Resources to Prepare for Grad School
Grad School Preparation Checklist
- Define your goals for graduate school
- Create a timeline
- Identify possible advisors
- Consider research topics
- Practice writing
Is Graduate School Right for You?
- Do you want to take your career to the next level, or is it necessary for a promotion at your current job?
- Are you looking to increase your earning potential?
- Are you trying to enter a new field of work?
- Do you want to grow personally and intellectually?
- Are you passionate about your area of study?
Your Application Timeline
How To Network Effectively
How To Choose a Good Advisor
- What is their background?
- What are their specialties?
- Have they conducted research or taught classes in niches and areas that you would like to study?
How To Write a Thesis or Dissertation
- What times of day are you most productive?
- What are your go-to tricks for conquering writer’s block?
- When do you need encouragement, and when do you need constructive criticism?
- Do you work better with or without self-created deadlines?
- Who can you rely on for support when you’re too frustrated to write?
Choosing a Graduate Program
Masters vs Ph.D.s
Finding Grad Schools
Online vs On-Campus
How To Pay for Grad School
- Graduate PLUS Loans are federally granted loans that cover the cost of attendance, which is determined by the school, minus the amount of other forms of financial aid. Students cannot have an adverse credit history to be eligible for this loan. The interest rates change depending on the school year, but will remain at a fixed rate for the life of the loan. There is also an additional loan fee students must pay on top of interest. You are not obligated to start paying back the loan until six months after graduating or leaving grad school.
- Perkins Loans are low-interest, federal loans for students with great financial need. The amount of aid students receive depends on how great their need is and the availability of funds at their school. Graduate students can borrow up to $8,000 per year and $60,000 altogether. Not all schools participate in this loan program. You have nine months after graduating from school to begin making payments on the loan.
- Stafford Loans are common, low-interest loans given by the federal government. They are available to graduate students based on the cost of attendance and other aid received. Graduate students do not need to prove they have financial need to be eligible for this loan. You have six months after graduation to begin repaying the loan.
Grad School Frequently Asked Questions
- You want to advance or change your career
- You need an advanced degree to start your career.
- You want to increase your earning potential.
- You are passionate about your subject and want to master it.
- You want to grow personally, academically, and professionally.
Steps for Applying to Graduate School
The Formal Application
Composing Your Personal Statement
Letters of Recommendation
Taking the GRE & Other Standardized Tests
CV or Resume
Negotiating Grad School Offers
- What makes each program unique?
- What makes it the best option for you?
- What does that program have to offer that none other does?
- Money, offers of fellowships, or assistant positions aside, which program would you pick?