The CMU MSE Graduate Application Support Program (GrASP) is a student-led initiative to assist prospective applicants as they navigate the application process.
We, the students of the MSE department at CMU, find strength in our diversity and desire for a student body that is more representative of our society. We recognize that many people face unique challenges when undertaking the daunting task of applying to graduate school and the GrASP program aims to help participants overcome these challenges.
This program will contain two primary components: (1) graduate student-run webinars and panels with the opportunity for prospective applicants to learn about our department, research, culture, and graduate school application process (including fee waivers!), and (2) one-on-one mentorship from current graduate students regarding our departmental application. The webinars will cover a broad range of topics, from application tips and faculty research areas, to the MSE graduate student community and the experience of underrepresented scholars at CMU. The mentorship program is aimed to provide applicants feedback on application materials like the short essay questions, resume/CV, and selection of references.
While we will likely serve a larger audience in the webinars, we acknowledge that it will likely be difficult to accommodate all GrASP applicants, especially for one-on-one mentorship. To maximize your prospects of joining the 2021 GrASP Cohort, we encourage you to apply to GRASP as early as possible. We will be accepting applications for the GrASP until November 15, getting back to you on a rolling basis with more information on the webinars and your mentor match. The application consists of a few demographic questions, a 200 word summary of why you are applying, and one question you would ask your mentor.
Mission of GrASP:
Equitable access to resources can be significantly influenced by a student’s background. The disparate result is directly reflected in the underrepresentation of several identities in our field and STEM at large. Underrepresented Minority students, First-Generation College students, LGBTQIA+ identifying individuals, students with disabilities, students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds and students with immigrant, refugee, or undocumented status consistently face pronounced barriers in access to education and resources. GrASP’s mission is to bridge this gap through peer-to-peer support and encouragement for students who identify as part of any of these groups to apply to this program.