OVERVIEWTESTINGESSAYSLETTERS OF RECOMMENDATIONINTERVIEWSADDITIONAL MATERIALSFINAL NOTESADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Deciding to attend graduate school is a big decision that should not be taken lightly. Unlike undergraduate school, graduate school requires even more independent study that will give you expertise in one field. It also requires much self-discipline and a serious commitment to a field of study--not to mention a huge financial cost.
Students choose graduate school for many reasons, some of which are more valid than others. Reasons you should attend graduate school include:
It is not wise to attend graduate school for the following reasons:
If you are not certain about pursuing a graduate degree, it is wise to speak to professors and alumni in your field of interest to first see if a graduate degree is required, and then to determine when would be the optimum time to attend.
The bottom line is that you should consider graduate school only if you have already committed to a career choice, and if your research has indicated that graduate school is required for you to succeed in that career.
Once you decide that graduate school is appropriate, the next step, as in a job search, is to develop a plan of action.
Many programs require you to take special tests for admittance. Tests vary in length from one hour to six hours. Most tests will ascertain your language/English/reading comprehension skills, your quantitative and logical reasoning skills, and your writing abilities. Some also focus on specific technical information in your area of study and are more like achievement tests.
Examples of typical admissions tests include:
Most schools publish the average test scores of their admitted students, so do your research to know the typical ranges. This will help gain a realistic view of where you stand as you start to take practice tests, and will help you determine if you should sign up for a preparation course. Test prep courses such as The Princeton Review and Kaplan can be costly, but may be a wise investment for you, especially if you tend not to perform well on standardized tests.
Note the filing dates, especially for Sabbath observers. Make sure you meet the deadlines. Click here for important testing dates for 2011-2012.
While most tests are computerized, there are still some paper and pencil administrations. For specific dates of test administration or names of local test centers, stop by the Career Center, call ETS at 609-771-7670, or contact other testing services.
Fill out your applications, and write your personal statement early on. Spend time on your essays--schools do read them! The essay is an opportunity to show the Admissions Committee that you are more than just your GPA or test scores. Schools want to know your ideas and goals in pursuing a graduate degree, and they want to assess your writing abilities. Some general rules to follow when writing the essay include:
Most graduate schools request three letters of recommendation. In choosing references, you should:
If you are uncertain whether or not to ask individuals to write you a letter, set up a meeting with them, discuss with them your intentions for graduate study, and ask them if they would feel comfortable writing a strong letter on your behalf. This gives them the option of saying no or insuring that if they say yes, your letter will be strong.
Interfolio, the premier credentials, dossier and online portfolio service, is now available to students at Yeshiva University. Interfolio is an easy and affordable way for a student to collect and deliver application materials, such as letters of recommendation, for graduate school, academic jobs, fellowships, or other opportunities. Click here to sign up for Interfolio.
On the recommendation form, you will be asked to indicate if you wish to waive the right to see the recommendation. We suggest that you do waive the right as it usually increases the validity of the recommendation in the eyes of the admissions officers.
Not all schools require one, but they are usually required by medical schools, graduate programs in psychology and social work, and several others. You may request one if you feel it will strengthen your application. An interview can be a very important opportunity for you to persuade an institution's admissions office or committee that you would be an asset to its program.
Interviewers are interested in the way you think and approach problems. You may be asked questions on such topics as:
As in a job interview, you need to prepare by speaking to alumni and professors, reading the school catalog and visiting the school's website. Think over your answers to some of the questions above, and do further research to discover other typical questions asked during interviews for your area of study. Also be prepared to ask questions during the interview. Know your essay and resume inside out, as many questions may arise from them. Find out what kind of interview it will be: group, one-on-one (one interviewer for one candidate), three-on-one (three interviews for one candidate), whole day, half day, etc. Dress as you would for a job interview--professional attire.
It is your responsibility to be on top of the application process. You will generally need to send the following:
If your admissions folder is incomplete, you cannot be considered for entrance.
PAY ATTENTION TO DEADLINES!!! Remember that some schools have rolling admissions, so the earlier you apply, the better your chances of being accepted.
In the end, the admissions committee will review the completed applications looking at GPA, admission test scores, essays, letters of recommendation, and interviews. There is no one factor that can guarantee admissions, but rather a combination of all factors. Graduate schools are looking for a diversified class. If you do not get into graduate school on the first try, but are determined to reapply, it is advised that you call the schools and inquire as to why you were not accepted. See if there is anything you can do that will strengthen your application for next year when you reapply. This can often be viewed favorably.
Ultimately, you will be the one to decide how committed you are to pursuing graduate school. You may need to expand your geographical range or the type of program to increase your chances of getting accepted, or you may need to gain further experience to enhance your application.
Some useful links include:Academic Advisement CenterPre-Law AdvisementYC Pre-Health AdvisementSCW Pre-Health Advisement
gradschools.comfindthebest.com (click on "Education")http://graduate-school.phds.org/www.top-law-schools.comgraduateguide.comstudentdoctor.net Nurse Without Borders Business Degrees (both online and campus-based)
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