SHSU Mentoring Center offers tips on applying for graduate school

The decision to attend Graduate School is one to think about, especially considering the process a student has to go through. That process is easier now with the help of Emily Kennedy, Graduate Fellow in the CHSS Mentoring Center.

Kennedy hosted a Graduate school information meeting that discussed financial aid, academic requirements, and a grad school time line. These items of information are basically designed to organize everything from the location of schools, to campus size and cost.

Many students don’t decide to go to grad school until their junior year, and there is nothing wrong with that. It’s always good to get a head start if you do or don’t have everything mapped out. The most important decision to make is potential careers that interest you, and if grad school is the way to go to get the most out of that career. To get on that path, make sure that you are taking all the classes you need for your major by meeting with an advisor. Specific courses can be worked into your schedule to fulfill the requirements that you may need for grad school.

Organizations and leadership positions look really good on a student’s co-curricular transcript. Join different student organizations and try to take a leadership position in them if your schedule allows it.

Kennedy stressed that it is beneficial to a student to get to know their professors. These professors can be the people to write a recommendation that is needed for your graduate school application. Admissions can tell the difference in recommendations. A student that has not spoken with the professor beyond class will have a considerably different recommendation letter than one who has spoken with the professor on different occasions.

“Get to know your professors because they will be the ones to write your recommendations,” Kennedy said.

It is good to talk to current grad students and professors to get some insight and ask “what I should be doing?” You may even be able to sit in on classes and get the feel of a graduate school classroom. These people can steer you in the right direction and give you information about professors. It is always better to talk to someone who has experienced everything that comes with grad school than one who hasn’t.

Grad school also does require entrance exams like the GRE, GMAT, LSAT and others, depending on your field of study. It’s important to study for these exams. Plan to take them in advance in case you want to improve your scores.

This may seem like a good amount to get into grad school, but don’t worry, that is what the informational meeting was for. Organization is key to lessen the stress of the process of getting into graduate school. Graduate school is an investment in your future and will increase your chances of getting a high paying job. So don’t change your plans on the count of how much work it requires. For more information, contact Emily Kennedy in CHSS 190B or call at 936-294-4364.

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