Graduate & Professional SchoolSource: Auburn University Career Development Services
Why Go to Graduate School?
- You are going into a career field/occupation that requires a post-graduate degree (i.e. counseling, psychology, education, etc.)
- You want to obtain advanced knowledge in a specific field of study.
- In order to advance in your career.
- You want to conduct professional research.
- Professional schools such as medical, dental, veterinary, and law.
- These schools tend to be extremely competitive.
- They often evaluate heavily responses to application questions and the personal statement.
- They are interested in an applicant’s background in terms of community service, leadership, campus and association involvement, work experience, and the result of tests such as the LSAT and MCAT.
- Graduate School
- There can be many areas of study in one field. For example, a student interested in counseling could get a MEd (Masters of Education) in Counselor Education, an MA (Master of Arts) in Counseling Psychology or a MSW (Master of Social Work) in Social Work. Each program may have an entirely different emphasis in terms of philosophical approach and may better prepare students for working in different areas of the market. You will need to research and find the program best suited to your interests.
- Some graduate degrees do not necessarily result in salary increases.
- Most programs are interested in an applicant’s background in terms of community service, leadership, campus and association involvement, work experience and the results of standardized tests.
The Application Process
- One year before starting graduate program
- Attend one of the Getting into Graduate School workshops presented by Career Services.
- Begin looking at programs in your area of interest. Faculty are a great resource in finding out about great programs. The Peterson's Graduate School listings are available in the Career Services office. This resource is a listing of every graduate program in the country.
- Visit campuses.
- Practice and study for standardized tests [GRE, GMAT (business school entrance exam), MCAT (medical school entrance exam), LSAT (law school entrance exam)].
- Make an appointment with the Career Counselor if you have further questions or need assistance
- Nine months before starting program
- Take required standardized tests.
- Look over the application and begin preparing the necessary documents that will accompany your application.
- Begin writing your personal statement.
- Ask for references.
- Seven to Nine Months Before Starting Program
- Complete application and financial aid forms.
- Give references the recommendation forms to complete (if provided) and self addressed, stamped envelopes.
- Mail applications, watching deadlines for admissions and financial aid. Try to get your application in as early as possible. Most applications are sent in the last month before the deadline. Getting your application in early increases your chances of being noticed.
- Follow up by phone to verify all materials have been received.
Not all programs do an interview, but here are some things to keep in mind should you be called for an interview.
- Congratulate yourself if you are called for an interview! Only those who made the “short list” are called for interviews.
- Be familiar with the work and research of program faculty.
- Check the listed websites to study and practice your responses to possible interview questions.
If you need further assistance with the graduate school process, call ext. 2416 and make an individual appointment with the Career Counselor.