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Grad School Readiness


Congratulations! You’ve graduated! Now what?

Here are some questions to ask yourself before deciding to go to graduate school:

  • Is graduate school necessary for your career goals?
  • Do you have the academic qualities to succeed?
  • Are you ready to remain in school for the next 2-7 years?
  • Can you afford graduate school and are you willing to live on a low-income budget while attending graduate school?

If the answers are yes, start investigating the degree you want to pursue and the universities where you can get your degree.

Start researching schools online and compare:

  • Tuition Costs
    • In-State vs. Out-Of-State
    • Public vs. Private
  • Admissions Requirements
    • GPA and standardized test scores
  • Selectivity of the program (your chances of getting accepted)
  • Available programs and class schedules

Next steps:

  • Start a year and a half before you plan to start attending
  • Process can be costly
  • Documents and steps typically required for admission:
    • Personal statement
    • Letters of recommendation
    • Standardized test scores (GRE, LSAT, GMAT)
    • Grade Point Average (official transcripts)
    • Research completed or specific course experience
    • Curricular activities
    • Resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV—commonly used in Europe and when you want to emphasize academic related achievements)
    • Interview

Personal statement:

  • Draft a one to two page statement that addresses:
    • Your specific goals for graduate study
    • Academic preparedness
    • Your goals beyond graduate study
    • Answers to specific questions required by each school
  • Collect letters of recommendation:
  • Select professional references
  • Provide your references with a copy of your personal statement and an updated resume/CV
  • Allow ample time for references to complete the letters
  • Most letters will be confidential and sent directly to the school where you applied

Prepare for and take required exams:

  • Take the exam about a year before you intend to start graduate school
  • STUDY! (study books in Learning Center and the library)

Arrange campus visits:

  • Make appointments to meet with faculty and/or the admissions office
  • Gather information about the community and housing options

Types of funding for graduate school:

  • Grants (free money- you don’t have to repay the funds)
  • Fellowships
  • Graduate Assistantships
  • Receive a stipend and your tuition is waived
  • Assistantships include research, teaching, or administrative/professional positions
  • Loans
  • Federal government loans
    • Complete FAFSA