So, You Want to Go to Grad School?

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A Stand-Alone Instructional Resource (STAIR) for students to learn more about the process to apply to graduate school, intended for undergraduate students.


  • 1. So, You Want to Go to GradSchool?A Stand-Alone InstructionalResource By Andrew Murray

2. Purpose This resource will acquaint you withthe five main pieces of information thatmost graduate schools use whenadmitting students When prompted, choose the optionthat best matches you! 3. The Fab FiveIn order to be competitive on your graduate school applications, it is essential to consider the following factors:1. GPA (grade point average)2. GRE (Graduate Records exam)3. Letters of Recommendation4. Personal Statement5. Internship/Research Experience 4. Grade Point Average Grades are important, as they are a long termindicator of how well you perform as a student They reflect your motivation and your ability to doconsistent and successful academic work Admissions committees not only look at your GPA,but also at your major GPA as well as yourcumulative (overall) score Many grad schools will expect a 3.0 or better GPAfor admission, although the specific requirementsoften differ 5. Grade Point AverageMy GPA is where it I think I can make my should be to be GPA better before I competitiveapply to grad school 6. How do I make my GPAbetter? Success on your transcript is all aboutworking hard IN and OUT of the classroom Tips: In class: Take notes, ask questions, talk to yourprofessor before/after class Out of class: Form study groups, visit yourprofessor during office hours, use academicresources on campus (Writing Center, AcademicLearning Center, Academic Advisors, etc.) 7. Graduate Records Exam(GRE) Prospective graduate school applicants from allaround the world take the GRE GRE scores are used by admissions or fellowshippanels to supplement your undergraduate records,recommendation letters and other qualifications forgraduate-level study The GRE assesses the kinds of thinking (verbalreasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing)youll do in graduate school to show you are readyfor the rigors of a professional education 8. Graduate Records Exam(GRE) I am prepared for I need morethe GRE and dont information on thehave any questions GRE whats mynext step? 9. More Info on the GRE GRE home page, a great place to start! Free test prep materials! 10. Letters of Recommendation A well-written recommendation letter provides admissionscommittees with information that isnt found elsewhere in theapplication A recommendation letter is a detailed discussion, from afaculty member, of the personal qualities, accomplishments,and experiences that make you unique and perfect for theprograms to which youve applied Its important to consider your letter writers carefully and givethem plenty of time to write, as these letters are essential toentrance into your graduate program Youll need at least three (3) letters! 11. Letters of Recommendation I already know three I have no idea whogreat faculty could write my letters.members / job How do I choose asupervisors that canletter writer?write effective letterson my behalf 12. What You Need to Know About:Letters of Recommendation How do I choose my letter writers? Choose faculty members or job supervisors with whomyou have lots of productive and positive experience Dont be afraid to ask, Do you feel you can write me astrong letter of reference? Make writing the letter easy Provide all necessary information and materials Resume Questions or topics to discuss Addressed envelopes with stamps Timeline for completion Give your letter writers time Your writers are busy give them at least a month to craftand send your letters 13. Personal Statement Graduate programs will often assign specifictopics that applicants must address inwriting their personal statement The graduate admissions essay is a criticalpart of the graduate application because it isthrough this essay that applicants speakdirectly to the committee and demonstratetheir unique fit to the program 14. Personal Statement Ive already written I would like tomy statement andlearn more aboutconsulted withhow to write thewriting best personalprofessionals Imstatement I cangood to go!who can I talk to? 15. More Info on: PersonalStatement Use your resources on campus: Talk to faculty members / academicadvisors Writing professionals The Writing Center Faculty with credentials in writing/language 16. Research / InternshipExperience Internships and research experiences allowyou to express your passion and learn moreabout issues in your chosen field thatinterest you! Internships and research experience bolsteryour resume for grad school and futureemployers, and allow you to gain practicalknowledge that textbooks cannot provide 17. Research / InternshipExperience I already have two or I have less than twomore years of workyears experience.experience in the field Where can I pursuerelated to my this experience? Whatprogram Im all set!resources might beavailable to me? 18. Research / Internships:Resources! Research: Typically, your professors are scholars in yourmajor and are conducting research consultthem, or the academic department, to become aresearch assistant Internships: Career Services or Service Learning are greatplaces to start Both: Your academic advisor can connect you a lot ofthese resources! 19. Beginning the Journey At this point, you now have the knowledgeneeded to begin the application process Be sure to refer to the schools website forspecific requirements Give yourself time to apply! Dont rush! Finally, utilize your academic advisor andfavorite faculty members theyd love tohelp you! 20. For a Refresher GPA GRE Letters of Recommendation Personal Statement Research / Internship Experience Back to the Beginning How do I contact the author of this presentation? 21. Thank You! For more information on thispresentation, please contact: Andrew Murray Andrew.Leon.Murray@gmail.comMichigan State University