Planning for Graduate or Professional School

Planning for Graduate or Professional School

Quick Clip: Should You Go?

Why graduate school?

Determine if graduate school is for you.

  • Think about your options and choose a program that is right for you and your career goals
  • Research financial aid opportunities and the impact your decisions will have on your career goals. Consider all fellowships, grants and scholarships
  • Discuss your options with family, friends and career professionals

How do I make the right selection?

Evaluate your goals and interests as well as your strengths and weaknesses.

  • List your requirements for your graduate program
  • Research the institutions that offer the programs using the websites and attending Graduate and Professional School Fairs
  • Visit the institutions that meet your needs
  • Other factors to consider:
    • Cost and financial aid
    • Length of program
    • Application process
    • Flexibility and specifics of curriculum
    • Prestige of program and faculty

Application Process

Most graduate programs use an online application process.

  • Be aware of deadlines
  • Follow directions carefully and accurately
  • Retain copies for your own records
  • Letters of recommendation
    • Select 3 to 5 faculty members or employers who are qualified to evaluate your academic/work performance
    • Allow ample time for recommendations to be written
    • Some institutions provide recommendation forms to be used
    • Provide the following support material: projects completed, transcripts, resume, copy of your personal statement and a stamped addressed envelope
  • Personal Statement
    • This is the key measure of your ability to communicate, pay attention to spelling, grammar and writing style
    • Be clear and brief, abiding by the guidelines stated in the application
    • Demonstrate your motivation, commitment and enthusiasm
    • Invite critiques - The John P. Fahey Career Center staff is available to assist you