OUR Graduate School Checklist
1. DECIDE. What you would like to study? What type of degree are you looking for? If you are having trouble with this step, it may be worth your while to visit Career Services or talk with a faculty member whom you know and trust.
2. CUR REGISTRY. List yourself in the CUR (Council for Undergraduate Research) Registry. The purpose of the registry is to match high-quality students, like those of you who have completed extensive research projects, with top-notch schools. Sign up is FREE to undergraduates. Apply now.
2. WHERE do you want to go? In-state or out-of-state? Make a list of all the schools in these places who offer the degree you're looking for.
3. PROS AND CONS. Make a list of the positive and negative aspects of the schools you are considering. If you're having trouble with this step, it might be helpful to request information from the schools directly.
4. TESTS. Most, if not all schools, require that you take the GRE (Graduate Requisite Examination). You can take this test in-house at the BSU testing center. To prepare, you should get a GRE prep book (ie. The Princeton Review). Depending on the program, you may have to take additional exams: MCAT (Medical School), LSAT (Law School), GMAT (Business School) and others. The schools you are applying to will specify which test(s) are required.
5. RECOMMENDATIONS. Ask professors whom you trust for recommendation letters to be sent to the graduate school of your choice. Provide the recommenders with a list of directions on how to submit the recommendation (electronically vs. by-mail), a copy of your resume, and copies of work you have done in their classes. Give them each at least a month's notice from when you expect to have these letters returned.
6. APPLICATION ESSAY. This portion of the application is also known as your personal statement. Think about emphasizing your best qualities, skills, and passion for the degree for which you are applying. Sometimes, thinking of a really good story can help bring focus to the statement. For this step, you should go through multiple revisions before you reach your final product. Ask for a faculty member's insight throughout this part of the process.
7. WRITING SAMPLE. This part of the application should reflect your best writing. Writing samples are not always required and may vary in length. Check with each school for specific requirements.
7. FINANCIAL AID. What type of aid does the school offer? Ask about graduate assistantships or teaching apprenticeships that, oftentimes, waive tuition and fees. Sometimes, you can even get paid to go to school. Investigate your living situation, which depends on whether you will be going to school in-state or out-of-state. Fill out the FAFSA early in the year. The earlier you fill it out, the more likely you are to receive the maximum amount of aid. Also apply for any and all grants you can get your hands-on.
8. APPLICATION FEES. Did you know that we offer Graduate School Application Fee Reimbursement up to $300 to any BSU Undergraduate Student who previously received an ATP Summer or Semester Grant? This covers application fees to the institutions as well as the price to take any requisite examinations. Email us to find out more!
Last Modified: July 26, 2012
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