If your eye is on graduate or professional school, it is wise to spend time considering your goals and career plans. Graduate study involves a significant commitment of time and resources, so it is important to pursue it with a clear vision.
Graduate Degree Types
Graduate education delivers specialized knowledge in a concentrated area, with two basic degree types: academic and professional. An academic degree involves research and scholarship in a discipline; a professional degree provides training to acquire skills and knowledge for a particular profession. There are three basic degree levels:
Is Graduate School for Me?
Before applying, familiarize yourself with employment prospects and other requirements of your field. Consult with faculty and Career and Professional Development to estimate your readiness, and whether your skills and abilities have prepared you for success.
Then ask yourself: "Is graduate study necessary to accomplish my goals?" If the answer is yes, the resources here will help you plan.
The annual Graduate & Professional School Fair in the fall is your opportunity to meet with admissions representatives to learn more about programs they offer.
Top 3 Reasons You Should Connect with Admissions Representatives in Person
Below is a suggested timeline for applying to graduate schools — from starting your research through acceptance.
Once you have narrowed your choice of graduate or professional programs, you are encouraged to start the application process as early as possible.
Get a Head Start
Applying early can be an advantage especially if a program has rolling admissions and can sometimes affect the amount of funding available.
Assess Your Application Components
Certain application components tend to be standard from program to program. They include:
Some programs require supplementary material such as a writing sample, portfolio, resume or audition. Understand what is required, and prepare accordingly.
Before your begin further study or become employed, you may consider short-term academic or workplace opportunities that last for one or two years. These unique and challenging opportunities can help you further discover your interests and differentiate yourself.
Exploring Fellowships & One- or Two-Year Options
There are two main kinds of postgraduate fellowships:
Deadlines for these options begin as early as September of your senior year, so start researching early.
Financial support does exist for graduate study. Be sure to conduct a comprehensive research as well as follow-up on your part.