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The Career Development Center is dedicated to helping students fulfill the lifelong pursuit of purpose by providing services, access to information, resources, and experiences that address individual career needs.

Applying to Graduate School

Applying to graduate school can be a lengthy process, so it is important to begin early and to take things a step at a time.
  1. Step One: Call or email each school or program of interest to request a graduate catalog, program brochures, application forms, and financial aid information.
  2. Step Two: If at all possible, visit those schools which you would most like to attend. Plan to make a thorough tour of campus facilities, housing areas (if necessary), and the town or city where the program is located. Also, make arrangements to talk with current students of the program, faculty, career center personnel, and a financial aid representative.
  3. Step Three: Complete the application and remember, just as graduate programs differ, so too, may the application process for each program. It is critical to read all application instructions carefully. You need to clearly understand what materials need to be submitted to be considered for admission. If you have any questions at all about the application process, do not hesitate to call the chairperson of the program or an admissions representative to have your concerns answered. It is your responsibility to submit all required information for each program prior to the stated deadlines. Although admission requirements may vary among programs, typical requirements might include: A non-refundable application fee usually ranging from $25 to $100. A minimum grade point average. Official transcripts from all colleges previously attended. A specific undergraduate major. Letters of recommendation. An entrance examination. Here's a list of the most common examinations: For Professional Schools:
  4. An essay stating your future goals and reasons for obtaining an advanced degree, commonly referred to as a personal statement. The CDC has books to assist you and we will critique a printed draft of your statement. See the section on the next page, "Writing Graduate Admission Essays," for more information.
  5. Resume and/or cover letter (sometimes referred to as letter of intent).
  6. An interview with a graduate admissions representative(s) or the chairperson of the program in which you are interested.
  7. A physical examination.

What Else Do I Need To Know About Applying To Graduate School?

  1. Most deadlines for fall admission are between January and March, however, in some graduate programs, applications are reviewed and approved as they are received. As a result, programs may be completely filled long before the application deadline. In these cases, early submission of all application materials could increase the possibility of acceptance.
  2. Entrance exams should be taken well ahead of time to ensure receipt of scores by the application deadline, and to allow yourself time to retake the exam if necessary.
  3. Information regarding financial aid or assistantships and fellowships should be requested early. Applying for these usually involves separate forms and deadlines.
  4. Fill out all forms and applications legibly and completely. Completing forms online is recommended whenever possible. Do not leave any blanks or exclude any pertinent information.
  5. Do not rely on one area, such as outstanding letters of recommendation, to carry through your application. The best candidates for admission are those who show a solid overall performance record.
  6. Save a copy of everything before sending in your application.

Is There Advisement Available For Specialized Programs?

Students Interested In The Health-Related Professions
Students considering medical, dental, veterinary programs etc. should seek advisement from the pre-health professions advisor, Kelly Boos, Assistant to the Dean, Natural & Social Sciences, CLAS A113, 878-6674.

Students Interested In Law
A pre-law advisement committee works with students in selecting course work appropriate for entry into law school. Contact Kelly Boos, Assistant to the Dean, Natural & Social Sciences, CLAS A113, 878-6674.

Updated: 10/14/2011