If you are considering graduate school, the first step is to research programs that match your interests and goals. Start assessing programs through sites such as USNews and Gradschools to collect information regarding rankings, tuition, and admission requirements.
Graduate and Professional Degrees
Master's: Completing master's programs usually take two years. Master's degrees can be the end of your formal education or you can choose to pursue a doctoral degree.
Doctorate: Doctorates are the highest degrees attainable and usually takes 5+ years to complete.
Specialized: Programs generally include a master's degree in addition to a credential (e.g. teaching credential).
Professional: Degrees include law, medical, and business.
- Law (JD): Law school usually requires three years of full-time study. Preparation for a law degree includes researching schools approved by the American Bar Association and taking the LSAT.
- Medical (MD): Medical schools usually take at least four years to complete. It is required for students to take the MCAT. Many schools also interview selected applicants. "Medical School Interview Tips" link should go here.
- Business (MBA): Graduate business schools generally take about two years to complete. Taking the GMAT is a prerequisite for entering many business programs.
Graduate and Professional School Preparation
When preparing for graduate school, be aware of the following items:
1. Program Application
2. Personal Statement: The personal statement is your opportunity to show how uniquely qualified you are for the program. To get started, download some tips for writing your personal statement. When writing your personal statement, follow the requirements for each program.
3. Official College Transcripts: You will need to submit transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended.
4. Letters of Recommendation: You should start asking for recommendation letters two months in advance or the summer before you apply. These letters usually come from faculty, supervisors, and anyone else familiar with your qualifications.
5. Test Scores: Many graduate programs require students to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The GRE tests applicants' verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing ability. Test requirements vary; check with the institution and program.
6. Application Fee
7. Financial Aid Application: Graduate students can fund their education through assistantships, fellowships, loans, grants, and scholarships.