Considerations for Graduate and Professional School
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You can create a path to professional school that is uniquely your own and allows you to explore opportunities at Stanford. Consult with Academic Advising to ensure that you are aware of your options, the benefits and costs, curricular requirements, extracurricular research and exploration, and timelines.
Recommended Steps for Planning for Graduate and Professional School
- Plan Ahead. You can create a path to graduate or professional school that is uniquely your own and allows you to explore opportunities at Stanford. Consult with Academic Advising to ensure that you are aware of your options, the benefits and costs, curricular requirements, extracurricular research and exploration, and timelines.
- Consult people in the field and in programs that interest you. Talk with faculty, graduate or professional students and postdoctoral students in your future field or profession. School websites often list student names and contact information. In most departments, undergraduate advising has a list of graduate students who are willing to answer questions about graduate school.
- Cultivate and maintain faculty relationships. Faculty members are the best conduit of information about specific programs. They also write the letters of recommendation that inform schools about you. The best letters result from relationships developed over time from shared interests.
- Participate in research and/or Honors in your field. Undertaking Honors projects in the humanities, sciences, engineering or a senior project in the arts, provides exposure to the graduate experience. Projects can include close work with faculty and awareness of new research and methods in your field.
- Participate in an internship or shadowing programs if you are interested in the health professions, law, business, or education.
- Avoid ranking services. Match your interests to faculty interests or school features instead. Rankings can’t convey which school is right for you.
- Consider funding options. Consult with Academic Advising for information on how to pay for graduate or professional school.
- Create a testing schedule. Develop your own study plan based on your experience with standardized tests and familiarity with required curriculum. You might consider commercial test preparation courses or study on your own depending on circumstances. Since testing requirements can vary, you should consult the guidelines for each school and fellowship competition.
- Use the resources available to you through Academic Advising. Academic Advising offers a variety of resources specially designed to help you plan for graduate and professional School. Visit Academic Advising in Sweet Hall or explore the online resources.
Resources for Graduate and Professional School Planning
Individual consultations with Academic Advisors
Your Academic Advisors can help you with the following:
- Find the right degree program for you
- Identify faculty and graduate students to talk with
- Plan academic preparations
- Learn about the application process
- Learn about financial support and fellowships
- Discuss your options
Quarterly workshops and panels
Academic Advising hosts periodic workshops designed to provide the following:
- Detailed explanations of application processes
- General discussions on how to develop your undergraduate curriculum, work with faculty and identify Stanford resources
- Instruction about how to write applications