For many college students, graduation is a welcome relief from a four-year grind of tests and classes. But for others, graduate school awaits.
And it’s for those students that we offer these tips:
- Look within. Why do you want to go to graduate school? Make sure you have a firm understanding of the pros and cons of pursuing an advanced degree, as well as the timing. In many fields, a master’s degree, doctorate or professional degree are absolute requirements. In other career sectors, you might want to consider working before going to graduate school to be sure that you are taking the best path forward. Each year you spend in graduate school is a year that you are out of the workforce. Is there an alternative, such as finding a job with an employer who will help pay for your graduate degree through a tuition benefit?
- Research. Start with an online search, check out graduate school rankings, and ask trusted mentors—other grad students, professors, advisors, internship supervisors—for their opinions. Use the GRAD Directory to prompt your search of Indiana schools.
- Make sure you understand the process. Every field—law, medicine, STEM areas, fine arts—has its own processes and nuances, and every institution has its own particular admissions process, too. You’ll likely need to write, revise, and tailor a personal statement, seek strong letters of recommendation, and take the GRE or other exam. Ask for help early—and often—from your advisor, your campus career center or graduate office.