Apply to Grad School
Applying to graduate school can be overwhelming—don’t be afraid to contact the Center for Career & Professional Development, a professor, or your academic advisor for guidance.
Tips on Deciding and Applying
1. First, answer the questions below to determine if graduate school is right for you and if this is the best time for you to attend.
• What can you do with your Bachelor’s degree?
• What career do you want to pursue? What jobs are you interested in?
• What specific education do you need for those jobs?
• What experience do you need for those jobs?
• What experiences (work/internship, activities, other) do you have that relate to your career interests?
• Who wants you to attend grad school?
• How do you intend to pay for grad school?
• What will attending grad school do for you?
2. Research schools. Peterson’s is a great resource as are the other links under the Graduate Schools and Professional Schools sections below.
3. Once you’ve done some initial research and narrowed your list down to a realistic number of schools, find out as much as you can about each school by: emailing 1-2 professors at each school with whom you would potentially like to work, making sure that your interests align with the research interests of at least 2-3 faculty at that program, talking to current students and/or recent alumni of that program, talking to professors here at Centre about their associations with that school, and visiting the school.
4. Determine which graduate admissions exam (GRE, LSAT, etc) you need to take and register for that exam. Be sure to allow plenty of time to study beforehand. Some exams (like the GRE) have free study materials on their web site.
5. Make your application as strong as it possibly can be. Ask professors or others early on to write letters of recommendation for you, and be sure to give them a copy of your resume and any other information they request. If feasible, contact your graduate program to ask if they have certain issues they like addressed or a certain format in which they prefer letters to be written. Write a strong personal statement and have numerous people (faculty, CCPD, parents, friends) review it for you. Download information on what to include in your personal statement and click here for online samples.