The Application Process
It is important that you first find out the application deadlines for the schools you are interested in. By each given deadline, each school will want to have a completed file on you, containing all the information required in order to consider your application.
The Application Form
An application packet must be individually requested from the Graduate Division of each school you are considering. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and to fill out the form completely and neatly. In addition, more and more programs are requesting that you apply electronically on-line. Some departments have additional departmental forms so, when requesting an application packet, specify the program in which you are interested. Also, keep in mind that some schools have early decision programs and it is to your advantage to apply early for these.
Often the graduate school application requests a personal statement. This should be a concise, well-written essay which demonstrates your ability to organize and present ideas clearly. Your statement of purpose should reflect your background, qualifications and goals.
Most graduate programs require scores from standardized admission tests. Bellow are common tests—be sure you have read the requirements for admission carefully so that you are aware of all of the tests necessary and the deadline dates for submission of the test results.
If you are applying to:
You should take:
|Graduate school (most programs)||Graduate Record Examination (GRE)|
|Law School||Law School Admission Test (LSAT)|
|Business School||Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)|
|Medical or Podiatry School||Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)|
|Dental School||Dental Aptitude Test (DAT)|
|Veterinary School||Veterinary Aptitude Test (VAT)|
|Optometry School||Optometry College Admission Test (OCAT)|
|Pharmacy||Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT)|
|Psychology, Education, Social Services||Miller Analogies Test (MAT)|
It is your responsibility to have an official copy of your transcripts sent to each school to which you are applying. Please note that it can take the Admissions and Records office up to 10 business days to have your official transcripts ready.
Letters of Recommendation
Although some institutions no longer require confidential letters of recommendations, many still do. Letters of recommendation should be requested from professors, advisors, employers or other individuals who are familiar with your work, undergraduate preparation, commitment, motivation, and/or potential. Choose people who view your work positively. Ask them if they feel they can write you a good letter.
Graduate School Interview
Many graduate programs now require a personal interview before you are accepted into a program. If you know you will be going through an interview try to find out if it is an individual interview or a group interview. The Interview process varies widely depending on the program in which you are applying, prepare for this as you would for an interview with an employer. It will be very important for you to articulate why you are an excellent fit for this particular graduate program and why they are your ideal choice. Be sure to practice potential interview questions to be sure you are ready for your interview. To set up a mock interview with a counselor in the Career Center please call 657-278-3121 for an appointment.
Financing Graduate School
There are several kinds of financial assistance available for graduate students. These include fellowships, scholarships, teaching and research assistantships, and loans. Some of these are through the school and others are from outside agencies. Financial aid application deadlines are frequently earlier than the general application deadline.