Education

Planning Your Education

Graduate School Considerations and Preparation

If you have decided that graduate school is appropriate for you, there are many things to consider when deciding on a program. You will want to consider things like the reputation of the program and the school, cost, admission requirements, assistantship or fellowship opportunities, and geographic location.

The best way to prepare for admission is to check out the program website and make careful note of the application requirements and the deadlines. Some deadlines are up to a year in advance so you will want to start early, especially if the program requires you to submit scores from an entrance exam. Most graduate school applications include:

  • Resume and cover letter
  • Personal statement and/or essays
  • College transcripts
  • Your entrance exam scores (i.e., LSAT, GRE, GMAT, MCAT, etc.)

You may want to visit the schools you are considering in order to talk with people in the department. A visit can help you evaluate the professors and they, in turn, are able to meet you. This can help you decide if they are people you will want to work with for the duration of your program. It is also a chance to investigate the town/city and see what it is like. You can look into available housing accommodations, see what there is to do in the area, and see if it feels like a place you would enjoy living.

Writing a Personal Statement or Essay

When writing a personal statement, there are several questions you will want to think about:

  • How did you decide on this particular area of study?
  • How did you decide on this particular program?
  • Why do you believe you will be successful in this program?
  • What are your short and long term goals?

Answering these questions can help you define your goals for pursuing graduate school and express why you are interested in a particular school or program.

College and University Information:

Visit www.graduateschools.com to locate graduate schools and find more information on the application process.

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Checklists
Career Checklist

Navigate your CareerPlan by referencing the checklist below.

Have you:

  1. Assessed your values, interests, and skills?
  2. Researched possible career choices?
  3. Created a resume and cover letter?
  4. Activated your eFolio account?
  5. Started the job search process?

Click here to view the GPS LifePlan checklist.

Click here to view the GPS LifePlan list of activities and resources.

Education Checklist

Navigate your EducationPlan by referencing the checklist below.

Have you:

  1. Developed SMART goals?
  2. Decided on a major or program of study?
  3. Assessed your learning style?
  4. Researched study skills and strategies?
  5. Arranged a meeting with an advising professional to select appropriate courses?

Click here to view the GPS LifePlan checklist.

Click here to view the GPS LifePlan list of activities and resources.

Finance Checklist

Navigate your FinancePlan by referencing the checklist below.

Have you:

  1. Established your short and long-term financial goals?
  2. Created a budget?
  3. Explored resources to help you pay for college?
  4. Assessed your debt situation?
  5. Developed a savings plan for the future?

Click here to view the GPS LifePlan checklist.

Click here to view the GPS LifePlan list of activities and resources.

Leadership Checklist

Navigate your LeadershipPlan by referencing the checklist below.

Have you:

  1. Assessed your leadership style?
  2. Completed a personality inventory?
  3. Formed your personal mission and vision statement?
  4. Explored the leadership resources?
  5. Participated in a campus or community activity to help build your leadership skills?
  6. Determined your Carbon Footprint?

Click here to view the GPS LifePlan checklist.

Click here to view the GPS LifePlan list of activities and resources.

Personal Checklist

Navigate your PersonalPlan by referencing the checklist below.

Have you:

  1. Explored the transition to college resources?
  2. Assessed your resiliency and ability to adapt to change?
  3. Established personal fitness goals?
  4. Examined the physical and mental wellness resources?
  5. Researched how to manage healthy relationships?

Click here to view the GPS LifePlan checklist.

Click here to view the GPS LifePlan list of activities and resources.