Generally, it is a good idea to begin planning for graduate school at least a year in advance. It is essential that you plan carefully to meet all deadlines. Keep in mind that many applications require test scores and recommendations.
CONSIDERING & APPLYING TO GRADUATE/PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL
CONSIDERING GRADUATE SCHOOL
You will need to consider (1) if graduate school is right for you at this time, and (2) if so, which is the right program for you.
Consider attending graduate school:
- if a graduate degree is a prerequisite to admission and advancement in your chosen field; or
- if you wish to receive further in-depth training in a subject of interest to you for career advancement or personal satisfaction.
It is important to know where the graduate degree may lead you, or your investment of time and money may have limited benefits.
To choose a graduate school/program gather general information. Talk to professors, co-workers, employers, and friends. Consult guides and online resources. Obtain catalogs. Visit campuses. Talk to admissions personnel, faculty, and current students. Draw up your own set of criteria to evaluate the programs you are considering.
APPLYING TO GRADUATE SCHOOL
- Decide where you want to apply and get application materials. Check application and financial aid deadlines.
- Make plans to take all standardized tests that will be required of you.
- Identify individuals to write letters of recommendation for you. Consider setting up a reference file with Career Services.
- Prepare a resume or vitae to include with your applications and give to your reference writers. Complete applications and essays.
- Order transcripts.
- Mail your applications and essays by certified mail no later than a month before the deadline. Include the application processing fee. Keep copies of your application materials.
Phone to check that all materials have been received.
Writing an application essay, or personal statement, is often the most difficult part of the application process. Requirements vary widely regarding length and topic. Be sure to follow guidelines and write specifically for each application. (Career Services staff can review your essay with you.)
Before writing anything, stop and consider what your reader might be looking for. The general directions for the essay or other parts of the application may give you an indication. Admissions committees may be trying to evaluate a number of things from your statement, including the following:
- Reason for deciding to pursue a particular field at a particular institution
- Personal uniqueness – what you would add to the entering class?
- Expectations with regard to the program
- Writing ability
- Immediate and long-term goals
- Research and /or work experience
Your aim should be clear, succinct statements showing that you have a definite sense of what you want to do and enthusiasm for the field of study you have chosen. Your essay should reflect your focus and depth of thinking and your writing ability.
For more information about writing a personal statement
HOW CAREER SERVICES CAN HELP
Counselors are available for all UNCG students/alumni to discuss graduate school planning and options. They can help you prepare a resume or vitae, or critique an essay for a graduate school application. Schedule an appointment by calling 334-5454. If you need only 15 minutes or less for a question, stop by during drop-in hours, 2:00-4:00 pm daily.
The Career Resource Center (#1 EUC) contains books about graduate school programs and the application process.
A Reference File Service
is available to students seeking graduate school admission.
Perfect your skills for a graduate or professional school interview in a mock interview with a CSC counselor. Call 334-5454 and be sure to tell the receptionist that you are preparing for a graduate school interview.
Learning Express Library
– choose the Learning Center for College Students to gain access to practice tests and courses for GMAT and GRE and practice exams for LSAT and MCAT
Also refer to the following websites for registration and general information. Some offer sample tests online.
Graduate Record Examination
Graduate Management Admission Test
Law School Admission Test
Dental Admission Test
Medical College Admission Test
Veterinary College Admission Test
Miller Analogies Test
– offered through the UNCG Counseling and Testing Center
– call 334-4523
UNCG Graduate Programs
: a comprehensive resource for accredited graduate programs
: find the best grad school for you, get helpful hints, practice a GRE
: comprehensive online source of graduate school information
US News and World Report
: “Best Graduate School” rankings, articles, and interactive tools to compare programs