Workshop: Applying for Graduate Studies in the Modern Languages

Graduate studies in Modern Languages and Cultures open up rewarding careers in Higher Education, Publishing, K-12 education, and corporate public relations. However, there seems to be a lack of information about what makes a successful application in a PhD program in the Modern Languages. We have found that even quite brilliant undergraduates are often ill-prepared for the application process, often for a lack of time or guidance. The French and Italian Department, together with German, Hispanic and Slavic, is organizing a one-day workshop for undergraduate students in the region, broadly defined as a 200-mile radius from Pittsburgh.

We will organize 4 main sessions:
a) how to write a successful application,
b) how to write a cover letter
c) how to improve your CV,
d) how to modify an existing piece of scholarship (a term paper or a senior thesis) into a writing sample.

The sessions will be led by a joint team of faculty and current graduate students. The participants would be invited to share their existing documents in advance, and then take part in the sessions. The process would be completely student-oriented. We will arrange the logistics of the sharing/revising process depending on the number of participants.

In addition to the four hands-on sessions, we will invite 2 to 4 alumni of the Modern Languages graduate programs to speak about their professional experiences as graduate students at Pitt and in their current positions both in academia and in other meaningful settings, and to answer the questions from the workshop participants.

We will also encourage the participants to sit in a graduate seminar at least for an hour or so.

This event is also sponsored by the Dietrich School Office of the Dean. For more information, read here, or contact Giuseppina Mecchia at


Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - 10:00am

Location and Address

Posvar Hall 2800