Preparing for Graduate or Professional School for Research

Preparing for Graduate or Professional School for Research

Preparing for Graduate or Professional School

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 learning 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 speaking to advisors here at John Jay College. For example, you should speak to a pre-law advisor if you are interested in going to law school. Or, speak to a pre-health advisor if you are interested in going to medical or veterinary school. For more general information as well as other opportunities that may prepare you for graduate school, you should also see one of the advisors at the Office of Fellowship & Scholarship Opportunities.

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. For example, "Graduate School Basic Training" was held previously, and included lots of helpful information. Here are the powerpoint slides from the presentation: Grad_School_Basic_Training_Information.pdf

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