Graduate School

Before applying to graduate school, you first have to determine if graduate school is for you. This will require that you talk with others who have been through the process and with yourself about what your goals are:  

    • What are my specific career and educational goals?
    • What do I need to get there?
    • What do I want to accomplish by going to graduate school?
    • Do I need a master’s degree to propel me into my future goal?

Choosing the best fit program

Tests and Test Prep

The GRE  

Required for admissions to some graduate schools and a few business schools.

The General Test features question types that reflect the kind of thinking you will do in graduate school; Verbal Reasoning (two 30-minute parts), Quantitative Reasoning (two 35-minute sections), and Analytical writing ( 2 essays in 60- minutes).

Verbal and Quantitative scores from 130 to 170 in 1-point increments.

Cost:  $195

Testing time: 3.5 hours on paper or 3.75 hours using a computer

Scores are valid for 5 years.

GRE Resources

ETS Practice GRE: Powerprep 2

Magoosh GRE Vocabulary Flashcards

Manhattan Prep: GRE Practice Test

GRE Reduction Fee 

 

The GMAT

Required for admissions to most business schools.

Analytic section (30 minutes, one essay), Integrated reasoning section (30 minutes), Quantitative section (75 minutes), Verbal section (75 minutes)

Computer adaptive test

Score ranges from 200 to 800 in 10-point increments

Cost: $250

Testing time: 3.5 hours

Scores are valid for 5 years.

GMAT Resources

GMAT Club: Forum and Practice Tests

Guide to Acing the GMAT in 1 Month

Manhattan Prep: GMAT Practice Test

GMAT Prep by Ready4 Free on iTunes

 

LSAT

Required for admissions to most U.S. law schools.

Critical reading, data management, and analytical thinking skills.

Comprised of roughly 125 multiple-choice questions plus a writing sample.

The LSAT carries the most weight in the admission process. 

Testing time: 3.5 hours

Scores are valid for 5 years.

LSAT Resources

LSAT Fee Waiver

LSAT US Fee Waiver Application Form 

 

MCAT

Required for admissions to most medical schools.

Designed to test problem solving skills, critical thinking abilities, writing skills, and basic science concepts.

Multiple choice testing consists of 3.2 hours, plus one hour for the writing sample.

Testing time: 5.3 hours

Scores valid for 3 years (varies from school to school).

MCAT Resources

MCAT Fee Waiver

AAMC Practice MCAT Exam

Khan Academy MCAT Test Prep

Financing graduate school

Graduate school is expensive; however there are resources available to help you finance your education. Below are some of the ways to consider paying for your graduate degree

  • Fellowships
  • Scholarships
  • Grants through your University: Apply for FAFSA even for graduate school. Depending on your income and need, you may be eligible to receive a grant.



Application process and timeline:

 

May

  • Begin researching for potential schools
  • Take a (free) practice exam required by the program you choose

June

  • Sign up for a GRE/LSAT/MCAT test prep course (online)
  • Register for the test if necessary

July

  • Request information from schools you are interested on
  • Visit their campus
  • Research professors and try to make connections

August

  • Take the general test
  • If you're not happy with score, sign up and take it again
    Begin your statement of purpose/personal statement

September

  • Finalize your list of prospective schools
  • Contact your recommenders
  • Keep working on your personal statement

October

  • Request official transcripts from undergraduate school
  • Send recommenders supplemental materials (your resume, personal statement, etc.)

November

  • Have someone read over your personal statement
  • Retake the test for the second time, and make sure scores are sent directly to schools

December

  • Complete and submit all applications (keeps copies of everything you send)
  • Verify that your recommendations have been sent
  • Try to submit two weeks prior to the school's deadline

 

Letters of recommendation

Letters of recommendations are a crucial piece of the graduate school admission process.

  • Choose a person who knows you well academically.
  • They can be faculty and professionals who know you well.
  • Ask to meet with your recommender(s) to discuss your interest in the graduate program you will be applying for.
  • Communicate your goals, career aspirations, and how you chose the program.
  • Provide the recommender with a copy of your transcript and resume.
  • Give them several weeks' notice.
  • Check back with your recommenders to make sure they have or are almost ready to submit the letter.