Presentation on theme: "Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Graduate School Researching and Applying."— Presentation transcript:
Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Graduate School Researching and Applying
Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Part I RESEARCHING GRADUATE SCHOOLS
Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. First thing is first: Know what degree you would like First and foremost, you must make a decision about what you want to study and the type of degree you would like to obtain. In general, there are Masters (M.Ed, M.S., M.A.), Doctoral (PhD, PsyD, Ed.D), and Specialty (M.D., J.D., D.C.D.) degrees.
Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Another thing to consider: In graduate school, the majority of programs require a thesis or dissertation and this means conducting research! One of the top things to look for in a graduate program is the research and/or specialty areas of the faculty. Students are admitted to graduate school based on how well they “fit” with or are “suited for” the program. The closer a student’s own research interest is to the research and/or specialty area of a faculty member, the better the odds for being admitted into the program. However, you will not need to have a thesis or dissertation topic before being admitted.
Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Research Graduate Schools offering the degree & area of study you’re interested in There are many ways to research graduate schools. Some of the best ways are: Conduct an online search Visit specific university websites “Peterson’s Guide” which can be found in libraries or bookstores Newsweek Magazine’s list of best graduate schools which is published once a year Ask professors and/or professionals who are currently in the profession you want to be in if they can recommend good graduate programs
Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Research Programs & Schools Online search engines for graduate schools: www.gradschools.com www.graduateguide.com http://www.guideforgrads.com/ http://www.petersons.com/GradChannel/
Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Overview of things to look for (we will discuss each of the following items next) Admission Procedures Deadlines Admission Criteria (GPA, GRE, GMAT, etc). Application cost Tuition and other fees Availability of graduate assistantships and/or other funding Living expenses on/off campus Researching Graduate Schools
Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Admission Procedure For each graduate program you apply for, you will need to know the admission procedures. This means knowing what items you must submit and how you must submit them (we will cover the specific items more in depth later). In addition, some universities require that you apply for admission to the graduate college as well as applying for admission to the specific graduate program. Admission into a graduate program of study does not guarantee admission to the graduate college, and you must be accepted by both. Researching Graduate Schools
Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Application Deadlines It is very important to know the application deadline and have your completed admission application submitted by that date. If mailing an application, some universities will accept an application packet if the postmark is before the deadline. However, you should never assume this is true unless it is stated somewhere on the application materials. Most deadlines for Fall admission are between January and February if that year and August for Spring admission. Also, some programs only accept applications for Fall admission so if you miss the deadline you must wait another year to apply! Researching Graduate Schools
Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Application Cost There is a cost for applying to graduate school. Each university will have their own fee. If applying by mail, you will need to send a personal check or sometimes a cashier’s check. If applying online, you will need to use a credit card. If you miss the application deadline, a university may have a late deadline with a penalty fee. However, you should never count on this and it will not make a good impression on any selection committee if you send in a late application. In fact, your application may be headed straight for the rejection pile. Researching Graduate Schools
Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Admission Criteria Graduate programs will have a set criteria that is used to help a committee select students. The more competitive a graduate program is, the higher the admission criteria. Some universities use a formula such as GPA x (Verbal+Quantitative GRE score) = X and X must be higher than Y, where Y is equal to a number they select. If a formula like this is used and you do not meet the given criteria, you should not apply unless it is stated a student can be admitted on conditional or probationary status if they do not meet this criteria. With very competitive programs, you may actually find that students who do not meet the criteria are specifically asked NOT to apply. Another form of admission criteria is oftentimes a standardized test such as the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Researching Graduate Schools
Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Tuition And Other Fees You may find it important to research tuition and other related costs. Tuition can vary greatly. Will you have the money to pay for your education or will you have to seek other alternatives? If you are faced with applying for a loan, how large of a loan or financial debt are you willing to accept? How long will the financial aid application process take? Researching Graduate Schools
Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Availability Of Funding Many graduate departments offer graduate assistantships, which are analogous to student worker positions at the undergraduate level. Many assistantships are 20 hours of work per week and will cover tuition costs as well as providing a small stipend. Assistantships can involve teaching and research. Researching Graduate Schools
Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Cost of living on/off campus Most people overlook the cost of living on and off campus. This may be important to research. Places can vary widely on cost of living. In general, graduate assistantships will not cover room and board. The stipend that accompanies most assistantships can be used toward your cost of living, but it may be unlikely that it will cover all of it. Alternatively, you may qualify for scholarships, grants, or loans to cover living. And lastly, you may consider part-time employment. Researching Graduate Schools
Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Graduate Exams As stated previously, oftentimes a graduate exam is required and used as selection criteria for admission into a program of study. If you know in advance what universities you will be applying to, you can usually select up to three places for your scores to be sent for free. This opportunity is available when you register for the exam. If you have your scores sent to a university later, there may be a fee for this service.
Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Graduate Exams - What to research: Dates, times, locations offered Cost Deadlines to apply Special Accommodations (for students with disabilities, if needed)
Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Part II APPLYING FOR GRADUATE SCHOOL
Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Overview of materials needed when applying to graduate school (we will discuss each of the following items next) Application Letter of interest/Essay/Research interest Letters of recommendation (sealed envelopes) Official Transcripts Resume/Vita
Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. The Application As stated much earlier, you will most likely need to submit two applications: one to the graduate college (which will be a general application) and one to the department offering the specific graduate program of study (which my be more depth about your interest in graduate school and future plans). Many universities now have online applications that you can submit. Applying for Graduate School
Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Letter of Interest Many graduate programs ask for a Letter of Interest or Personal Statement. This is where you can express things such as why you would like to earn a graduate degree, what you would like to study/research, and why you believe you are a ‘good fit’ with the program you are applying for. It is recommended that you spend time developing your Letter of Interest because it will weigh heavily with the selection committee. Have other people proofread your letter and help you fine tune it. Don’t be afraid to ask your professors for their advice! Remember, they once applied to graduate school themselves and perhaps some of them are a part of a graduate selection committee! Applying for Graduate School
Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Letters Of Recommendation It is common for the application procedure to include at least three references. Some graduate application packets will include standard reference forms that you will have completed and returned by three different people. If standard reference forms are not provided, then you will have to ask three people for letters of recommendation. Applying for Graduate School
Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Official Transcripts Official transcripts must be sent directly from the undergraduate institution to the graduate program or graduate college. A transcript that is sent by you, even if it is still sealed and stamped by the undergraduate institution, will not be accepted as “official”. Official transcripts must show all your completed undergraduate hours and state undergraduate degree obtained and the date degree was awarded. If you are applying to a graduate program before completing an undergraduate degree, you may have a current transcript sent that does not state the above items. However, once your degree is awarded, you must have another transcript sent to the graduate program or college if you are still being considered or if you have been accepted. Applying for Graduate School
Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Other Things Some graduate departments may ask you to submit a resume or curriculum vitae. Departments that are interested in your prior work experience (such as some business or engineering departments) may ask for a resume. Departments that are interested in any prior research, presentations, or publications (such as some chemistry, psychology, or education departments) may ask for a vitae. It is always good to have a working resume or vitae – you never know when you will need one! Applying for Graduate School
Copyright 2002, Christine L. Abela, M.Ed. Online resources that can help when applying to graduate school www.accepted.com http://www.essayedge.com/ http://www.resumeedge.com/ http://www.college-admissions-essays.com/
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