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Graduate School Preparation Materials
Career Services

Graduate education is quite different from undergraduate. It is more intense, independent, and requires more reading, writing and research. The application process and required materials vary for each school but most require official transcripts, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, a personal statement and an application fee. Each graduate school should have a webpage with information on how to apply, deadlines and what is required.

To aid you in the process, the Career Services Office in 110 Bray Hall has a variety of books and resources to help you prepare your application to graduate school. The following resources are available on this page:

  • General Graduate School Resources: Contains links and information on the application process and finding graduate schools and programs
  • Personal Statement Resources: Contains tips, advice, and examples on how to write your personal statement.
  • Funding Graduate School: Contains links and information on how to fund your graduate education.
  • GRE Test Resources: Information on the Graduate Records Exam (GRE), a common graduate school admissions test.
  • Medical School: Resources and links for students interested in medicine. Includes advising and MCAT information.
  • Law School:  Resources and links for students interested in studying law. Includes advising and LSAT information.

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General Graduate School Resources:

  • The Ins and Outs of Graduate SchoolPPS Slideshow, PDF: Online informational PowerPoint with a typical application timeline by the Academic Success Center in109 Moon.
  • Test Prep Review: Free online practice tests
  • Graduate Student Success Plan: A checklist with important questions to ask yourself and to guide you through the process, by the Career Center at Ball State University.
  • Peterson’s: Peterson’s Graduate Planner offers a wide variety of information on where to start, how to find a graduate program, how to prepare for standardized tests, and how to pay for graduate school.
  • The Princeton Review: The Princeton Review offers a wide variety of information on finding schools, graduate programs, the GRE, and scholarships.
  • Kaplan: Kaplan offers books and programs on how to prepare for the various standardized tests required by graduate schools.
  • Graduate Guide: The Graduate Guide provides a variety of information on graduate schools and finding programs.
  • Graduate School Planning: To go to graduate school or not?
  • Gradschools.com: Offers information on finding graduate programs.
  • All About Grad School.com: Offers information on finding programs in business, engineering, law, and medicine, and test preparation information.
  • Grad View: Contains a graduate program search and articles regarding financial aid, test preparation, and careers and programs. 
  • MySpace Is Public Space When It Comes To Job Search: A news article and employer comments discussing how social networking sites (MySpace, Facebook, etc.) and the internet are used in hiring and accepting graduate students. From CollegeGrad.com.

In addition, the Career Services Office has the following books available for review:

  • Graduate & Professional Programs: An Overview (39th edition) by Thomson Peterson’s. Copyright 2005.
  • Graduate School Guide: A Comprehensive Guide to Doctoral, Master’s & Professional Degree Programs (2007 edition).

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Personal Statement Resources:

Many graduate schools will require you to write a personal statement to judge your skills and to see if you are a good match for the school and/or department. This is often the most difficult part of your application. Your statement should be original and you should write a different statement for each school to which you apply. It might be a good idea to ask a faculty member critique your statement before you mail it in. A good reference book is, “How to Write a Winning Personal Statement for Graduate and Professional School” by Richard Stelzer, available in 110 Bray Hall.

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Funding Graduate School:

In the process of applying to graduate school, you will be faced with application, transcript, admission test, and campus visit travel fees for each school you are interested in. Not only can this be expensive, but how do you pay for graduate school once you are accepted?

Most graduate schools offer teaching, research, or graduate assistantships in which a student gains a living stipend and either reduced or waived tuition in exchange for part time work. You should contact your prospective school and academic department for information regarding available assistantships, application procedures, and deadlines.

In addition to asking your perspective college about scholarships and funding sources, check out these links:

  • FastWeb.com: A good site for finding scholarships. They will email you as new sources come up and even connect you with a link if one is available.
  • The National Academies: Offers information on fellowships for students pursuing degrees in science, engineering and medicine.
  • Finding $ources on the Internet: A site by the University of Washington Graduate School that provides links to various sources of funding on the web.

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GRE Test Resources:

Students pursuing graduate studies should familiarize themselves with the GRE General and GRE Subject Tests. Many graduate programs require applicants to take the GRE General Test and possibly its subject tests for admission.

  • The GRE Revised General Test- Coming in August of 2011! - For more info visit the GRE Website.
  • The GRE General TestPPS Slideshow, PDF: Online informational PowerPoint by the Academic Success Center (109 Moon). The information contained is a condensed version of the numerous information and resources available from the Education Testing Service website, the agency that administers the GRE.
  • Education Testing Service (ETS): ETS administers the GRE General and Subject Tests. The most reliable information regarding the GRE, format, practice tests, and registration is available here. The GRE General Test is administered on the computer so be sure to download the GRE PowerPrep software so that you can take a practice test in the same conditions that you will take the test.
  • Number2.com: Number2.com offers a free comprehensive online test preparation course to prepare you for the GRE General Test.

In addition, the Career Services Office has the following books available for review:

  • Cracking the GRE w/ DVD by The Princeton Review (2008 edition). Random House, Inc. Copyright 2007.
  • Crash Course for the GRE by The Princeton Review (3rd edition). Random House, Inc. Copyright 2007.
  • Verbal Workout for the GRE by The Princeton Review (3rd edition). Random House, Inc. Copyright 2007.
  • GRE Exam: Vocabulary Flashcards by Kaplan (2nd edition). Kaplan Publishing. Copyright 2006.
  • Cracking the GRE Math Subject Test by The Princeton Review (3rd edition). Random House, Inc. Copyright 2005.
  • GRE Exam Subject Test: Biology by Kaplan (2007-2008 edition). Kaplan Publishing. Copyright 2006.
  • GRE PowerPrep Software: Available on the computers in the Academic Success Center
  • GRE General Test Resource Binder: This binder contains various news, resources, and sample tests regarding the GRE General Test.
  • GRE Subject Test Resource Binder: This binder contains various news, resources, and sample tests regarding the GRE Subject Tests in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology; Biology; and Chemistry.

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Medical School:

Students interested in pursing a medical degree should contact Dr. Scott Turner (e-mail jsturner@syr.edu), ESF’s advisor for pre-health professions.

  • Pre-Health at ESF: This site, from Dr. Turner, offers information regarding pre-health advising at ESF including frequently asked questions and links to other resources.
  • Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC): The AAMC administers the MCAT, a required test for medical school applicants. Information regarding the test, including registration, format, and practice questions, and other helpful medical school resources are available here.

In addition, the Career Services Office has the following books available for review:

  • Get Into Medical School: A Strategic Approach by Kaplan (2nd edition). Kaplan Publishing. Copyright 2006.
  • MCAT Premier Program w/ CD by Kaplan (2007-2008 edition). Kaplan Publishing. Copyright 2007.
  • AAMC Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) (2008-2009 edition). Association of American Medical Colleges. Copyright 2007.
  • MCAT Practice Test 8 w/ Solutions by Association of American Medical Colleges. Copyright 2005.
  • MCAT Resource Binder: This binder contains various resources including general information about medical school and the MCAT, with sample questions from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

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Law School:

In cooperation with Syracuse University, ESF offers pre-professional advising to students interested in pursuing law as a profession. Students interested in pursing a law degree should contact ESF’s pre-law advisor is Dr. Robert Malmsheimer (e-mail: rwmalmsh@esf.edu).

  • ESF’s Pre-Law Program: This site should be your first stop if you are interested in pre-law at ESF. The site offers a timeline and links to helpful resources.
  • Law School Admissions Council (LSAC): The LSAC administers the LSAT a required test for law school applicants. Information regarding the test, including registration, format, and practice questions, and other helpful law school resources are available here.

In addition, the Career Services Office has the following books available for review:

  • Get Into Law School: A Strategic Approach by Lammert-Reeves (3rd edition). Kaplan Publishing. Copyright 2006.
  • LSAT Premier Program w/ CD by Kaplan (2007 edition). Kaplan Publishing. Copyright 2006.
  • LSAT Resource Binder: This binder contains various resources including general information about law school and the LSAT, with sample tests from the Law School Admissions Council.

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