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PLANNING FOR GRADUATE SCHOOL

Finding the right graduate school (and program) for you is an important process that requires dedication and energy. The year you start planning, generally your junior or senior year, determines how you should proceed in the planning process.

Junior Year Senior Year

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Junior Year

Checklist

  • Use web sites such as www.petersons.com/graduate and www.gradschools.com to help search for schools with programs in your field of interest.
  • Visit the universities' web pages. Schools have their catalogs and applications online.
  • Consult appropriate graduate school reference books such as Peterson's books on graduate programs, such as:
    Directory of Graduate Programs
    The Official Guide to MBA Programs
    Graduate Study in Psychology
  • Draft your admissions essay/statement of purpose.
  • Visit institutions of interest if possible.
  • Consult your department advisor on the following points:
    • Courses you should take in your senior year. Inquire about departmental honors requirements. (You need 60 credits of letter grades at Hunter to be eligible for graduation with general college honors).
    • Recommendations for graduate schools with a program and a distinguished faculty in your field.
    • Names of other faculty members or specialists in your field of interest to whom you can write for information or advice.
    • Special sources of funding in your particular area of interest.

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Senior Year

Checklist

  • Take the appropriate graduate admissions test(s), if you haven't already done so.
  • Select the schools to which you wish to apply.
  • Apply for any scholarships for which you may be eligible.
  • Submit the required financial aid forms by January (for September admissions).
  • Complete the application process:
    • Request letters of recommendation
    • Arrange for your undergraduate transcript(s) to be sent.
    • Write your admissions essay/statement of purpose. (Your statement should be specific to the school to which you are applying.)
    • Prepare any necessary financial statements for financial aid.
    • Send any supplemental materials that are required or recommended.
    • The cost of applying to a number of graduate schools adds up. If you have financial need ask the graduate school if there is an application fee waiver policy.

Most graduate schools use online applications, which means that the student sends all the required materials electronically.

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