Explore graduate school options and locate resources for researching programs, preparing for entrance exams, and applying to schools. No matter what program you plan to pursue in graduate school, we’ve gathered resources to help you prepare for exams, complete your application, and fund your degree.
Information & Resources
Whatever your motivations and interests in continuing your education, the Career Center can connect you to a variety of resources to help you reach your goals. Includes information on essay writing, entrance exams, and other relevant resources.
Educational Testing Service
ETS offers a variety of exams, including the GRE, Praxis, and TOEFL.
Graduate School Entrance Exams
GRE General Exam
This is the site for the Graduate Record Examination, which includes registration information, study materials, and practice tests.
GRE Infocenter: Resources on the new GRE
Offers a range of online support resources to help you learn details about the new GRE. This includes information with regard to location addresses, changes to score scales, content, test functionality and more.
GRE Subject Tests
Get an overview of the GRE subject tests, which include Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology; Biology; Chemistry; Computer Science; Literature in English; Mathematics; Physics; and Psychology.
Miller Analogies Test
Accepted by some graduate programs in place of the GRE.
Health Professions Entrance Exams
Dental Admissions Test (DAT)
This site gives an overview of the DAT, as well as links to register online.
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) This page from the Association of American Medical Colleges provides an overview of taking the MCAT and includes information on preparation, registration, and scores. It also includes information on the new MCAT exam.
Optometry Admissions Testing (OAT)
Get information on the testing required for optometric education programs.
Veterinary School Admissions (GRE)
Most veterinary schools require the GRE as a part of the application.
Law School Entrance Exam
Law School Admissions Exam (LSAT)
The webpage for the Law School Admissions Council, with information on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT).
AccessLex Diversity Pathway Program Directory
The Pathway Program Directory is an online database designed to help prospective law students and pre-law advisors identify pathway programs serving college students and/or college graduates from historically underrepresented groups with information and resources premised on aiding their successful matriculation into law school and the legal profession.
Management/Business School Entrance Exam
Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT)
This website includes answers to frequently asked questions, as well as basic format and registration information for the GMAT.
Investigate the financial aid options available for graduate education. The types and amounts of funding available are often based on financial need and/or merit.
For graduate fellowship/scholarships. Take about 20 minutes to fill out individual profile that then enables FastWEB to search for scholarships based on specific majors, heritage, etc. FastWEB completes the results of the financial-aid search in approximately five minutes.
Includes information on taxes, financial aid, benefits of NAGPS membership, including grad student discounts, and NAGPS regional/national conferences.
Graduate scholarships and financial aid information.
Options and tips for funding education, GRE information, admissions testing, scholarships, and fellowships.
Awards, loans, and advice specific to M.BA students, admissions testing, M.BA Explorer, GMAT, and loans.
Awards, loans, and advice specific to law students, LSAT, admissions testing, Law School Admission Council Online.
Loans, professional organizations, and other resources specific to medical students, admissions testing page.
Financial aid for medical school, MCAT.
The Graduate Management Administration Council (GMAC) provides tips on financial your M.BA, as well as information about graduate business schools, admissions and testing.
For students and parents seeking scholarship information, educational institutions looking for funding, and nonprofit organizations supporting education in your community.
Government-wide compendium of all 1,499 federal programs, projects, services, and activities that provide assistance or benefits to the American public. These programs provide grants, loans, loan guarantees, services, information, scholarships, training, and insurance to millions of Americans every day.
Once a student decides to apply to graduate school, the selection of schools becomes an important decision. Prospective graduate students need to develop objective and subjective criteria for good decision-making. The following section suggests criteria and some resources to help gather information.
Writing Essays for Graduate School Applications
The Writing Center is a great resource for information and feedback on your graduate essays.
Letters Of Recommendation
Frequently Asked Questions
This list of questions and answers regarding letters of recommendation from the career center at Berkeley is filled with useful suggestions.
This article from GradSchools.com overviews the process of requesting letters of recommendations.
References, Recommendations, and Background Checks
From About.com, this link provides information about getting employment references, securing letters of recommendation, and understanding the background check process.
Objective and Subjective Criteria
A list of criteria can be very useful for evaluating graduate school programs. The following factors are adapted from Howard Figler’s PATH: A Career Workbook for Liberal Arts Students. Additional academic, geographical, and personal factors can be added.
- Make a list of desirable traits including the following criteria:
- Determine the fit of the program with your career goals
- Availability of practical/professional experience
- Review success of graduates in your intended discipline
- Program purpose and goals
- Success of graduates in obtaining professional positions
- Size of classes
- Faculty: student ratio
- Faculty reputation
- Diversity of faculty
- Diversity of student body
- Availability of Financial Aid
- Prioritize your list of desirable traits
- Keep in mind your personal specific criteria
- Contact programs that you are interested in
- If possible, visit schools to get a better idea of the campus environment, faculty, and program
- Meet with Graduate Admissions Officers
- Ask for permission to audit a class
- Request to speak with a current student in the program
- Talk to alumni in your intended career field
- Is the school a good fit?
Each school and program has its own requirements and deadlines for applications. It is the student’s responsibility to fulfill the requirements on time! This is a basic framework for setting up your particular schedule – use your faculty and career advisors to assist you.
- Talk to faculty, advisors, counselors, and others to discuss graduate programs
- Request and read graduate program information
- Determine admission and test requirements, application deadlines, test dates, etc.
Senior Year: September-October
- Take required graduate admission test(s). Find practice tests here. >
- Write draft of personal statement
- Request letters of recommendation
- Research financial aid options
Senior Year: November-December
- Order official transcripts from the Registrar
- Finalize personal statement according to program requirements
- Mail applications in early so you will have time to attend to missing information
- Contact programs to make sure your application is complete
Senior Year: January-April
- Contact schools about the possibility of visiting
- Discuss acceptances and rejections
Sending in completed application forms does not signify the end of the graduate school application process. To ensure consideration of their applications, students must complete the follow-up steps:
- Contact each graduate program to make sure they have received completed application materials.
- Contact appropriate sources regarding missing materials and communicate with the graduate program.
- Continue to research programs by speaking with students and faculty and reading literature
- Determine which program(s) match your interests/needs best and rank them in terms of admissions preferences.
Acceptance or Rejection
Once the application process is completed, graduate programs make admissions offers. Although acceptance by more than one school will provide choices, it can potentially contribute to more stress and anxiety. During the waiting period, keep the following suggestions in mind:
- Remember that a prospective student must also decide whether to accept or reject an offer for admission.
- Think about how to respond to possible acceptance/rejection scenarios.
Although ranking one’s preferences for graduate programs is helpful, the acceptance/rejection process can be complex. For example, a student who has not heard from his or her first choice for a graduate program may receive an offer from their second choice. In this situation, the student could choose one of several options: a) immediately reject the offer; b) immediately accept the offer rather than wait to hear from their first choice; or c) ask for time to make a decision and contact their first choice to see if they are still being considered or wait to hear from the program.
Seek support (e.g., parents, friends, faculty, and the Career Development Center) during the application process.
Think about alternative plans in case of rejection. Students may want to seek support from friends, faculty, family or perhaps counselors if they are very disappointed. Some students will feel relief, realizing that they actually didn’t want to go to graduate school. The next step is to consider other options, whether or not a plan was in place before receiving the rejection letter.