the student is ready to apply to at least three graduate programs. If the student is applying to a program in a Math Alliance Graduate Program Group (GPGs), they should contact the GPG for information on how to receive an application fee waiver prior to submitting the application form. View a complete list of Math Alliance GPGs, their minimal requirements, and their contact information.
All students applying through the Facilitated Graduate Applications Process (F-GAP) are encouraged to give the Math Alliance permission to share their information with the mentors in the Doctoral Program Groups (DPG's). After the student applies to the various graduate programs, they should send a complete list to the Math Alliance staff request. Math Alliance Staff will:
- contact faculty at the Alliance GPG programs and let them know that the Math Alliance Scholar has applied to their program.
- Track the application at each of the Math Alliance GPG programs to make sure that the student’s application is given careful consideration.
- Notify Math Alliance Staff when final program decisions are made.
Math Alliance - IMA Summer Workshop
Starting in 2019, The Math Alliance is partnering with the Institute for Mathematics and it's Applications (IMA) to run a summer workshop for some F-GAP students and their predoctoral mentors. The F-GAP students selected for this workshop will be from departments with no doctoral program. The selection process will begin in March, and the F-GAP student must be actively engaged in the F-GAP program, as verified by their Faculty Facilitator, to qualify.
Resources Available to Students as you prepare your Graduate School Application Materials
There are many resources available to students on the Math Alliance website to assist in the preparation of the graduate materials. These resources can be found on the Math Alliance webpage under the “Resources” tab which includes:
- Suggestions on how to write a personal statement
- What should be included in your resume
- Information on the GRE
- Tips on choosing/requesting your letters of recommendation
- Minimal Requirements of our Graduate Program Groups