Interested in graduate school but don't know where to start looking? Read about what to look for in a graduate program, as well as the steps you need to take to get you there, and get you there on-time!
Graduate School Information and Websites
If you're heading off to grad school and are interested in testing dates, facilities, registration, and computer-based exams, visit the UH Hilo Testing Center website for information.
- Search graduate programs by subject. Over 58,000 graduate program listed and growing every day!
- All you need to find the right school, information on how to apply, GRE course information and tips on how to master the financial aid process.
- The Educational Testing Service site provides links to all the major testing programs for graduate school applicants.
- Search graduate programs by subject and/or state. Additionally, this site has information on distance learning graduate program options.
- Find information on graduate school rankings, associations for graduate school students, links to websites designed to help you get into graduate school.
Graduate School Timeline and Checklist
- Search for universities and investigate options for fields of study
- Talk with your faculty advisor in your department about graduate schools
- Visit your Career Services Center for guides and other reference materials
- Develop a list of potential schools Hint: Do your research on the schools and their programs (see: Choosing a Graduate School Program handout)!
- Investigate the GRE exam locations in your area, when the test is offered, how much it will cost
Summer After Junior Year
- Write or call graduate school programs for informational materials and application forms(sometimes you can request information and an application be sent to you online) Hint: Photocopy all the application forms when you receive them so you will have a spare!
- Contact the department at the schools you are interested in and request information on the program and degree requirements Hint: When contacting the department, consider making an appointment to visit the university and arrange a meeting with someone in the department (a faculty member you might be interested in working with)!
- Start writing you admission essay(s) and have your faculty advisor, or someone one else in the department, review your drafts
- Consider using the summer to study for the GRE (or whatever entrance test is necessary for your degree interest) Hint: Go online and run through pre-tests, it will help you get familiar with the format of the test(s); and get a test prep book and USE IT!
Fall Senior Year
- Register and take the GRE (or other test(s))
- Work with your past and current faculty to obtain letters of recommendation Hint: Give the person you have asked to write you a letter a copy of your resume and transcript, it will help them prepare a letter that best reflects you! And, give them enough time to work on it, remember they are busy people!
- Send in completed application packets Hint: Keep a photocopy of the completed packet for your record and double, triple check everything is in it that should be!
- At your Registrar’s Office request that your official transcripts be sent to the schools you are applying to
Fall/winter Senior Year
- Make sure you have submitted all application materials by the deadlines!!!
- Call graduate schools as often as necessary to check that all your applications materials have been received
Spring Senior Year
- Send the required information and/or money to the institution where you have been accepted
Tip: Write thank you notes to the people who wrote you recommendation letters and helped you during your application process to inform them of your success
Choosing a Graduate School Program
Here are some things to consider as you search and evaluate possible graduate school options.
- Is there research being conducted in areas of interest to you?
- What faculty is doing research in areas you would be interested in?
- Are the professors in the program well recognized leaders in their field?
- What is the focus of the program: theory, practice, research?
- How much of the program can be tailored to fit your interests?
- How flexible is the program?
- What courses are offered as part of the program?
- How well is the program supported by the institution?
- How up-to-date is the computer and laboratory equipment?
- How much is tuition for the duration of the program?
- What types of financial assistance is available?
- Are there assistantships, and how many?
- Are there fellowships available and what are the qualifications?
- Is the school located in an area you would feel comfortable living for the duration of the program?
- Is it too far away from family and friends?
- How is the community outside of the college/university?
- What support is available to graduate students?
- How many graduate students attend the university vs. undergraduates?
- Are there opportunities for involvement in activities outside the graduate program?
- How extensive is the library and resources available on campus?