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Career Center
 


​research

Before applying to grad school, decide if it’s right for you. What is your career goal? Does it require a graduate degree? If so, what kind?
  • Find programs searching Petersons.com, Gradschools.com or US News Rankings
  • Go to colleges websites and the specific degree pages to learn about the program and admissions requirements
  • Talk to current and former faculty for advice on different programs
  • Contact faculty in the program you’re interested in for information regarding the program, internships, research opportunities and assistantships
  • Schedule a campus tour to get a feel for the university and meet faculty and financial aid advisors
  • Check program accreditation* (if applicable)  ·
 
*Some careers require a professional license in order to practice (medicine, counseling, teaching, law, etc.). Attending an accredited program will make you license-eligible. Attending a program that is not accredited could prevent you from being able to work in your desired field.
 
The career center has several resources to help you research graduate schools. Stop by to talk to us about it!
 

    ​applying

    Know the timeline for applications. Many graduate programs have strict deadlines that can start as early as January for a fall admission. Applications can require a lot of work, so set aside enough time before the deadlines to create the best application packet possible. An application may require the following:

    ·         Two applications each: 1 for the graduate school office, and 
              1  for the specific program
    ·         Transcripts from each postsecondary institution attended
    ·         A resume  or curriculum vitae
    ·         A personal statement, essay, or portfolio
    ·         Letters of recommendation
    ·         Standardized test scores: GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test), GRE (Graduate Record Examination) LSAT (Law School Admission Test), MAT (Miller Analogies Test), MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)
     

    Essays:

    A topic may be presented to you and you must write out a discussion on it. There is not a “correct” answer to the topic. You must evaluate the topic, organize your ideas, and develop them into a cohesive and coherent response. You will be scored on how well you are able to utilize standard written English, organize and explain your thoughts, and support those thoughts with reasons and examples. Some helpful hints:
     
    ·         Spend the first three to five hours brainstorming out ideas. Write down any ideas you might have on the topic.
    ·         The best papers will contain diversity of examples and reasoning. As you brainstorm consider different perspectives. The more diverse the reasoning used, the more balanced the paper will become
    ·         Don’t just use information as to how the issue impacts other people. Draw liberally from your own experience and your own observations. Explain a personal experience that you have had and your own emotions from that moment. Anything that you’ve seen in your community or observed in society can be expanded upon to further round out your position on the issue.
    ·         It is more important to have a shorter paper that is well written and well organized, than a longer paper that is poorly written and poorly organized. Don’t keep writing about a subject just to add words and sentences, and certainly don’t start repeating yourself. Expand on the ideas that you identified in the brainstorming session.
    ·         Save a few moments to go back and review what you have written. Clean up any minor mistakes that you might have had and give it those last few critical touches that can make a huge difference. Finally, be proud and confident of what you have written!

    Personal Statements:

    ·         Clearly state your short and long term goals; tell how the university can help you meet them
    ·         Describe your areas of research and professional interest. You might indicate how your proposed studies are located within a broad field.
    ·         Give specific reasons why you are interested in a particular field
    ·         Refer to past experiences, both academic and "real world," that are relevant to graduate study
    ·         Articulate what is particularly valuable about the perspective that you will bring to the field of study and the specific department
    ·         Demonstrate your ability to think and express ideas clearly and effectively
    ·         Show motivation and capacity to succeed in graduate education
    ·         Write concisely and try to keep your readers interested. Remember that they are reading many application essays and therefore, you need to be considerate of their needs.
    ·         Have others read your essay and give your comments that will help you improve it
    ·         What you highlight about your life needs to be relevant to both your own interest in the field of study and the concerns of the admissions committee
    ·         Make it clear exactly why you want to attend that particular school
     
    The Career Center and the Writing Center can help you with personal statements and essays!

​financing

·     Most graduate students are funded by loans and scholarships, but grants and assistantships may also be available
·     Fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Usually, this form is due by March 1.
·     Apply for graduate assistantships or teaching assistantships to pay your tuition while you gain relevant work experience. Some will also include a stipend.     
·     For more information on a particular school’s financial requirements, visit the school’s financial aid office’s website, or call the financial aid department.
·     Separate yourself from your parent’s assets to qualify for more financial aid
 
For more information about financing, try these links:
 

​Interviewing

Many programs require an interview prior to gaining admission. These can take many forms, from one-on-one conversations, to group interviews, or phone interviews. As with professional interviews, graduate school interviews are typically about fit within the program and if you have the skills and abilities the program requires.
*  Be prepared that if you are asked to interview for a program, you will be responsible for covering your own travel expenses. This helps programs weed out who isn’t serious about attending. Only in exceptional circumstances do programs help with travel expenses or allow you to interview via phone.

Preparation:

Review your application, faculty in the program, their interests and how those interests align with your research interests. Think about what makes you a good fit for the program. Think about what makes you unique from other candidates and what you will offer the program. Prepare program specific questions to ask during the interview.
                The Career Center can assist you with practice interviews for graduate school. Call 303-556-2250 to schedule one.

During the Interview:

·         Remain calm and answer questions thoroughly.
·         Dress professionally.
·         Bring a copy of your resume or CV.
·         Address your audience with their appropriate titles.
·         Be prepared to discuss your research interests and coping with stress of
            pursuing a graduate degree.
·         If there is a social component to your interview (lunch or dinner out,
            graduate student mixer), remember that you are still being evaluated at
            this time.
·         Remember this is your time to interview the program too. Make sure 
            that it’s a good fit for you.
·         Ask current students for their thoughts on the program. What do they
            love? What causes them stress? How much faculty support do they
            have?
·         Focus on your strengths, versus your weaknesses.
·         Most importantly, be yourself!

After the Interview

Send a thank you letter as soon as possible.
·         Email letters are acceptable.
·         Reiterate your strengths and your passion for the field and how     
            they fit within the program.
·         Send one to every person you interviewed with, if possible.
If you do not hear about acceptance into the program by the date given to you,
follow-up with the admissions office or the specific program.

 
 
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