Thursday, November 15, 2012

Preparing for Grad School

By Dylan Mark, senior sociology major at CU-Boulder

As an undergraduate, it’s never too early to prepare yourself for grad school.  If you’re planning on attending grad school after your degree, here are a few tips that will help you along the way. 
  • Excel in academics and extracurricular life to strengthen your grad school application. Graduate programs are extremely competitive.  Ensure that you’re application stands out by getting involved on campus through clubs and organizations. It’s also great to have internship experience while maintaining a strong academic resume. Graduate programs may also ask for interviews, references and placement exams for their applications
  • Take classes to prepare yourself. Some graduate programs have specific prerequisite classes while other programs may encourage you to take introductory classes in your field. Make sure you research the prerequisite qualifications, so that you’ll be prepared when it comes time to apply.
  • Get to know your professors. They are often the gatekeepers of the best opportunities.  Professors may know of programs tailored to your interests and can be used as references in your applications. Most importantly, professors have gone through the trials of grad school and have advice that you can’t get from anywhere else.
  • Research the graduate school professors. While you may like a school’s program, your professors will largely impact your experience and education. Before applying, get to know the school’s professors and see if their interests and experience align with yours.
  • Know when applications are due. Graduate programs often call for applications far in advance of their start date. These application due dates vary by major and university, so keep up to date on when they are and what you will need for your application. 

With these quick tips you'll be well on your way to grad school. Don't forget to stay on top of deadlines and start preparing now! It's never too early to start thinking about your future.