Things to Consider
Making the decision to go to graduate or professional school can be a daunting one. When thinking about continuing your education, it is important that you examine not only the school or program you are interested in attending, but also how this will affect you personally. Some of the factors to consider are, how will this benefit my career and future plans, what are the costs associated with attending graduate school, am I prepared to take on this challenge, and what are the steps I need to take to get there.
The Career Center can help you examine these factors and prepare you for the next steps. We can help you build a strategy that analyzes the program of study, the school, costs and financial aid, graduate testing, applications, personal statements, recommendation letters and more. Make an appointment with a counselor to discuss putting together a strategy for graduate school success. Call (301) 447-5202 or email the office to inquire about appointment times. Also, check the Career Center Events Calendar for workshops, practice test and the Graduate School Symposium.
When and How to Apply
When preparing for graduate school, It is important to get started as soon as possible to ensure the earliest admission. Do as much research as possible to find the school that’s right for you, and remember that if you get into the school of your dreams and feel as if you need a year off, you may be able to request a delayed entrance.
The timeline below from Peterson’s Graduate and Professional Programs suggests the following year-by-year strategy:
Research areas of interest, institutions, and programs.
Talk to advisors about application requirements.
Register and prepare for appropriate graduate admissions tests.
Investigate national scholarships.
If appropriate, obtain letters of recommendation.
Summer Before Senior Year:
Take required graduate admissions tests.
Write for application materials or request them online.
Write your application essay.
Check on application deadlines and rolling admissions policies.
For medical, dental, and law school, you may need to register for the national application or data assembly service for most programs use.
Senior Fall Semester:
Obtain letters of recommendation.
Take graduate admissions tests if haven’t already.
Send in completed applications.
Complete applications for financial aid.
Senior Spring Semester:
Check with all institutions to make sure your file is complete.
Visit institutions that accept you.
Send deposit to institution of choice.
Notify other colleges and institutions to which you were accepted that you will not be attending.
Send thank you notes to people who wrote your recommendation letters and inform them of your success.