Just as there were several steps in preparing and applying for college, the same applies for graduate school. It is never too early to start preparing for graduate school, and the Career Center is here to help you at every step!

Similar to preparing for college, students interested in graduate school should start preparing during the fall and spring semesters of their junior year. Be sure to spend time researching various areas of interest, institutions, programs and national scholarships. Since graduate school is the next step in preparing for your future, be sure to take your time in analyzing the different options available. This is also the time to register and prepare for the appropriate graduate admissions tests since you will most likely take these tests during the summer or fall semester of your senior year. The test requirements are different for each school, so be sure to have an organized list of what each school requires.

The summer before your senior year is the prime time to complete the application essays and materials. And similar to visiting colleges, you should also try to visit those institutions that you are interested in, if at all possible. After all, you will attend the graduate school for a certain amount of years after graduating from the Mount, so you want to be sure that you feel comfortable with the campus' environment. But be aware that for medical, dental, osteopathy, podiatry or law school, you may need to register for the national application or the data assembly service. Again, it all depends on each individual school's requirements, which is why it is so important to have an organized and detailed list of the school's application process.

During the fall semester of your senior year, you should obtain letters of recommendation. These letters can come from a variety of people, such as teachers, employers or internship supervisors, but be sure to carefully select those who you have worked closely with and who are very familiar with your talents and skills. Now is the time to send in those applications on which you have worked so hard. But before you do, make sure that you include all of the necessary materials and actually check with all of the institutions before the deadline to make sure that your file is complete.

For more information, visit www.gradschools.com to view a list of schools by area, www.gre.com to learn about the graduate school assessment tests, and www.finaid.org to view a guide for financial aid. Remember that the Career Center is always there to help you create your future - whether you are an undergraduate, graduate student or alumni.