Prepare for Graduate School

Contact Us

Office of Undergraduate Research
Room 8.66.00, New Building
524 West 59th Street
New York, NY 10019

9:00 AM-5:00 PM

Phone: 646-557-4718

Now that you have experience in academic research, you might be thinking about continuing your education after you graduate from college. And if you haven't thought about graduate school, maybe you should! After all, undergraduates who have worked on research projects are exactly the kind of students that graduate programs want.

There are thousands of graduate programs in the US and beyond, so the first thing to consider is what you are interested in studying. Graduate school is not like college. There are no "Gen Ed" requirements – you will concentrate your coursework and your learning on one specific discipline. Graduate school prepares you for a specialized career within that discipline and most programs will involve what you now already have experience in – research. What career do you eventually want to have? The answer to that question will help you select the graduate or professional program that is right for you.

The best person to ask for advice on graduate programs is your faculty mentor. S/he has already gone through graduate school and knows the field. You can speak to the advisor for your major as well (or the advisor in your field of graduate school interest, if not your major). You should also consider visiting the Career Development Center. They have lots of great information and resources on their website and you can make an appointment to explore your options further. In particular, visit their page on planning for graduate and professional school.

It is never too early to start thinking about what you plan to do after college. Whatever you want to be, you can start preparing and building your resume now! Also, keep an eye out around campus for various workshops that will guide you through the process of preparing for and applying to graduate school. This November, "Graduate School Basic Training" was held, and included lots of helpful information. There will be another set of sessions in the spring for you to go in person, but for now, you can view the powerpoint presentation from this Fall:  Grad_School_Basic_Training_Information.pdf

Additional Resources

Video Workshop on Getting Accepted to Graduate Programs

The following links below take you to a seven-part video of a workshop on getting into graduate school held by the Diversity Committee of the Psychology Doctoral Program here at John Jay. Some of the information is specific to Psychology, but much of it is broadly applicable. There is some GREAT information about how best to prepare yourself for, and be accepted into, graduate programs. Topics include: why go to graduate school, the different graduate school options in psychology, what makes a good applicant, and a timeline for applying.

If you have any questions about the material that was covered in the session, or would like any of the slides, please email

The list below links to a variety of resources that can help you decide if graduate school is right for you, and to help you get into the program, one you know what you want

Should you go to graduate school? [computer science & engineering]

Planning ahead for graduate school in psychology:

Getting into graduate school: [includes practice GRE general test] [social work programs]

Graduate school search:

General resources