So you want to go to graduate school?

So you want to go to graduate school?

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Grad school...hmm? Should you go to graduate school right away, or is waiting and going travelling or to work right for you? You want to make sure you make the best decision for yourself. There are many factors that go into your decision, both personal and external ones, such as what your research interests are, if you want to stay close to home or move away, as well as your experience and most of all, your GPA. You face pressure from parents, and most of all, yourself.

Assess yourself - The first question you must ask yourself is if graduate school is right for you. This is something you must deeply think about, so consider your interests, passions, goals, and abilities. What are you good at doing, and what are some opportunities for you to work on?

Another thing to think about is what you would like to specialize in. An undergraduate degree tends to be broad in terms of the content that you learn, while a masters’ degree tends to be very focused on a certain field. For example, grad school for psychology has different specializations such as clinical, counseling, social, etc. This is where you determine what courses you enjoyed in your undergraduate degree and find a specific area that you want to dig into.

Start researching - Once you have decided if grad school is the right choice for you, the next step is to start researching schools and programs that you are interested in, and become familiar with what the application process and requirements are like. A lot of schools have strict entrance requirements, such the GPA, and practical experience (paid or volunteer). You may also have to provide letters of reference, a Curriculum Vitae (a more detailed resume), and/or a writing sample. Some schools may even look at your extracurricular experience, to ensure you are well-rounded student.

If you are interested in applying graduate school, Career Services and the Dean of Graduate Studies is hosting an “Applying to Graduate School” infosession on October 25, 2012. RSVP through Symplicity!

Posted on October 02, 2012