Career Development

Graduate School Tips

Need Support on Your Grad School Application?

In an effort to reach more students and sustainably provide information and support with the graduate school application process Natasha Oehlman (UROC) with the support of Jianshan Chen Khalsa (Graduate Student) have created a Canvas course "Navigating Graduate School: Steps, Turns & Twists". Many of these elements have been from the Graduate School Conference hosted in 2023 are now included in the asynchronous course.

To Self-Enroll in the Asynchronous Course, please click on the link below.

Access Canvas Course

Graduate School Tips

Consider these questions before applying to Grad School

  • Have I had sufficient academic and career exposure to make this commitment?
  • Does my field of interest require a graduate degree?
  • Will I have more opportunities with a graduate degree than a bachelor’s degree?
  • Can I afford it?
  • Am I psychologically and emotionally prepared to return to formal academic studies?
  • Do I want to attend graduate school right after receiving a bachelor’s degree or should I take time off?
  • If I enter the job market and find a job that I enjoy, would it be difficult to continue my studies?
  • Am I flexible in terms of geography and handling personal relationships while in school
  • Does this education align with my career goals?

Deciding Where to Apply

After you’ve done some research and found graduate schools you would like to apply to, there are key factors to consider.

  • Identify faculty in the program with whom you share research interests
  • Investigate how the graduate program’s specific strength or focus matches up with your interests
  • Determine the quality of the program by talking to faculty members and graduate students in the field.

You may consider graduate school ranking; however, keep in mind that rankings may be based on criteria different from your own

Keep Organized

It is important that you develop a system to track your graduate school applications early on. It is easy to miss a deadline, don’t let that happen to you.

• Track the requirements and deadlines of every program you plan to apply to in one place

• Keep track of your requests for letters of recommendation and official transcripts


Graduate schools tend to be more expensive than undergraduate schools. Fellowships, assistantships, and tuition reimbursement from employers can lower the cost.

• Fellowships are graduate scholarships or grants

• Assistantships are like work-study programs; they provide students with a stipend to help cover educational costs. You may have teaching responsibilities for one or more courses, while also carrying a full course load.

• Tuition Reimbursement is when employers educationally invest in their employees by assisting employees with the cost of their educations. Employers often have terms and conditions related to this benefit, make sure you understand them.