5 Professional Grad School Cover Letter Examples for 2024

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5 Professional Grad School Cover...

Your grad school cover letter must instantly captivate the admissions committee. It should highlight your academic achievements and research interests clearly. Bear in mind, your letter is a formal introduction to your intellectual passions. Craft it carefully to reflect both your dedication and potential for advanced study.

All cover letter examples in this guide

Writing a grad school cover letter can often feel like a puzzle where the pieces don't quite fit. You've started applying for jobs and suddenly realize you need more than a resume—you need a personal touch that tells your story. It's not just about listing achievements; it’s about showcasing your proudest professional moment in a compelling and formal way, without falling into the trap of overused phrases. And all within the confines of one concise page. Let's navigate this together and make your cover letter stand out.

Discover our guide on writing your grad school cover letter with tips and tricks on how to:

  • Introduce your profile to catch recruiters' attention;
  • Use professional templates and examples to make sure your grad school cover letter follows the best industry standards;
  • Settle on your most story-worthy achievement to shine a light on what makes your application unique;
  • Write a grad school cover letter, even when you lack professional experience.

Ready to start with the basics: upload your resume to Enhancv's AI, below, to see the grad school cover letter it would write for you.

Grad School cover letter example

Isabelle Todd

San Francisco, CA



Dear Hiring Manager,

I am writing to express my interest in the position that marries rigorous data analysis with strategic decision-making, a space where my extensive background as a Research Analyst and Data Scientist can be fully utilized and further expanded upon.

During my tenure at IBM, I successfully led a team on a data analytics project that increased productivity by a notable 15%. This was achieved by meticulously managing and analyzing vast datasets, drawing out actionable insights that directly benefited our clients. One of the pinnacle moments of my career was designing and implementing an A/B testing strategy which led to an impressive 10% increase in customer engagement. It was through these rigorous testing methods and predictive models that we were able to boost model accuracy by an extraordinary 20%, setting new benchmarks for success within the organization. This specific project underscores my ability to not only generate insights but also apply them in a manner that substantively benefits business outcomes.

I am eager to bring my analytical prowess, problem-solving capabilities, and team leadership experience to your esteemed company. Your dedication to harnessing data for impactful business solutions aligns perfectly with my professional philosophy and skill set. I am keen on the opportunity to further discuss how my background, skills, and certifications can contribute to your team’s success.


Isabelle Todd

Research Analyst | Data Science & Machine Learning
What makes this cover letter good:

  • Emphasis on past achievements with quantifiable results — such as increasing productivity and customer engagement — proves the ability to add value and solve real-world problems.
  • Highlighting experience in relevant projects, like the A/B testing strategy, shows a track record of applying specific skills that are likely transferable to the new role.
  • Mentioning technical proficiency in data analytics, predictive models, and specific tools or methodologies (e.g., machine learning) matches the specialized needs of the role.
  • Demonstrating leadership by outlining experiences of leading teams aligns with roles that may require supervision or team collaboration.

The visual appeal of your grad school cover letter: format, font, and structure

When using our cover letter builder, make sure to include these vital sections:

  • Header (with your name, contact details, the role, and date);
  • Greeting (that's personalized to the recruiter);
  • Introductory paragraph (to capture attention);
  • Body paragraph (to tell a story of how you've obtained your job-crucial skills);
  • Closing paragraph (ending with a nod to the future ahead);
  • Signature (that is not a must).

Our cover letter templates are already set up for you with the best grad school cover letter design with single-spaced paragraphs and a one-inch margin.

As for the font of your grad school cover letter, use the same one as you did in your resume (where modern and simple fonts, like Rubik and Bitter, take precedence over Arial and Times New Roman).

Your grad school cover letter is created with the recruiters in mind - as no Applicant Tracker System looks over this part of your profile.

When sending over your grad school cover letter, download it in PDF. This format allows your information and design to stay intact and to keep the same visual quality.

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The top sections on a grad school cover letter

  • Header: Includes your contact information, the date, and the recipient's details, providing a professional look to your cover letter and making it easy for the admissions committee to contact you.
  • Opening Greeting: A respectful salutation that addresses the specific individual or admissions committee, demonstrating that you’ve researched who will be reviewing your application.
  • Introduction: Briefly mentions your background and the program you are applying for, while expressing your enthusiasm and alignment with the school's values, which helps to hook the reader’s interest.
  • Body: Elaborates on your relevant academic and research experiences, specific interests in the program, and how your goals align with the faculty's expertise, showing the recruiter your potential fit and contribution to the program.
  • Closing Paragraph: Summarizes your qualifications, reiterates your interest in the program, and includes a courteous thank you, leaving a final positive impression and signaling the end of your cover letter.
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Key qualities recruiters search for in a candidate’s cover letter

As there is no specified role provided in your request, I will list 6 key qualities, experiences, and traits for a general graduate school applicant. If you want a list tailored to a specific grad school program or job title, please provide the details. Here is the list for a general grad role:

  • Strong academic record: Evidence of intellectual horsepower and discipline to handle rigorous coursework.

  • Relevant research experience: Demonstrates the ability to conduct scholarly inquiry and contributes to the field of study.

  • Clear career goals: Shows purpose and intentionality, aligning with the program's strengths.

  • Excellence in communication: Ability to articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively in writing and speaking.

  • Professional or academic recommendations: Strong endorsements from credible sources who can vouch for the applicant's abilities and potential.

  • Personal qualities such as resilience, initiative, and creativity: Attributes that suggest the applicant can thrive in challenging environments and contribute to the academic community.

The grad school cover letter salutation: how to address hiring managers

After covering the format of your grad school cover letter, let's look at the salutation.

Back in the day, the cordial "To whom it may concern" or "Dear Sir/Madam", might have worked out fine.

But, nowadays, your cover letter should approach hiring managers on a more personal basis.

So, what to do about your cover letter salutation?

If you've messaged the recruiters and are on a first name basis or a more formal one, use the hiring manager's name in the greeting (e.g. "Dear Sophie," "Dear Ms. Givens", or "Dear Mr. Everett,").

Always aim to make the effort to find out the name of the hiring manager, who'd be assessing your application. Search on LinkedIn, double-check the advert on the corporate website, or message the brand on social media to find out more about the role.

If you can't find the hiring manager's name (and still want to sound professional), use "Dear HR Team,", "Dear Hiring Manager,", or the likes.

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List of salutations you can use

  • Dear Admissions Committee,
  • Dear [Program Director's Name],
  • Dear [Department Name] Selection Committee,
  • Dear Professor [Last Name],
  • Dear Dr. [Last Name],
  • Dear Graduate Admissions,

The grad school cover letter intro: aligning your interest with the company culture

You only have one chance at making a memorable first impression on recruiters with your grad school cover letter.

Structure your introduction to be precise and to include no more than two sentences.

Here are some ideas on how to write a job-winning grad school cover letter introduction:

  • get creative - show off your personality from the get-go (if this aligns with the company culture);
  • focus on your motivation - be specific when you say what gets you excited about this opportunity.
Intro Paragraph
Immersed in the transformative power of data analytics, I am drawn to the pioneering spirit that characterizes [Company Name], particularly your commitment to leveraging technology to foster community engagement. My comprehensive academic background, paired with a relentless drive to contribute meaningful insights, aligns seamlessly with the innovative ethos your team cultivates.

What to write in the middle or body of your grad school cover letter

Here's where it gets tricky.

Your grad school cover letter body should present you in the best light possible and, at the same time, differ from your resume.

Don't be stuck in making up new things or copy-pasting from your resume. Instead, select just one achievement from your experience.

Use it to succinctly tell a story of the job-crucial skills and knowledge this taught you.

Your grad school cover letter is the magic card you need to further show how any organization or team would benefit from working with you.

Body Paragraph
Leading a three-person team, I developed an AI-based analytics tool that increased data processing efficiency by 75%, showcasing my technical expertise and leadership in high-stakes environments. This tool subsequently cut project turnaround times in half, directly contributing to a 20% uptick in client satisfaction for our tech consultancy firm.

Ending your grad school cover letter: a closing paragraph with a promise

If you're thinking of finishing your grad school cover letter with a "Sincerely yours" or "Thanks for the consideration," you need to read on.

End the final paragraph of your grad school cover letter with a twist:

  • a promise - of how you'd grow as a professional, part of the company, or improve organizational metrics;
  • a call to action - prompt interviewers with some follow-up actions if they are interested in your profile.

A personalized ending would surely help you to stand out by being a memorable candidate.

Closing Paragraph
I am eager to further discuss how my background aligns with the program's goals. Please feel free to contact me to arrange an interview.

Addressing limited to no experience in the grad school cover letter

There's nothing to worry about if you lack professional experience.

Your grad school cover letter could bridge the gaps in your professional history by focusing on what matters most to recruiters, that's either:

  • skills - focusing on transferable ones you've gained, thanks to your life experience (e.g. volunteering, certificates, etc.);
  • achievements - select the most relevant and noteworthy one from your history (e.g. education, projects, etc.);
  • motivation - describe how you envision your professional growth in the next up to five years, thanks to this opportunity.

Key takeaways

Writing your grad school cover letter doesn't need to turn into an endless quest, but instead:

  • Create an individual grad school cover letter for each role you apply to, based on job criteria (use our builder to transform your resume into a cover letter, which you could edit to match the job);
  • Stick with the same font you've used in your resume (e.g. Raleway) and ensure your grad school cover letter is single-spaced and has a one-inch margin all around;
  • Introduce your enthusiasm for the role or the company at the beginning of your grad school cover letter to make a good first impression;
  • Align what matters most to the company by selecting just one achievement from your experience, that has taught you valuable skills and knowledge for the job;
  • End your grad school cover letter like any good story - with a promise for greatness or follow-up for an interview.

Grad School cover letter examples

Explore additional grad school cover letter samples and guides and see what works for your level of experience or role.

By Role

SLP Grad School

When applying for SLP Grad School, it's important to showcase your knowledge in communication disorders and relevant volunteer or work experience, such as shadowing a Speech-Language Pathologist or working with individuals with speech difficulties. Highlight your academic understanding with courses like 'Introduction to Speech Disorders' or 'Audiology Fundamentals' and discuss the length of your studies to demonstrate commitment. Use specific examples where your interventions have positively impacted someone's communication ability, following the 'skill-action-result' format to reflect the potential for success in graduate studies.
View SLP Grad School Cover Letter

Nursing Grad School

When applying for Nursing Grad School, it's essential to showcase your clinical experience and patient care skills. Detail any internships or healthcare-related volunteer work and emphasize the development of practical nursing skills and compassion. Mention academic achievements in key courses like 'Anatomy and Physiology' or 'Patient Care Principles'. Highlight specific instances where you've demonstrated critical thinking and problem-solving in a healthcare setting, using a 'situation-task-action-result' framework to illustrate the impact of your contributions on patient outcomes or team efficiency.

Biology Grad School

Pursuing a Biology Grad School position, it’s essential to showcase any research experience, including lab work or field studies. Detail your exposure to experiments, data analysis, and scientific writing to demonstrate your capability for graduate-level research. If you've taken specialized courses like 'Genetic Engineering' or 'Ecology and Evolution', be sure to mention them, noting the length of study to exhibit thorough knowledge. Share instances where your scientific acumen has contributed to project advancements or research breakthroughs, adopting a 'skill-action-outcome' framework in your narrative.

Psychology Grad School

When applying for graduate programs in Psychology, emphasize any research projects or lab experience you've had, especially if you've worked directly with participants or data analysis. Highlight coursework in psychology and any specializations that align with the grad program's focus. Include any academic honors or awards to underscore your dedication. Explain how your previous experiences have cultivated a strong understanding of psychological theories or methodologies using a 'challenge-strategy-outcome' framework in your cover letter. For a School Counselor Role, it's essential to showcase your experience with diverse student populations and your ability to provide emotional support and guidance. Detail your internships or volunteer work in educational settings. Include information on relevant coursework in counseling techniques or child development. Use a 'problem-intervention-impact' narrative to demonstrate the positive changes you have facilitated in children's academic and personal lives, thus underscoring your direct contribution to student welfare. Applying for a Research Assistant position in Psychology, underline any methodical lab work or field studies you've been a part of. Discuss your proficiency with statistical software and experimental design if applicable. If you've co-authored any papers or presented at conferences, mention this as proof of your collaborative and communication skills. Employ a 'hypothesis-experiment-conclusion' scheme to articulate how your analytical abilities have been key to successful research outcomes.
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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about a career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.
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