Considering Graduate School?

Deciding whether to attend graduate or professional school is a big decision and requires careful consideration and planning. Before you begin filling out applications, you must decide on a program of study, research what schools are the best fit, and consider how you will finance your education.

Research programs and institutions

  • Request a graduate catalogue and other available statistics on the programs in which you are interested. This usually can be done online from the school’s website, or by phone or mail. Peterson’s Guide to Graduate School can provide you with a quick overview of several schools and the programs they offer.
  • Consider all the offerings – Evaluate schools based on the course load, type of classes, success of graduates, the school’s reputation, and your own personal preferences. Take note of the entrance requirements (GPA, standardized tests, work experience, etc.).

Graduate Admissions Tests

If a standardized test is required for admission into your school of interest, there are numerous ways to prepare. Fee-based prep classes are offered, and you can find printed manuals designed to prepare you for these test at most bookstores. Get detailed information on the graduate school admissions tests in the Career Center’s Guide to Graduate Admissions Tests.

Remember that it can take up to 6 weeks from the time you take the test to have your score evaluated and sent to the universities of your choice.

Application Process

  • Application procedures and deadlines can vary by institution. Be sure to check deadlines, requirements, and application fees for each school.
  • Select and contact your recommendation letter sources. Your references should be respectable professors and professional contacts with whom you have established positive relationships throughout your undergraduate career.
  • Prepare your materials to submit with your application. Peer Career Advisors can help you prepare and refine your resume and you may want to bring any writing samples or statements to either of the University Writing Centers.
  • Check out our Guide to Preparing Personal Statements packet for help developing your essay.

How will you finance your education?

  • Research tuition and cost-of-living. Contact the Financial Aid offices at the universities to which you are applying.
  • Need help identifying strategies to pay for graduate school? DePaul’s Financial Fitness program offers workshops, one-on-one advising, and online tools to help you create a strategy that will work for you.
  • Research financial aid opportunities and services through:
    • CollegeNet College tips and scholarships
    • FastWeb    Financial Aid Search Through the Web
    • FinAid        Guide to Financial Aid Information