The decision to pursue graduate school is multifaceted.

  • Do you want to pursue graduate education directly from Albion College or do you want to work prior to continuing your education?
  • What field of graduate study interests you?
  • Which school is a good fit for your chosen field of study?

Use all the resources available to determine what you want to pursue in graduate school and the best places to do that work. Don’t forget all the resources on campus—Albion faculty and alumni are often forgotten as people explore options.

See the articles below for helpful information, and don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with the Career and Internship Center for further help and insight on your graduate school decision.

Timeline for Applying to Graduate School Toggle Accordion

Begin planning for graduate school at least a year prior to when you would like to enter. Deadlines vary depending on the program, though, and it is important that you begin identifying potential schools/programs early and are clear on individual deadlines!

Junior Year

If you are considering graduate school, you need to begin your search for possible programs the fall of your junior year.

  • Meet with staff in the Career and Internship Center for assistance as you begin the search
  • Attend Graduate/Professional school fairs both on- and off-campus
  • Request information from programs that spark your interest
  • Consider making a visit to those schools/programs of most interest to you
  • Begin to explore financial aid resources – the Career and Internship Center can assist!

By the spring and summer of your junior year, you should have a fairly good idea of places you intend to apply and know the deadlines you face in the fall.

  • Develop a personal statement using faculty and the Career and Internship Center as resources to create the best possible document for your field.
  • Register and prepare for required standardized tests.
  • Develop an application timeline for all schools to which you are applying – the process takes too much effort to be eliminated because you’ve missed a deadline!

Senior Year

Fall of your senior year is the time to be sure everything is in order and submitted on time!

  • Ensure you know how to apply for each school and have all the materials needed
  • Finalize essays and personal statements for each application
  • Request letters of recommendation from faculty – provide reference writers with your resume, personal statement, proper forms, adequate time to write the letters, and directions for handling the letters
  • Consider doing a mock interview with faculty or videotaped in the Career and Internship Center prior to professional school admissions interviews
  • Take your required standardized tests
  • Complete the applications – cutting and pasting information from word documents helps in ensuring there are no typing errors. Be sure to proofread the application before sending.
  • Order transcripts from the Registrar’s Office – include fall semester grades if available prior to the deadline

By spring of your senior year, many application deadlines have passed. Hopefully you are not waiting until the final deadline to submit your application! This is the time to await word on acceptance and finalize financing.

  • If you haven’t yet completed your application submissions, you need to do that now
  • Complete financial aid forms – you may need to include a copy of your income tax return so consider getting that done early
  • Contact schools to be sure your application was submitted if you haven’t received notice and verify the timeline for acceptance
  • Write thank you notes to the many people who have assisted you in the application process

Researching Graduate Schools Toggle Accordion

The first step to attending graduate school is to find the one best suited to you!

You ultimately will need to do the research necessary to determining which schools fit your needs. The Career and Internship Center is available to assist you through the process.

To get started, here is a list of Internet resources providing searchable lists of graduate schools based on many criteria.

Graduate School Test Preparation Toggle Accordion

Graduate school admission testing is required by many schools. Preparing for these tests is critical!

The Career and Internship Center has many resources available to assist you as you prepare to take required graduate school tests. information and registration forms on the GRE, LSAT, GMAT, MCAT, and TOEFL tests are maintained in the Career Development office. Contact the staff in Career Development and visit the Career Development Resource Center for assistance.

Main information sites for graduate school testing

  • GRE – Graduate Record Examination
  • LSAT – Law School Admissions Test
  • GMAT – Graduate Management Admissions Test
  • MCAT – Medical College Admissions Test

Study programs available for purchase

  • The Princeton Review – test preparation in GRE, LSAT, GMAT, MCAT and more
  • Peterson’s – testing preparation, test dates, and resources for the GRE
  • Kaplan – test preparation in GRE, LSAT, GMAT, MCAT
  • ETS (Educational Testing Service) – GRE and TOEFL test preparation

Free resources on graduate school testing

  • Magoosh (some free resources and some require a fee) – Top-quality study materials continually updated based on millions of students’ answers. Smart feedback and progress tracking to turn your weaknesses into strengths. When studying for the GRE, having some structure definitely helps keep students accountable and better prepared for test day. Along with our test prep, we offer a variety of free resources for students such as practice questions, video lessons, flashcards and more.
  • Michigan eLibrary – free resource from the Michigan eLibrary that hosts practice tests for common graduate school admissions tests

Graduate School Financing - General Toggle Accordion

The question of graduate school financing is one that needs careful consideration. Here are a few places to start when searching for financial help with graduate school.

Internet Resources for Locating Funding

Graduate School Financing - Fellowships Toggle Accordion

American Association of University Women (AAUW) – awards for women to advance professional and educational opportunities for women
American Bar Foundation – research fellowships in law and social science for undergraduate to graduate students
Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow Program – Washington DC program to gain real-world experience, take a crash course in market-based policy analysis, and hone your professional skills
China Teaching Fellowship – teaching experience for recent college graduates providing provides a great foundation for professional, spiritual and interpersonal growth
Congressional Hunger Center – develop leadership in fighting world hunger working with this nonprofit anti-hunger training organization located in Washington, D.C.
Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs – graduate-level experiential leadership training program that prepares diverse, intelligent and committed individuals for effective and ethical leadership in the public affairs arena.
David L. Boren – opportunities for U.S. graduate students to add an important international and language component to their graduate education through specialization in area study, language study, or increased language proficiency
East-West Center – wide variety of both short- and long-term programs to develp skills in the promotion of better relations and understanding among the people and nations of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific
The Fund for Theological Education – various fellowships which encourage Christian ministry
GreenCorps – trains college graduates to run environmental campaigns leading to convincing decision-makers to pass laws, change policies and create reforms to protect our environment
Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship – provides college graduates with the opportunity to gain a Washington perspective on key issues of peace and security
Humane Studies Fellowships – supports for students interested in advancing the principles, practices, and institutions necessary for a free society through their academic work
International Radio and Television Society Foundation – teaches up-and-coming communicators the realities of the business world with practical experience and career-planning advice – for juniors, seniors, and graduate students
James Madison Memorial Fellowship – program for individuals desiring to become outstanding teachers of the American Constitution
The Land Institute Research Fellowship – grants to support research in plant genetics and breeding, agronomy, ecology, soil science, plant pathology and related fields
Michigan Parkinson Foundation, Raymond B. Bauer Research Award – funding research and fostering the study of Parkinson’s disease among individuals with career interests in neurological disorders
Minority Fellowship Program of the American Psychological Association (APA) – training program for minority students in research and service
National Physical Science Consortium – support for students aspiring to a graduate degree and career in the physical sciences, biochemistry, computer science, and related fields of science and engineering
National Science Foundation – graduate research fellowship program to support study in science, mathematics and engineering
The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans – provide opportunities for continuing generations of able and accomplished New Americans to achieve leadership in their chosen fields
Smithsonian Opportunities for Research and Study – fellowship opportunities in many programs of the Smithsonian Institute providing mentoring for independent research
Temple University Future Faculty Fellowship – assistance for minority students with the goal of diversifying American academia
Wellstone Fellowship for Social Justice, Families USA – designed to foster the advancement of social justice through participation in health care advocacy work that focuses on the unique challenges facing many communities of color and to expand the pool of talented social justice advocates from underrepresented economic, racial and ethnic minority groups
White House Fellow Program – an opportunity for first-hand experience working at the highest levels of the federal government
Winterthur Culture Program in Early American Material Culture – multidisciplinary approach to study of American material life with special emphasis on decorative arts and household furnishings

Graduate School Financing - Scholarships Toggle Accordion

What is a Personal Statement? Toggle Accordion

Writing a personal statement for graduate school applications can feel overwhelming. The purpose of your personal statement is to introduce yourself, explain why you are a good match for the program, market yourself, and entice the admissions committee to positively consider your application. Begin by researching each graduate school you are applying to and learning everything you can about their programs, faculty interests, and requirements for applications.

The Career and Internship Center is available to discuss the process with you and assist you as you develop your cover letter – simply contact us.

In addition to Career Development staff, don’t forget the other many resources available to you:

  • Albion faculty – they were successful in their applications
  • Albion alumni and friends who have gone on to graduate school – they have insight into what worked for them and/or what a specific school is looking for
  • Internet sites created by graduate students at various schools – search on the Internet for blogs
  • The writing center – available to assist you in the writing process

Tips on Writing a Personal Statement Toggle Accordion

There are many resources on the Internet to assist you in writing a personal statement for graduate school. No one resource is helpful to everyone and you are encouraged to read several as you start the writing process.

Following are some resources published on the web.

While the above articles can provide insight into writing personal statements, there is no substitute for speaking with people at Albion College. The faculty in your area of study has been through this process and can assist you with questions. In addition, the Career and Internship Center is available to you for individual assistance as you start the process.

Note: These links to web sites that are not under the control of Albion College or the Career and Internship Center. We are not responsible for the contents of any linked site. The Career and Internship Center provides these links merely as a courtesy. The data contained in this web site is for informational purposes only and is not represented to be error free.