How do I prepare for Grad School

So, you've decided on Grad School- Congrats!!  Let's get you prepared for what comes next.

First, understand that different programs look for different attributes in their applicants. In general, institutions will rank you in terms of: GRE; GPA; Letters of Recommendation; Research Experience; Volunteer Hours. Learn what the programs you are interested find most attractive and focus on strengthening that during your Junior year.

If you will graduate in MAY:

  • Applications will be due during the FALL semester of your Senior Year (Nov-Feb deadlines)
  • At the end of your junior year:
    • GPA should be in good standing
    • Begin studying for GRE (if your program requires it)
    • Make contacts with faculty recommenders
    • Begin selecting institutions/programs/researches.
  • During the beginning of your first Senior Semester plan to spend time equivalent to a normal college course just getting your application ready (yes, I am serious):
  • Determine where you will apply based on the program's:
    • Acceptance rates (how many apply vs how many are accepted)
    • GRE requirements
    • GPA requirement
  • Be realistic and apply to three different levels of schools:
    • Select a dream school(s)
    • Select a school(s) you feel you are a good candidate for
    • Select a school(s) you feel you will easily be accepted to
  • Gather the requirements for each school you will apply to, including:
    • Application deadline
    • Number of letters of recommendation
    • Submission process for letter of recommendation
    • Personal statement
      • This is perhaps one of the most difficult items to complete.  Take your time and, if applicable, customize this letter to fit each institution. Depending on the program, you might have to state which researcher you wish to work with. If this is the case, be sure to explain why this person’s research is of interest to you.
    • CV: UK faculty CVs are public record, view several before constructing yours.
    • Transcripts: you may be asked to supply your Official Transcripts-this is not a simple thing; instructions can be found HERE. If you also attended another institution, allow time for them to process your request.

HERE are some (rather painful to watch) videos that contain (really) good information (if it gets too painful, flip through the power points).

HERE is a pdf with more information.

Where do you take the exam and what dates are offered: ETS GRE Home Page

If you graduate in DEC:

  • Ensure your selected programs accept students during January and acquire the application submission deadlines.