Grad School FAQs
FAQs of Grad School
Q: How do I know if graduate school is right for me?
Consider your end career goal. If you see yourself in a profession
that would require post-secondary studies or if you would like to
enhance your expertise in a particular field, graduate school might be
the right path for you. Access the resource below for more insight
as to whether or not grad school would be right for you.
Think about what you looked for
in choosing a school for your undergraduate program. Consider the
quality or ranking of the program, financial aid, and opportunities for
assistantships. Consider whether the program is research or
teaching-based, online or in-person, and Masters v. Masters/Ph.D.
Consider the length of the program, additional add-ons available, the
geographical location, as well as the research faculty. Has the faculty
published any articles? You can learn about their philosophy of
education from their publications.
U.S. News & World Report, America's Best Graduate Schools
Masters In Education
It depends. Some schools
require the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) or the MAT (Miller Analogies
Test). Check application guidelines in order to determine which test and
what scores the school requires. The GRE is a comprehensive exam with
analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning
sections, with specific tests for some subject areas.
For more information on cost, format, testing
centers, etc., check the
The test costs $185 but scores are valid for five years. The MAT is a
120-question exam with all analogies that is administered for one hour
on paper or online. The cost varies depending on the testing location
($50 at GCC—see Scott Gordon to schedule). The MAT scores are valid for
five years also. In order to prepare, download practice tests and check
out study books from your local library.
Send your Statement of purpose (equivalent to an undergraduate
admissions essay), letters of recommendation, and transcripts. Plan to
write separate essays for each school. Don’t be modest in your
essays—show off and “sell yourself.” For recommendations, ask faculty
and staff a few months ahead of time. If you are allowed, fill out as
much information on the letter of recommendation form as possible in
order to save the person time. Put all materials together in a packet
labeled with due dates/directions on post-it notes, as well as stamped
self-addressed envelopes. Tactfully remind faculty about letters and
timelines, and remember to follow-up with thank-you notes.
(Copyright (c) University of California Berkeley)
Financial Aid—FILL OUT THE FAFSA! FAFSA considers only your
finances (not your parents/guardians). Fill out financial aid forms for
each school within the university, and ask each school about the
assistantship process. Remember to apply for outside
Mostly likely—but Mrs. Snyder will do a recorded mock
interviews with you. Look over general questions ahead of time and
prepare answers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions for clarification
during the interview. Prepare a list of question you want to ask the
interviewer before you go. Also, see if you can talk with and/or get a
tour with a current student on the day that you interview.
-Use the alumni database (eCommunity) to search for contact info for GCC
alumni who attend the university or graduate program.
-Don’t be afraid to contact professors with questions ahead of time;
developing rapport makes your name familiar.
-If you are an underclassmen, ask GCC professors if they need help doing
-Obtain experience doing research and writing papers at the scholarly
level by presenting at a conference. Network with people and professors
there to “get your name out there.”
-Attend professional conferences to learn about Best Practices and
current research in education, as well as practical applications that
can be used in the classroom.