Graduate and

Professional Schools


Graduate school preparation is all about research: What school will I attend? When is the application deadline? What is included in my application? Do I need to take an entrance exam? Which one? Start your research now with the resources below.

Research Schools & Programs

Figuring out exactly what to study and where to attend graduate school can be both exciting and daunting. When evaluating schools and programs, consider the following factors:

  • Location and size
  • Cost and financial assistance
  • Satisfaction of current students
  • Program focus and areas of specialty
  • Current faculty and their research
  • Research & lab facilities
  • Opportunities for teaching, research or field experiences
  • Student to faculty ratios
  • Length of the program
  • Job placement rate

During your evaluation process, don’t hesitate to reach out to programs’ admissions counselors, current students, and sometimes even faculty. Ask hard questions to really understand whether this school or program is right for you.

For more help in researching schools and programs, check out additional online resources or with a career counselor.

Admissions Tests

Depending on what degree you are seeking in graduate school, you may be required to complete an admissions test or entrance exam. Confirm which test is required for you, begin studying as soon as possible, and register for an exam time that is best for you.

Learn more about the following exams and how to register:

  • GRE: Most graduate schools
  • MCAT: Medical School
  • DAT: Dental School
  • GMAT: Business School
  • LSAT: Law School

Grad School Application Timeline

Take your graduate school application process one step at a time.

  • Evaluate various possible graduate programs.
  • Call or write schools to request catalogues, or view their homepages on the Internet.
  • Determine test requirements, application deadlines, test dates, etc.
  • Meet with faculty members and career counselors to discuss programs.
  • Sign up for required standardized tests. Prepare for tests by taking practice tests.
  • Take standardized tests.
  • Attend a Competitive Graduate School Application Workshop.
  • Write draft statement of purpose.
  • Research financial aid sources, fellowships, and assistantships.
  • Meet with a career counselor to go over the draft of your statement of purpose.
  • Request letters of recommendations from faculty members.
  • Order official transcripts from Office of the Registrar.
  • Finalize statement of purpose.
  • Write draft statement of purpose.
  • Mail applications. Even if the deadlines are later, it is good to get the applications in early.
  • Apply for fellowships, grants and assistantships.
  • Check with all institutions before their deadlines to make sure your file is complete.
  • Contact schools about scheduling a visit and or interview.
  • Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you are applying for need-based financial aid, you may have to file a copy of your federal income tax returns.
  • Discuss acceptances, rejections, and other career options with a faculty member or a counselor at Career Services & Leadership Development (CSLD).
  • Send Thank You Letter Examples to people who wrote your recommendation letters, informing them of your success.


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