Graduate Studies

The library subscribes to Gale's Testing and Education Reference Center. This searchable database provides up-to-date information about graduate programs and scholarships across the country and it also provides online practice tests for the GRE, LSAT, PRAXIS and military/civil service exams.

Consider Your Options - The journey toward one's final career destination often includes a side trip to consider attending graduate school. Because graduate school is a significant commitment of time, energy and money, a few, well-chosen questions will help you in the decision-making process.

I. Analyze your Options:

  • Attend Graduate School now OR enter the working world to gain experience which will clarify direction when I enroll at a later time.
    • Visit with a Career Services Counselor to discuss your options.
  • What degree program will I pursue and how will the graduate program promote my career objectives?
    • Many resources, including academic advisors and printed materials, exist to help you gain direction.
  • What criteria should I employ as I choose a college or university to attend?
    • Information about choosing a specialty area and researching college programs may be available in your campus library, career services center and on-line on the World Wide Web. One such helpful resource is Peterson's Guide to Graduate and Professional Programs, available in print and on the WWW.
  • Visit with Graduate School Representatives at area career fairs to get a feel for the opportunities that a graduate degree affords as well as learning the realities of the world of advanced study.

Congratulations! The decision has been made! Now it becomes essential to "tune in" to the details of the Application Process.

II. Applying to Graduate School:

  • Establish a timetable of important dates. Allow yourself the recommended time to piece all of the requirements together. Remember, if you are applying to multiple schools, the requirements may differ. A simple grid checklist will keep you aware of your tasks.
    • Request Application Forms and Information Booklets from each Graduate School. Note individual college requirements. Read the information carefully and make the appropriate inquiries.
  • Assemble the information needed to meet the Application Requirements of each Graduate School.
    • Graduate Admission Tests: (general, specific, individual program aptitudes)
      • Your College Testing Center will have information regarding specific tests and dates of administration. Check early since many tests have pre-set schedules and infrequent testing dates.
  • Transcripts: Needed to determine undergraduate preparation and readiness to pursue graduate study. Most institutions require official transcripts to be submitted for evaluation. Tip: Make a list of the schools to which you are applying and order your transcripts as a group. The cost is less when the number ordered is greater.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Written by key individuals who can attest to your readiness to be successful in pursuing graduate study. A Career Counselor can assist you in making your selections.
  • Application Essays: Although requirements differ from school to school, most selection committees will evaluate your writing sample for a number of things including:
    • Writing ability
    • Educational Background
    • Goals
    • Commitment to a field of study
  • Interviews, Portfolios, and Auditions: Some graduate programs are employing supplementary techniques to assist them in the selection of their graduate students. Many resources have been published on interviewing , portfolio development and successful auditions. Check your bookstore or career services library for available titles.
  • Completing the Application Process:
    • Read each institution's instructions carefully for individual differences. Many selection committees make decisions based partly on the applicant's ability to follow directions.
    • Submit the correct application fee. Check with the financial aid office if you are pursuing financial assistance or graduate assistantships to help defray the cost.
    • Mail all materials, according to directions, on time or before the deadline approaches.

III. Financing Your Graduate Study

  • Explore Types of Financial Aid available to help you meet your goals:
    • Grants, Scholarships, and Fellowships: Peterson's Guide to Graduate and Professional Programs is an excellent resource.
    • Loans: Contact your Financial Aid office for reliable sources
    • Work Programs:
      • Teaching Assistantships
      • Research Assistantships
      • Administrative Assistantships
      • Federal Work Study program
      • Additional on-campus employment opportunities

Counselors and advisors in your undergraduate college offices of Career Services, Scholarships and Financial Aid, and Graduate Studies will be happy to advise and assist you - University of Nebraska at Kearney Graduate Studies and Research

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