What is graduate school?
Is graduate school right for me?
Do I go to graduate school now or later?
What do you need to know and do to prepare for graduate school?
When completing applications, be certain to meet both your program's deadlines along with any deadlines set by the graduate school. Make sure you send all application materials to the correct addressess. Some institutions require paperwork to go directly to the program while others hire outside businessess to process and prioritize their paperwork. Failure to follow directions will create a poor impression. This process is about putting your best foot forward every step of the way!
If your application is selected for further review, your chosen program might call you in for an interview. This interview process is much the same as a job interview. The interviewers wish to see if you are a good fit for their program. When asked for references, have a predetermined list of contacts for the interview. Include undergraduate professors who can vouch for your undergraduate academic work.
When do I start looking for graduate schools to attend?
How many programs do I apply to?
What are the costs involved with the application process?
What other assessments are used?
GMAT – Graduate Management Admissions Test
MCAT – Medical College Admissions Test
LSAC – Law School Admissions Service
Praxis – Teaching licensing & certification process
CLEP – College-level Examination Program
How do I afford graduate school?
Other options for funding graduate school are Teaching Assistantships, which have minimum hours requirements, often offer a stipend, and many times subsidize graduate school tuition; and Graduate Assistantships, which also have a minimum number of hours requirement, frequently offer a stipend, and many times also offer some form of graduate school tuition reimbursement. If you are interested in pursuing either a Teaching Assistantship or a Graduate Assistantship be sure to meet the assistantship application deadlines at your selected program's institutions.
Graduate/Professional School Preparation Timetable
- Research graduate programs; identify appropriate institutions through the use of the internet, application materials and catalogs.
- Talk to faculty members in your field of interest about your graduate study goals. Meet with professors you’ll request letters of recommendations from.
- Talk do Career Services and your professors about application requirements.
- Register and prepare for appropriate graduate admissions tests.
- Investigate national scholarships and graduate assistantships in the universities in which you are applying.
Summer before Senior Year
- Request school catalogs and application materials from the graduate programs you are interested in attending.
- Develop a checklist on each program including the entrance requirements and deadlines.
- Take practice exams and or test preparation courses for required admissions tests.
- Register for fall exams.
- Begin collecting financial aid, fellowship, and scholarship information.
Senior Year, Fall
- Send application materials no later than mid-December (make copies of all materials for your records).
- Arrange for official transcripts to be mailed.
- Take required graduate admissions exams. Send scores to all appropriate schools.
- Write your personal statement. Have your advisor, professor, or Career Services proofread it.
- Ask faculty to write letters of recommendations.
- As appropriate, complete financial aid paperwork.
Senior Year, Spring
- Send thank-you letters to people who wrote your recommendation letters.
- Check with universities before the deadlines to make sure that all your materials have arrived.
- Develop “plan B” in case you are not admitted to your program of choice.
- Visit universities that accept you.
- If you plan to live in university housing, apply for space.
- Send a deposit to the university of choice.
- Notify other universities that have accepted you of your decision to attend another institution.