5 steps towards graduate school

1. Consider both reasons and counseling for Graduate School

There are different reasons to consider before applying to a graduate school. According to Columbia University Center For Career Education, you should ask yourself the following questions:

How much will it cost?

How long will it take?

Am I ready to do the work?

Is this going to make a difference for my career and long-term income?

Should I gain experience first?

Jesus Bonilla, career development assistant and senior marketing and business administration major, explained that getting counseling for graduate school is a favorable option to discern if it is the correct time to apply for a graduate school.

2. Research information about the best graduate degree for you

Once you have decided to obtain a graduate degree, then the next step is to research the best options for graduate schools. There are a variety of programs, so the best way to choose one is to identify your interests, abilities and personal goals.

Some of the best ways to find information is by attending graduate school fairs, visiting campuses and going on the school’s website. Reading reviews from students who have studied in that place also aid decisions. Once all the information is gathered, it will become easier to choose which program suits you.

3. Research qualified graduate schools

There will be different factors that will influence the decision for which graduate school to go to. Some of those factors are the localization, financial aid, admission requirements, facilities, the environment and the prestige of the school.

Each one of these factors will help you decide which graduate school will be the best for you.

One of the main issues when choosing a school is its prestige; however, Randy Hollingsworth, professor of communication, said that even though the school is not as famous as Harvard or Yale University, if it is an accredited institution and has a great program, then it is worthy to choose.

4. Understand things might not be as expected

It is true that a master’s degree or a doctorate will help you receive better job offers, but it does not mean you are going to find your dream job. Keep in mind that there will be other people who have a master’s degree or a doctorate also competing for the position you are applying.

5. Take the GRE test, most graduate schools require for admissions

The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a computer-delivered standardized test most graduate schools require of applicants. The test usually costs around $200 and includes three sections: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing.

If you are interested in applying for a graduate school and have questions about it, the Career Development Center (CDC) is an excellent place to ask. The office is located in the Walker Student Center, next to the California Café. The CDC is hosting a graduate school fair this Sept. 21 and 22.