Planning for Graduate School

Below is a list of steps that you should take to make your graduate school planning a success. Carefully following these steps will help you avoid much of the stress that is often involved in applying to graduate school. If you have more questions, please feel free to contact our office at 918.495.6912.

  • Research, research, research - subjects, programs and universities.
  • Gather information from college websites, catalogs, magazines, newspapers and databases.
  • Look into the information available at Career Services LRC 5th Floor.
  • Make sure the institution's culture, political atmosphere, location, size and program quality meet your needs.
  • Check into financial aid opportunities including scholarships, grants, assistantships and loans.
  • Graduate admissions tests may be required; give yourself plenty of extra time to set your test up and have the results reported to your institution of choice.
  • Acquire all required application documentation.
  • Prepare a list of requirements you must meet for your program of choice.
  • Begin to gather any letters of recommendation that you will need. Make sure you do not request letters of recommendation during especially busy seasons if at all possible. Even if you do not plan on attending graduate school right away, approach the professors from whom you would like recommendations later so that they can go ahead and write one while you are still fresh in their minds and keep it on file for when you decide to begin your graduate application process.
  • Make sure you know when all the applicable deadlines are.
  • When applying for dental, osteopathy, podiatry, medical or law school, register for the national application or data assembly service as required.
  • Complete your application as early as possible; some programs fill up and/or have limited scholarship monies available. It may well be first come, first serve.
  • Confirm that your applications are complete with the institutions you have applied to.
  • Visit institutions that accept you.
  • Prayerfully make your final decision.
  • Notify all colleges and universities that accepted you of your decision.
  • Send thank-you notes to people who wrote your recommendation letters or helped you in your application process, informing them of your success and future plans.

Factors to consider when choosing a Graduate School...

Choosing a graduate school requires researching and comparing programs, visiting potential schools, and hopefully meeting some of the faculty to see if they are as helpful and committed as you need. Naturally, above all else, careful, prayerful consideration is an absolute must.

Reputation, academic disciplines offered, and potential sub-disciplines are all important areas to consider. Be certain that the program is specialized enough to meet the requirements of your field, but not so specialized as to preclude you from potential future opportunities.

Ask Yourself...

  • What are the admissions requirements?
  • When is the deadline for applying to this program?
  • How flexible is the program in regard to the students' ability to select their own courses?
  • How many elective courses will be required?
  • Are there graduate, teaching, or research assistantships?
  • Is financial aid available? Based on what criteria?
  • What are the actual requirements for completing the degree? Capstone course experiences? Thesis defense?
  • Make sure the faculty to student ratio is low enough for you to acquire the individual attention that you need.
  • Match your personal goals and philosophy to an appropriately fitting faculty and staff environment to make sure you maximize your experience.
  • Look for a student body that you can fit into and learn from.
  • Make sure the students coming from the program are competitive in their respective fields.
  • Check into alumni track records as indicators of potential motivation within the program and overall success.
  • Will the facilities provided meet your needs?