Portland State University has resources and services to help you with decision-making and the application process. Career counselors or faculty members in your program can help you confirm your career goal, research the appropriate educational path, learn how to identify graduate/professional school programs and write statements of purpose, as well as prepare for a graduate/professional school interview. Please explore the topics below to become more familiar with the process of selecting and applying for a graduate program.
- Considering Graduate School? FAQs, Preparation, Application Process, etc.
- Identifying Programs
- Identifying Programs through Faculty
- Writing the Personal Statement/Application Essay
- Preparing for Grad School Interviews
- Graduate/Professional School Admissions Information
- Graduate/Professional School Exam Information
"Why go to Grad School?" from Idealist.org
- Advice for Undergraduates Considering Graduate School — Phil Agre, Associate Professor of Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.
- Considering Graduate School? Answer These Five Questions Before You Decide — From QuintCareers.com.
- Testing the Water: Are You Ready For Graduate School? — From the Princeton Review. Article excerpted from the Best Graduate Programs: Humanities and Social Sciences, 2nd Edition, by Jonathan Spaihts.
- Graduate School: The Application Process — From Marky Lloyd's Careers in Psychology Page. Addresses questions about the graduate school application process, including: Strategies and Time-line; Areas of Specialization in Psychology; What Is the GRE (Graduate Record Exam)? Preparing a Personal Statement; Letters of Recommendation; Characteristics of Graduate School Superstars; Books on Graduate School for Psychology Majors
- Checklist for graduate school application process. (PDF)
"The Application Process is a Relationship" from Idealist.org
- Peterson’s Guide to graduate schools, profiles accredited masters and doctoral programs; able to sort by program, region, etc.
- All About Grad School.com — Directory of graduate schools in the U.S., focusing on business schools, engineering schools, law schools, and medical schools.
- All Engineering Schools — Directory of engineering schools. Search by type of degrees, programs, and specialties.
- Grad Schools.com — Directory of 18,000 graduate and post-graduate programs worldwide, including descriptions, contact information and institutional advertising.
- E-Learners — Directory of online graduate and undergraduate degrees, classes, and certificate programs.
"Choosing the Right Program" from Idealist.org
- Talk to faculty in your discipline of interest. Ask them to recommend graduate programs; ask faculty for feedback on programs you're considering.
- You may also be able to identify relevant graduate programs by reading scholarly papers, articles, and books that are a direct 'fit' with your academic areas of interest. Identify faculty by name and current institutional affiliation. Read the authors' vitaes to identify their educational paths — where did they obtain their academic training?
- If you attend professional conferences, you may be able to identify faculty with whom you share academic interests. Ask which workshop and keynote presenters engaged you and challenged you to want to learn more; ask where do they teach/do their research; ask where they did their graduate work?
- Google the faculty names/institutions, read their faculty bios, and read some more of their work. Then contact them and ask them about their program, letting them know that you have read and appreciate their work.
- Graduate School Statement — From the Career Center at UC Berkeley.
- Sample Personal Statements — From the Student National Medical Association Chapter at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
- Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) Information — Prepared by Advising and Career Services at Portland State University.
- Studentdoctor.net — Find information on medical, dental, pharmacy, podiatry, optometry, and veterinary schools. Provides interviewing, application and student-to-student info and experiences at specific schools. "SDN is operated by a small group of unpaid volunteers that are dedicated to providing students unbiased information."
- Phds.org: Science, Math, and Engineering Career Resources — "The goal of this site is to help students prepare for the changing demands of today's job market and to provide a voice for early career scientists." Include links to sites on: Getting Into Graduate School.
- A Guide to Getting Into Graduate School — From the American Psychological Association.
- TO GO OR NOT TO GO.pdf— Making the Graduate School Decision
- Law School Admissions Council — Administers the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). Provides information on preparing for the LSAT.
- Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) — From the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
- Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) — From the Educational Testing Service (ETS).
- Praxis — From the Educational Testing Service (ETS).
- Miller Analogies Test (MAT) — From Pearson Assessment.
- Exam2Jobs.com — Offers information about many exams, including the GRE, MCAT, LSAT, and CPA.