Applications & Admissions
Before you apply to a graduate program, ask yourself any last minute questions that might affect your decision.
- Does the program allow for part-time study?
- Is work experience required to get into the program?
- Does the program allow flexibility such as dual majors, interdepartmental
or interdisciplinary study, individualized majors, combined degree programs? These often lead
to the most interesting jobs.
Each university and graduate program establishes its own admissions deadlines and requirements. Check graduate catalogs for this information and make certain that all requirements are met well in advance of these deadlines. In special circumstances it is sometimes possible to get permission to substitute one type of admissions examination for another - most often, the Miller Analogy Test MillerAnalogies.com for the Record Exam (GRE) general test. You may wish to determine if examinations are used for admissions purposes or for the institutional research only.
The GRE is the most widely used admissions exam. The computer-based general test is offered year-round at centers worldwide. Visit GRE.org for complete information.
A program may require the GRE general test and subject tests as well. Subject tests are paper-based
exams and are given in November, December and April. The Graduate Management Admission Test
http://www.GMAT.org is frequently the
examination required for business schools. Law, medicine and medical specialties have separate
examinations that may be offered as infrequently as once per year. Test dates and locations, test
application bulletins, graduate school guides and ranking reports are available in the Career Resource Center in Academic and Career Advising, first floor of the Elliot Center.
Graduate schools will also require official transcripts from each college attended, which must be obtained from the Registrar's Office in the Elliot Center. Letters of reference from faculty and others who know about the quality of your academic and professionally related work will also be requested. References that address your suitability for a specific university and program will carry the most weight. You may expect other requirements such as essays, general interviews or situational interviewing.
Serving as a reference for graduate school is often a lot more work than writing simple letters of recommendation: many graduate schools expect your references will fill out their individual forms rather than submit a standard letter. Therefore, be very nice to your references: ask them as far in advance as possible and supply them with adequate information about you (a copy of your résumé and transcript, a list of the classes you've taken from them, even a statement of why you want to attend graduate school could be helpful if you don't have an opportunity to speak with them directly) to write a targeted letter of recommendation. Be aware that you are asking a lot of them and thank them appropriately by taking them out to lunch, writing them a thank you note, or sending them flowers.