Tips for Applying to Graduate School

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					Tips for Applying to Graduate School
From the Office of Career Development and Internships, College of Mount Saint Vincent Administration Room 118 ext. 3263.

Is Graduate School Right for Me?
The decision to attend graduate or professional school should not be made lightly. A lot of hard work, time and money are involved! Look first at your goals to determine whether this is right for you. You should attend if: You are clear on your goals and know that the degree is needed for your chosen profession; You have a love of the subject and wish to pursue further study; You have a realistic picture of the necessary commitment. You should not attend if: You don’t know where your liberal arts degree will take you; You are avoiding a job search; You don’t know what else to do. You may need advice! Do informational interviews with people in your field to discuss the value of the degree. Talk to advisors, faculty and staff in Career Development. Check employment ads to see what degrees are required for the positions that interest you. Read books about the career you are considering. If you’ve done all your research and your answer is “YES! I’m on my way,” now is the time to start!

Selecting the Right School and Program
Good information on graduate programs are: http://www.petersons.com and http://www.gradschools.com. Look up web sites for specific schools and send for complete catalogues to get in-depth information. U. S. News & World Report shows its annual rankings of graduate programs at http://www.usnews.com/usnews/f air/gradmain.htm or come to the office to see the print edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools. 2005”. While you are there, pick up a free copy of the Graduate School Guide Completing applications is a big job! Remember we are here to help you. We have useful references on hand such as: Law School Essays that Make a Difference, How to Write a Winning Personal Statement for Graduate and Professional School Essays That Worked for Law Schools.

FINANCES
Concerned about costs? Help is provided for those with academic talent and/or financial need. When asking about aid, contact the admissions office AND the department in which you will study. Aid is available as fellowships, scholarships, assistantships (jobs in the department including helping with research and teaching), loans and work study. PROJECT 1000 is a program geared to traditionally underrepresented groups (Latinos, African Americans, Pacific Islanders). It provides free application to a large list of schools and helps with applications, essays, finding financial aid and more. For details call (800)327-4893.

Admissions Tests
You will probably need to take the LSAT, MCAT, GRE or GMAT. Check requirements for each program. We have applications for most tests and can give more information about dates of administration.

TEST PREPARATION SHOULD BE TAKEN VERY SERIOUSLY.
Scores are given considerable weight in schools’ admissions decisions. Use Study Guides, practice software and classes to get ready.

Open a Reference File in Career Development early in your college career. We will hold recommendation letters from teachers and employers and mail them to graduate schools on request. Come in for details.

Good Luck!


				
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