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Graduate School

Considering graduate school? Do your homework.

Take time to:

  • Investigate programs and schools

    Consider these things when reviewing graduate programs:
    -quality of the program
    -reputation of the school
    -productivity of the faculty
    -advising system
    -career paths for graduates
    -financial aid and general support systems

    Use these sites to investigate:
    www.careers.org (see Education/Learning section)
    www.discovercolleges.com/college_search_criteria.cfm
    www.kaplan.com
    www.petersons.com
    www.princetonreview.com
    www.gradprofiles.com

  • Know what tests you may need

    Be sure you plan ahead for any tests required for admission consideration.
    www.gre.org (Graduate Record Examination)
    www.gmat.com (Graduate Management Admission Test)
    www.lsat.com (Law School Admission Test).

  • Prepare for the application process

    Personal Statement
    A personal statement is an admissions committee’s way of gauging your interest in graduate study. Based on your research of the field, write about your interest in a specific field (or a specific institution or the opportunity to study with a specific professor). Include information about desired outcomes of your course of study. Also write about what you hope to contribute to the field. Get feedback on and revise your personal statement through our center, your faculty adviser or the Achievement and Learning Center.

    Letters of Reference
    You’ll need to consider who you will ask to write your letters of recommendation. It is important to get at least one recommendation from a major professor in your field. You may also ask employers from jobs where you have had significant responsibility.

    Ask the potential recommender if they are comfortable writing you a “good” letter of recommendation. Admissions committees take reference letters very seriously and you don’t want to sabotage your chances with a lukewarm reference.

    Be considerate when asking for a recommendation. Try to give the recommender at least two months notice. Schedule a meeting and provide them with the necessary forms, instructions, stamped envelopes, a copy of your statement of purpose, and resume. Remind the recommender of any skills that you’d like to emphasize. After a letter has been written on your behalf, follow up with a thank-you note. And let your recommender know how things work out.