Some careers call for advanced degrees or certifications. Learn the ins and outs of choosing a postgraduate academic path.
Students interested in pursuing further education after completing and undergraduate degree with ESU should understand the requirements to apply to various graduate programs. Early preparation is essential in graduate school planning.
Graduate School Timeline
Begin the application process no later than the summer before your senior year of college or at least a year before you plan to start graduate school.
- Work on strong undergraduate G.P.A
- Join related organizations
- Attend graduate school information workshops
- Major and Minor Selection
Why attend graduate school immediately after college?
- Uninterrupted studies
- Easier while in "student" mode
- Better job market in future
- No disruption in career later
- Admission/tests may be harder later
- Current financial assistance
Why work for a few years first?
- Better opportunities for advancement
- Career change
- Better focused student
- Establish solid experience
- Education paid by employer
- Need for updated technology training
- Mandatory for admissions
Why go to grad school?
Everyone has his or her own unique motivation for continuing their education:
- Career mobility
- Advancing your degree
- Marketing yourself
- Changing & stimulating your career
- Simply seeking knowledge
- Competing in the job market
- Love for the field
What type of graduate school is right for me?
- Master's Degree: A Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Science (M.S.) offers new job opportunities or advancements
- Doctoral and Research Doctorate Degrees: Doctorate degrees enable you to teach college and publish complete research, and pursue, a variety of research and development-oriented opportunities in the public or private sector.
- Professional Master's: A Professional Master's gives skills in a particular industry, such as business, academia, or engineering
- Professional Doctorate: An M.D. is needed for medical practice or the J.D. for law
- Other Degrees:Veterinary medicine, pharmacy, optometry or dentistry etc.
What factors should I consider in my decision-making process?
- Size and location
- Fit with your particular interests, academic background, and goals
- Program prerequisites (ex. Work experience, academic preparation, skill sets, etc.)
- Selectivity of the program
- Acceptance Rate
Where can I start my research?
- College guides/books
- Degree program literature
- News Magazine Ranking guides (ex. U.S. News)
- University libraries and career centers
- Faculty mentors
- Web sites
Graduate Admissions Preparation and Application
- Application deadlines and processes vary—however most require:
- Undergraduate Transcripts
- Recommendation letters
- Personal statement
- Admissions tests
- Other specific requirements
How can I prepare for the testing component?
You will be required to take one of four main exams based on what area you wish to continue your study in:
- Law School - Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
- Business School - Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT),
- Medical School - Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
- Other Programs - Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
It is highly recommended that you speak with admissions staff for the program you are interested in to find out which exam is required for their program and the average scores of admitted students. This information may also be found on the homepage of the department or school website. You should begin thinking about your time line of when you will begin studying or taking a preparation course, when you will take the exam, and when your exam scores will be reported to the graduate program.
Resources for Preparation Courses and Practice Exams
The Career Development Center Counselors can assist you with your application or your personal statements. For more resources, please review these tools:
- Graduate School Guide
- Graduate School Application Checklist & Timeline
- Job Choices (Quick read/great article about deciding to attend, application timeline and getting graduate school).
- Ace the MBA Career Goals Essay
- What is a Personal Statement?
- Personal Statement Ideas
- Personal Statement Example
- Choosing a Scholarly Essay Topic
- Considering Graduate School
- Online Graduate School Program
- Accredited Online MBA Guide
GraduateGuide.com is a directory of searchable graduate school listings with testing information, financial aid, and graduate school news.
Today, graduate school opportunities throughout the world are diverse. If you have interests in a specific field of study, explore all of the options available .
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