Are you planning on going to graduate school? The first question I ask is “Why?” Possibly your career choice requires a master’s or PhD. Or maybe you like school and want more education. Another reason might be because you can’t find a job. Whatever the reason, the decision to go on to graduate school deserves some consideration.
Evaluating a Program
Assuming you’ve decided to proceed with your graduate degree and know what you want to study, the next step is finding a program that is suited best for you. The process is very similar to what you went through in for your undergraduate school. You might want to consider if you want to go to the same university where you got your undergraduate degree or find a different school. There are very good reasons for either choice. You will want to know if it is an accredited school and by whom is it accredited. This is a very important fact to find out, as you will want to have your degree mean something. What is their reputation? Other points to consider are found on our website.
Applying to Grad School
Once you’ve decided on one or several schools, you will need to apply. Most schools will look at your GPA, your involvement, volunteer and other experience. The programs usually require a resume, personal statement, transcripts, an admission test and references, plus an application form and an interview. By looking at the university’s website, you can find out what each school and program will require.
Financing Grad School
How to pay for school is always a consideration. In general, there are no financial aid grants, but loans are typically available. As you are evaluating a particular program, look to see if there are scholarships and definitely look at graduate assistantships. Graduate assistantships are particularly important as they not only provide money, but also much needed experience in your chosen field. This is important when you look for your job after graduation.
These are but a few highlights of the process of getting into grad school. Talk at length with the schools you’re looking at. A visit to the school can be very useful. Speak to the department chair, other professors, students in the program and alumni if possible. If you are planning on an online program, find out the particulars of the program, the expectations, and what resources are available for you.
There are a variety of websites to help you including our website. You can also contact our office at 262-472-1471 to schedule an appointment if you’d like to discuss any aspect of grad school. You can also go to a search engine to look for any aspect of the process.
Photo by Joe Shlabotnik.