Career Development & Recruiting
Is Graduate School For You?
Before you begin, ask yourself:
- What are the major reasons you are considering attending graduate school?
- Do you have a clear idea of the program or specialized area of interest you would like to
- Would you be able to start a career within your field with only a bachelor's degree?
- Do you want to spend 2-4 more years in school?
Different Types of Graduate Schools
- Variety of programs to study beyond undergraduate: engineering, counseling, education,
accounting, biochemistry, etc.
- Important to know the specialty area you want to pursue because every field has different
For example, a graduate student looking to pursue counseling at Clemson University has a
choice of a variety of counseling programs such as: Community counseling, School counseling,
or Student Affairs. It is important for the graduate student to know which track of
counseling s/he wants to pursue.
- Often evaluate applicants based on application essay question responses and/or the applicant's
- Interested in applicant's experience in leadership, work experience, community service, campus
involvement, and test scores (typically GRE)
- Obtain a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) in legal education to become a practicing
- Undergraduate degree can be in any field, though most American lawyers hold bachelor's degrees
in the humanities and social sciences
- Usually 3 year program
- Must take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)
- For a centralized and simplified application process, register with the Law School Data Assembly
Service (LSDAS) to apply to any American Bar Association (ABA)-approved law school.
Visit http://www.lsac.org and click on the
tab "The LSDAS" to learn more!
- Learn subjects such as basic sciences, human anatomy, and clinical practice to become a future
- Medical schools are often highly competitive, with medical schools accepting only a few number
of applicants based mostly on test scores such as the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)
- For a centralized medical school application process, register with the American Medical
CollegemApplication Service (AMCAS) at http://www.aamc.org/students/amcas/start.htm
- most medical schools participate in AMCAS
- Obtain a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree
- Learn topics such as accounting, economics, finance, marketing, and organizational behavi
- Must take the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) for graduate business studies
Applying to Graduate School
Factors to Consider when Choosing Programs
- Geographical area: Can you afford in-state or out-of-state tuition? Will you be okay being far
away from loved ones?
- Experience: Are graduate assistantships available to gain professional experience and to help
assist you financially?
- Reputation: Does the program have a standing reputation within your field?
- Finances: Are assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships available to help fund your
- Requirements: Are comprehensive exams, research and/or a thesis required?
Steps for Applying to Graduate School
- Start researching schools that offer your intended program of study as soon as you can,
preferably during your junior year of college.
- Utilize resources such as the Career Center, reference books (for instance, Peterson's
Guides to Graduate Study and The Chronicle Four-Year College Databook) and the
websites below to help you gather information on programs, financial aid, housing, etc.
Peterson's On-line: http://www.petersons.com
Grad School Information: http://www.gradschools.com
- Gather information about the programs that interest you by requesting copies of university
catalogs, contacting the department to receive bulletins and other materials, and surfing the
school or department's web page(s).
- Research admissions requirements for each school during your junior year. Some schools
may have different requirements than others. However, typical requirements include:
tests (click here to learn more)
GPA (3.0 or higher is usually preferred)
recommendation (usually 2-5) (click here to
Official transcripts from each college attended
Personal Statements /
Letters of Intent (click here [pdf] to
Interview (sometimes optional)
- Prepare for and take the required standardized tests in the summer after your junior year or
early in the fall semester of your senior year to ensure you meet application deadlines since
receiving scores may take several weeks. Some schools will not accept an application until all
application materials, including standardized test scores, are turned in.
- Begin writing your personal statement and filling out your application the summer before your
senior year. Have your personal statement critiqued by a counselor in the Career Center or take
it to the Writing Center located in 305 Daniel.
- Mail all required admissions documents, information, and fees to ensure your application meets
- Research financial aid opportunities
to help fund your education (click here to learn more).