Find out how to write a cover letter for a master’s or doctoral program application

The Public Administration and Government Program at Fundação Getulio Vargas’ Sao Paulo School of Business Administration has provided 10 tips for those interested in taking part in its 2025 selection process:
Administration
05 June 2024
Find out how to write a cover letter for a master’s or doctoral program application

Writing a cover letter is essential for many purposes, especially when applying for an academic master’s or doctoral program. It should be objective, concise and well structured. Candidates use cover letters to convey their enthusiasm about participating in a selection process and express their hopes of being accepted.

The Public Administration and Government Program at Fundação Getulio Vargas’ Sao Paulo School of Business Administration (FGV EAESP) has provided 10 non-exhaustive tips for those interested in taking part in its 2025 selection process:

  1. Motivation and objectives: Start your letter by explaining your motivation and objectives. Describe why you want to do an academic master’s or doctorate, specifically in public administration, and how this aligns with your career prospects.
     
  2. Connections with the program: Show that you are familiar with the program and explain why it aligns with your goals. Comment on research areas and projects that match your interests.
     
  3. Academic and professional career: Tell us what you’ve done, where you’ve done it and how you got here. Don’t leave gaps in your resume. Include experiences that demonstrate your aptitude for the field. Make sure to submit an updated version of your resume in “Lattes” format.
     
  4. Professors and research interests: If there are specific professors whose work you admire or want to work with directly, mention them in your letter. This shows your interest in the program.
     
  5. Knowledge of the field: Demonstrate your understanding of public administration by discussing emerging and current issues and challenges in the area you intend to explore. It is always good, and demonstrates knowledge, to mention some well-known authors in your subject of interest.
     
  6. Research experience: Comment on any research work you have done. If any of your papers have been published in national or international journals or been presented at scientific events, mention them. If you are applying for a master’s or direct doctorate program but have no research experience, explain your interests and how they align with those of the program.
     
  7. Results and impact: Highlight the impact of your research, whether academic, practical or social. Include contributions to public policy, improvements to management practices or theoretical advances.
     
  8. Methodological expertise: Show that you have relevant methodological skills, whether involving quantitative or qualitative methods.
     
  9. Preliminary research proposal: If you are a PhD candidate, present an initial research proposal, showing your ability to formulate research problems and your familiarity with the literature and methodologies.
     
  10. Grasp of English: Knowledge of English is recommended, especially for doctoral candidates, due to the program’s growing efforts to internationalize its activities. Highlight this knowledge.

These tips are just suggestions to help with the application process. If you don’t follow some of them, this doesn’t mean you will not be considered in the selection process or disqualified.

To find out more about FGV EAESP’s Public Administration and Government Program, click here.

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