Gap year(s) refers to the years that you spend outside of the educational system, this could be between undergraduate and graduate school or between Master’s and PhD. The less, the better.
What should I do during my Gap years?
- If you’ll do military service, no worries, you’re fine.
- If you plan to work, make sure it’s relevant to your field of study, preferably, try to do some research and publish a few papers to prove you are continuing your studies.
How to justify it on my application?
Make sure to include how the work you did relates to your goals, studies, and future research. This can be done in a paragraph in your Statement of Purpose (SoP). Many people take gap year(s), so don’t worry if you are one of them.
What if my work is not relevant to my studies???
This can also be okay, if asked, just be prepared to justify it. You could have spent the year improving your English, saving money for applying, or even preparing a paper that has not yet been published (in this last case, mention your project in your resume).