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NSU Career Development


Updated 12-04-08

The process of applying to a graduate or professional school can be lengthy. It is quite common for professional schools to require admissions tests such as the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, PCAT, MCAT, (see testing link for free practice tests!) or other to be completed during the late part of one's junior year or early in one's senior year, several months ahead of the beginning of classes, to accommodate the interviews and announcement of acceptances in the spring. Before you register to sit for any admission test, be sure you have prepared by careful study, either on your own or through proprietary courses. Preparation books and CDs can be purchased either from bookstores or through professional organizations. As you search for programs and schools, be sure you note all admission requirements and deadlines.

Admission to competitive programs may require application more than once, if not accepted on the first application. It is quite common for prospective health care providers to learn they are on the waiting list after the first application, then to spend a year working in a related job or taking additional preparatory classes, and to be accepted upon the second application a year later. Admissions officials often look favorably on those who persist and work to strengthen their weak areas.

Planning also requires that you spend some time not only researching schools, but also visiting them. It is good practice to call and set up an appointment with appropriate admissions officials and/or faculty to discuss their programs, services, financial aid, and requirements, as well as to visit with them and with graduate students to get a feel for the climate and culture of the institution. Many will allow you to sit in on classes. You will probably find some variations in helpfulness, openness, costs, and organization. Be sure you are aware of the commitment needed to succeed in the institution, the benefits, and the length of time needed to complete the degree. When you return home, send a prompt thank you note or letter to the host.

Advanced study can be undertaken full-time or part-time in many programs of study. Others, such as medical school and pharmacy school, usually require full-time attendance. Because of the high cost of many graduate and professional schools, advanced planning is necessary in order to minimize debt.

For information about writing resumes, having your resume critiqued, information about interviewing, or practicing an interview, please call 626-2371 for an appointment.

For workshop information, check your NSU Planner or the NSU calendar on-line.

Additional Helpful Information

Please consult with your advisor, and call 626-2371 for other assistance. The Career Development and Placement Center has some graduate school preparation books that you can check out to use, as well as catalogues from several schools. Other resources can be viewed on-line or purchased either on-line or in most bookstores.

Applications can take some time and care for success. Do not be satisfied with "good enough." Your application should be flawless and meticulously accurate. Many programs require a personal statement or essay as part of the admissions process. Be sure you put sufficient effort into this document, and visit the Writing Center for assistance.

Financing your education can also be a challenge. Most full-time graduate students are also graduate assistants for teaching, research, student services, or administrative offices. Many others are hall directors. By applying early, you will have an opportunity to also apply for such paid positions, and be sure you research them. Some pay much better than others, the time commitment varies, some have benefits such as insurance or parking, and most will provide in-state tuition rates at state institutions.

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