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Graduate school

Entering graduate school or a professional program is an important career decision. Talk to a career educator as you explore opportunities and apply.

Explore programs

When you're considering graduate schools, think of the following:

  • Which programs are offered? Do they specialize in your area of interest?
  • Where is the school located? Is location important to you?
  • What are the admission requirements? Do they require any standardized test scores?
  • Who are the faculty? What are their areas of expertise?
    • Are they distinguished?
    • Are they soon to retire?
    • Do they publish with students?
    • Can you see yourself working with any of them, preferably with more than one?
  • What other opportunities are available at the university, such as potential travel, research and personal growth?
  • Is graduate funding available? If so, how much funding?
  • What will tuition and living expenses cost?
  • What opportunities are available for gaining practical experience? Are there opportunities for internships, co-op placements or teaching assistant positions?
  • What is the quality of the resources available, such as laboratories, equipment and research materials?

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential programs, you can connect with the graduate adviser for these programs. They should be able to tell you more about the university, program and faculty.

Connect with a supervisor

Depending on how the program is structured, you may want to identify a potential supervisor at this time.

A great supervisor will mentor you and oversee your academic work.

They should be passionate about your subject area and invested in your success.

It’s a good idea to talk to other graduate students who have had the same supervisor to hear what their experiences were like.

Prepare your application

Most grad schools will ask for a "statement of interest." This is a chance for you to describe your skills and experience as well as why you're interested in the program.

Steps for writing your statement

  1. Research your program of interest: read the instructions carefully for each school. Tailor each application to reflect that department’s culture, vision, research strengths and faculty areas of expertise.
  2. Know your strengths: you’ll need to describe your strengths and how they will help you in your potential program.
  3. Describe what experiences made you want to pursue this program. What appeals to you about the program? What unique perspective can you bring?