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Career Center

Preparing for Graduate School

The decision-making and planning needed for attending graduate school, choosing the right university and program, and the application process all require serious consideration and preparation. An advanced degree is a must for Grand View students considering careers in fields such as medicine, law, psychology, social work and counseling. In other occupational fields, a graduate degree can enhance the graduate's professional development and increase a greater variety of career opportunities.

Graduate School Application Timeline

Knowing what steps you need to take to be admitted to the graduate school of your choice – and when to take those steps – will make the process easier and less stressful.

Junior Year
  • Begin researching schools and programs of interest.
  • Talk to faculty and advisors to get information and advice.
  • Develop and maintain contacts with professors and supervisors who could write letters of recommendation.
  • Begin reviewing for required entrance exams.

Summer Before Senior Year

  • Start to narrow down your graduate school search.
  • Begin drafts of personal statements, essays, resumes, etc.
  • Register for required entrance exams.

Senior Year: September/October

  • Take entrance exams and request scores to be sent to schools.
  • Make appointment with the career center to work on required essays/personal statements.
  • Research financial aid sources, including scholarships and assistantships.
  • Request letter of recommendation from faculty members.

Senior Year: November/December

  • Request transcripts to be sent to your final choices, making sure fall grades can be included in time for deadlines.
  • Finalize essays/personal statements.
  • Begin applying for scholarships and assistantships.
  • Mail applications with early due dates.

Senior Year: January / February

  • Submit applications as early as possible.
  • File for financial aid if needed.
  • Contact schools you want to visit or to set up an interview.
  • Confirm that letters of recommendation have been received.
Researching Graduate Programs

There are many resources available for finding the right grad program for you.

  • GradSchools.com allows you to search for programs by school or subject and provides direct links to some graduate programs.
  • Petersons.com is a similar resource that is also available in hard copy at the Career Center.

For those who want to stay close to home, the following links are to some graduate colleges in Iowa:

Grand View University
Iowa State University
University of Iowa
University of Northern Iowa
Drake University
Des Moines University
Palmer

Paying for Graduate School

The thought of paying for graduate school can be overwhelming, but there are several ways to make it possible. Even if you’ll be receiving assistance, it’s still a good idea to start saving early to help pay for books and living expenses. Assistantships typically include a stipend and/or free tuition in exchange for work in the department, making them a great way to gain experience and earn money. The most common assistantships require teaching, research, or work in a designated office.

Websites for more information on assistantships are available for: University of Iowa,
Iowa State University, and
University of Northern Iowa.

Scholarships and grants are available for most graduate programs. Be sure to check into application deadlines at each school, as they may be different than the admissions application deadline. Loans can be applied for through your school’s Financial Aid Office. Be sure to fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

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