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Tips On Getting Into Graduate School

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Carolyn Cramer

on 17 July 2015

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Transcript of Tips On Getting Into Graduate School

Graduate School:
Applying, Getting In, and What to Expect

Carolyn Cramer
You Can Do It!
Graduate School is an Adventure
Step 1. Applying to Graduate School
Researching Possibilities/Information/Resources
Application Process, Timelines, Interview
The Personal Statement
Letters of Recommendation
Scholarship and Funding Sources
Learning about the options
Graduate School: Advanced study in academic disciplines
Doctoral degrees
Master's degrees earned while working toward a doctoral degree
"Terminal" Master's degrees

Professional School: Preparation for entering into the professions
Health-related professions/Medicine
Deciding - Is it right for you, now?
Information Delivery
Work-based Learning

Things to Consider:
What's Important to You?
Size of school, department, cohort, classes
Libraries & Facilities
Specialized vs. General Curriculum
Know why you're going
- Reasons, expectations, realistic appraisal

What are the costs and benefits?
-Short-term and long-term positives and negatives

Choosing a Program
- Dream schools, good possibilities, safeties
Program specifics and their match with your interests
Potential advisors and committee members
Geographic Location
(ranking, stars, name value)
Financial/Funding Resources
Researching Graduate Programs
Review online/print resources
Talk with professors, advisers, graduate students, family and friends
Email faculty in programs you are considering
Visit campuses and gather feedback from current students, faculty and staff
Create a "short list"
Grad School Fairs/Info Sessions

Career Centers

Entrance exams - ask about free practice tests!

Library resources
3. Test scores
Application Process Check List
5. Recommendation letters
6. Writing samples or portfolio
1. Application forms and deadlines
8. Financial aid applications
7. Interviews
4. Personal statement
2. GPA/Transcripts
Outline a single research problem that interests you
Give background: show you know the area
Talk about your approach solving the porblem
Start early!
Have drafts reviewed and revise
Statement of Purpose
The Statement of Purpose is the single most important part of your application that will tell the admissions committee who you are, what has influenced your career path so far, your professional interests and where you plan to go from here.
Establish a
with professors who can say good things about you, know you well and your abilities
Plan to have at least
strong letters
Provide recommenders with
supporting material
Follow-up with recommenders prior to

Best recommendation letters have the following properties:
From someone (reasonably) well known
A professor in academia - letters from industry do count, but not as highly
Have something
to say
Say strong things about your
potential as a graduate student
Pitfalls to Avoid
Sappy personal statement
Polish your resume/research experience/publications
Any typos or grammatical mistakes ANYWHERE in the application
Weak recommendation letters
An unexplained black mark on your record
Spamming professors
Missing deadlines!
Overview of Process
Start planning in the Fall
Most grad school applications are due in December/January
Admission committees meet in the early spring (March)
Decisions mailed out late March-early April
Types and Sources of Funding
Need-based financial aid
Assistantships and other forms of employment
Step 3. Congratulations! You've Been Accepted...
What do I do now?
Spend time researching the different projects and groups
Maintain an
open communicative
relationship with your advisor
Expectations by your advisor
- Publishing
- Working hours

Stay on top of dates
- Course offering cycles
- Deadlines for declaration of masters or PhD route
- Paperwork due to the Graduate School
- Paperwork due to the Department
- Graduation timeline

Step 2. Congratulations You Have An Offer(s)!
Will you be coming in as a research assistant, teaching assistant?
Do you get to choose who you would be working with?
Publishing record
Do you get to attend conferences?
Expectations for graduation timeline
Tuition reimbursement
Living situation (apartment, graduate housing, public transit)
Things To Consider
Step 4. Get Involved and Have Fun!
Talk to people
Join scientific societies
Attend networking/social events
Help chair a committee
Attend conferences
Apply to internships
Full transcript