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Presenting Your Program Well in CSDCAS

Watch some of our recommended best practices for presenting your program well in CSDCAS and attracting the best fit applicants

In order to present yourself well and make the experience clear and consistent for applicants, we highly recommend that you include the following items on your CSDCAS homepage:

Banner Image

    • Choose a photo that “speaks” about your program
    • Try not to use photos of buildings as they do not show insight to your program. Exceptions to this would be something iconic that everyone would know.
    • Use photos of people in action, pictures of your students participating in something, etc.
    • Brand wisely


Introduction to School and Program - Brief 4-5 sentence overview of the school and program.  Should not replicate your department website.

    • What is unique about your program?
    • What are your mission and values?


Deadline – Use the text from one of these options to describe what the deadline means for your program:

    • Applications must be submitted by 11:59 PM ET on the deadline date. Program Materials do not have to be received by the deadline date.
    • Application, payments, and transcripts must be received by 11:59 PM ET on the deadline date. To ensure items arrive on time, try to send all documents several weeks before the deadline.
    • Applications must be verified by 11:59 PM ET on the deadline date. Applications can only be verified once all payments, transcripts, and letters of evaluation have been received. To ensure your application is verified on time, try to complete your application at least four weeks before the deadline.


Application Instructions – A bulleted list of guidance for what the students need to submit in order to apply to your specific program.  Examples of common requirements include:

    • Complete the CSDCAS application
    • Request that official transcripts from all US institutions attended be sent to CSDCAS
    • Upload a personal statement in the Documents section of CSDCAS
    • Request official GRE scores be sent to <Your University> using code <XXXX>
    • Request 3 letters of recommendation be sent through the CSDCAS recommender portal
    • Complete <Your University> supplemental application or pay supplemental fee
    • International Applicants: Request that official evaluations of transcripts from all foreign institutions be sent to CSDCAS as follows:
      • Use the World Education Services (WES) link in the Academic History section of the application to order your official WES evaluation or
      • Use the “Download Evaluation Request Form” in the Academic History section of the application to request an evaluation from an evaluation service other than WES.
      • Note: If requirements are different for international students, you may want to consider a separate designation for that population or consider conditional questions.


Characteristics of a Successful Candidate - description of the qualitative and quantitative attributes required of successful applicants. Examples of attributes include:

    • Admissions requirements/profile
    • 3.0 GPA or higher
    • Bachelor's degree from an accredited university
    • GRE score of 500 or higher
    • What constitutes a successful applicant for YOUR program?


Other Tips

    • Limit the use of hyperlinks - this takes students away from the application and from applying to your program.  If it's part of the application instructions or admissions requirements, then list it in the appropriate space above.
    • Provide clear instructions in the Documents section that pertains to the documents requested only.
    • Look at the questions that are asked in the core of the CSDCAS application, so you don't duplicate them in your custom questions section. You can do this by creating a test account for yourself in the student application.
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