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So you want to go to Graduate School?. Graduate school admissions are fundamentally different than any other admissions process you may have witnessed.

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Presentation on theme: "So you want to go to Graduate School?. Graduate school admissions are fundamentally different than any other admissions process you may have witnessed."— Presentation transcript:

1 So you want to go to Graduate School?

2 Graduate school admissions are fundamentally different than any other admissions process you may have witnessed or endured. This process is not like applying to college; Grades, Scores, and Recommendations are only the beginning.

3 What programs/schools are you interested in?  Grad school is not a place to “find” yourself, have a clear goal.  Talk to others that have pursued a graduate degree in your interested area.  Also talk to professors in that area of study. They tend to have a wealth of knowledge on that subject.

4 Most schools require GRE’s, but not all  The GRE measures skills that you've developed during high school and college. It consists of three sections: Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical.  Based on a departmental basis, contact depts at grad schools, see if they require it.  GRE application booklets, available from CDC office.

5 GRE’s: how to gain experience  PRACTICE! Lets face it, its not a cheap test, $115 bucks is a $115 bucks! Get some study guides. Barnes and Nobel, Amazon.com. GRE%20practice%20Exam.pdf  Check out

6 GRE’s: what to expect  Takes 6 weeks to receive scores. If you take the test in October scores will not be ready until November.  Schools like to see scores above 500 on each section, possible 800pts…. Like a fancy SAT

7 Grad School Search  Do not be afraid to go out of state, pick a place where you have always wanted to go. Many times there is money available through assistantships/fellowships.  Attend a Grad School Fair  Get as much information from schools as possible. Use yellow post cards available in CDC Library in conjunction with Peterson’s Guide

8 Things to think about when choosing a school  Reputation  Competition  Location & Distance  Recommendations  # of students  Urban/Rural  Research Interests  Academic Resources  Curriculum Choices  Social Life  Job Placement  Rate of Attrition  Accreditation  Well known Faculty  Age of Faculty  Funding Possibilities

9 What do you want in a grad school?  departments at grad schools, do not be afraid to ask hard questions.. ie, what makes your program stand out from other institutions? What can I expect as a Grad Student in this program?  Visit websites: gradschool.about.com

10 Making a Choice  When receiving information from grad schools develop a way to keep track of it all. Make an excel spreadsheet of all information. This will help make your decision easier.  Visit schools that you are interested in. This is where you’re most likely going to be for 2 years, and the program should really fit you.

11 A sensible application strategy will include schools in three general categories: 1.dream schools - places you'd love to attend, but where your chances of acceptance are up in the air or even unlikely 2.good possibilities - programs you'd like to attend and where your grades and GRE score are close to the median 3.safeties - schools where your numbers make acceptance likely.

12 Research Faculty  Find out their research interests  Read some articles they published  Which ever professor interests you most, contact them ( or mail). Ask them about the program, and to gauge your credentials  Include their name in your personal statement

13 Application Process  So you have narrowed your search down to the 4 best schools. Now what?!  Get applications out, if your applying for grad school for fall try to have applications out by January 1 st (even if they aren’t due until Feb/March). The sooner you get your applications in the better chance you have at receiving assistantships/fellowships.

14 Different Schools ask for different things  STAY ORGANIZED! They could need:  Application (paper/computer)  Resume  Personal Statement  Letters of Recommendation (confidential)  They may request forms to accompany the letter  Official Transcript (may need more than 1)  A writing sample (besides your statement)

15 Personal Statement  Can never be read over too many times or by too many eyes!  Don’t be cliché, find your own angle.  Focus on your opening paragraph  Make it specific to the school. They also may ask specific questions.  Tell a story. You don’t want to bore the reader if you’re the 30 th statement they have read today.

16 Personal Statement cont…  Strive for depth rather than breadth. Focus on being specific with 1 or 2 ideas.  Proofread carefully for grammar, syntax, punctuation, word usage, and style  Do not submit an expository resume; avoid repeating information found elsewhere on the application.  Do not incorporate technical language or very uncommon words.

17 Credential folders…  Career Development Center can handle the complete application process. Credential folders hold references from your professors/employers, resumes, cover letters, and copies of transcripts.  Make sure you waive your right to view references. Grad schools usually require at least 3 confidential letters of recommendation.

18 Credential Folders  Remind writers of what you have accomplished. Give writers a copy of your resume.  Keep track of letters; never assume people will do what you ask of them.  Follow requirements for how each item should be submitted to your folder. We need to know transcripts and letters of reference are official.

19 You applied… Now What?  You have to just wait …and wait… …and wait!  Many graduate schools will have you interview but the process varies with each school. Either phone interview or in person, or you could have 1 to 15 interviews.  Then get ready to wait some more!

20 Acceptance  So you have been accepted by all of your grad schools… AWESOME! now make your final choice. When you plan for success that’s what you’ll get!

21 What to think about before accepting  Can I get a scholarship or assistantship? How much will it cost without help?  Do I like the university? The students? The Faculty?  Do they have a doctorate program?  What is the average standard of living in the area around the school? (You could get into a cheap school but what if you have to pay 3x as much for housing and food because you chose a school in an expensive city?)

22 YOU’VE CHOSEN!  Now send letters to all schools, either accepting their offer or rejecting it.  Pay your holding fee (commitment)  Search for housing (maybe sign an apartment lease)  Make various other plans for the following year.


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