How to use the course
We estimate it takes 40 to 50 hours on the clock to develop a highly competitive application from scratch–that includes ~20 hours of outside writing. The course is self-paced, so you can compress that into a couple of weeks or stretch it over a couple of months. But don’t dawdle — it’s best to finish well before the deadline so you can have friends and advisors comment on your essays.
Each step has a tutorial — as you go through it, you’ll open tipsheets, worksheets, and videos as they’re needed. (You can also open those directly from the main page of each step.) When you finish the tutorial, click the “completed” button to move to the next step. You can start that immediately or return later.
The little clocks show how much time is needed to complete each step: doing the tutorial, reading the tipsheets, watching the videos, and filling in worksheets.
We recommend you do the program in order, but there are places where you can skip ahead — for example, while you’re waiting for feedback from your advisor, or for your letter writers to respond. We’ll mention it at the time.
System requirements: you should use powerpoint or google slides to view each tutorial. Tutorials for later stops have clickable buttons that may not work using other programs.
Get more help
We hold virtual office hours Monday through Thursday each week beginning July 13th and continuing through the application deadlines.
You can drop in to ask general questions about how to use the materials or specific questions about your own application.
Morning office hours are Monday and Tuesday from 10am to 11am Pacific time. To join morning office hours, click this link.
Afternoon office hours are Wednesday and Thursday from 2pm to 3pm Pacific time. To join afternoon office hours, click this link.
We will begin posting answers to frequently asked questions as the need arises and will add a link here for that.
You can ask questions there live, or email your question to us directly.
There’s an optional Writer’s Room at Step 11 – this is a live, peer editing session to polish your language. You’ll get some instruction and work in small peer-editing groups to turbocharge your essays. If you want personalized help – coaching or editing – we’re available for that too. We’ll give you details about both options later in the course.
One more thing: All the course materials are for your personal use only during 2020. They are protected by copyright and may not be shared with anyone who is not enrolled. Beginning the course constitutes your acceptance of these terms.