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Pursuing Graduate School

Determine what programs interest you, help review for entrance exams and prepare for interviews.

CHOOSING A GRADUATE PROGRAM

You can learn about potential programs of interest in several ways: 

  • Graduate School tabling events on-campus through the year
  • Online research of various programs
  • Speak with professors in your area of interest
  • Meet with a Hubbard Center adviser

THE DEGREE YOU PURSUE DEPENDS ON YOUR INTERESTS AND ASPIRATIONS.

It is important to explore careers you are interested in so you can investigate the best approach. Talk with current professionals in  your field of interest, your professors, current graduate students in your chosen area and Hubbard Center advisers.

BE AWARE THAT MANY ENTRY-LEVEL POSITIONS MAY NOT REQUIRE EDUCATION BEYOND A BACHELOR’S DEGREE.

In some industries, progress into higher level positions requires an advanced degree in additional to experience, while other a 4-year degree is sufficient.

CERTAIN CAREERS REQUIRE AN ADVANCED DEGREE AND SPECIALIZED TRAINING.

If you want to be a lawyer, doctor, college professor or librarian, for example, an advanced degree is necessary. Yet completing this degree (even from an elite institution) does not guarantee that you will secure your desired position.

GRADUATE STUDY OUTSIDE THE U.S.

While some aspects of applying to an overseas program can be easier, you will need to spend more time researching funding, immigration requirements and living arrangements.

SOME COUNTRIES OFFER DEGREE PROGRAMS THAT ARE SHORTER IN DURATION, SAVING TIME AND MONEY.

While this should not be the motivating factor, it can be a benefit if the content of the program is right for you.

SOME SCHOOLS OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES ACCEPT U.S. FEDERAL STUDENT AID. 

A list of these schools can be found on the www.studentaid.gov website, but you should always inquire to verify this with overseas schools you are considering.

Preparing for Graduate School

  • Seek faculty mentors
  • Take additional 300/400 level classes beyond the minimum
  • Complete an independent research, scholarly or artistic project
  • Develop a writing sample
  • Begin working on your personal statement
  • Start a portfolio of your work
  • Prepare to take the graduate entrance exam

Financing Graduate School

The cost of an advanced degree and available funding varies widely across disciplines.

  • Investigate the kind of financial support available in your targeted program. These could be teaching assistant-ships, fellowships, grants and other graduate student appointments.Contact the program directly to find out more about their resources.
  • Once admitted to a program, inquire about additional funding. You can work to negotiate a better financial package, fellowship or teaching position. If you have multiple acceptances, you can leverage that in negotiations.
  • Some competitive fellowships and awards fund graduate study. Review ones that may be relevant to your proposed area of study, or speak with the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Research & Fellowships

Prepare for Graduate School

To prepare yourself to be successful in the graduate school process, here are some things to accomplish:

Seek faculty mentors. Professors are your best resources in helping you identify your personal and scholarly interests. They can supervise an independent writing or research project and write letters of recommendations for you, because they know you and your abilities.

Take additional 300/400 level classes beyond the minimum and at least one course requiring critical analysis.

Complete an independent research scholarly or artistic project. Demonstrate the initiative and follow-through, as well as the ability to do independent and thoughtful work.

Take courses that will fulfill, or help with fulfilling, the graduate program's degree requirements.

Develop a writing sample. Try to have the sample reflect questions, issues or work that relate to your area of study.

Begin to write your personal statement. Workshops and resources are available.

Start a portfolio of your work. Graduate programs and employers may ask to see your previous work.

Prepare to the graduate entrance exams. The Graduate Records Exam (GRE) is the most common entrance exam. Every school and program is different, so check with the program about all admissions requirements.

Applying to Grad School 

TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT, CALL 765-658-4622, OR EMAIL HUBBARD@DEPAUW.EDU

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