Although the semester just started, it is important to be prepared for the next steps in your career. As a soon-to-be college graduate, you have a couple of options for continuing on in your education and career, such as graduate or professional school. The Office of Career Services is ready to give you 7 easy steps to make sure your applications are stellar for your upcoming interviews. We will also be hosting The UAH Graduate and Professional School Expo on September 29, 2021, and again on October 5, 2021, from 11:00 am-1:30 pm.   


What is graduate school? UAH Graduate School

Graduate school programs are academic courses of study that offer more advanced programs of study (beyond a bachelor's degree) in certain disciplines. This can mean earning a master's degree on its own or as a step toward a Ph.D. program.


What is a professional school? UAH Preprofessional Advising

Professional school programs help prepare students for careers in specific fields. Professional schools would be something like medical, law, pharmacy, or veterinary school. The length of these programs vary. Professional degrees are often required by law before an individual can begin work in a particular occupation or field.  

How do you apply to graduate and professional school?


1. Build your school list.    

When building your school list, it is important to remember that you should categorize your schools by competitive admission, certain admission, and targeted admission.

  • Competitive admission will be the schools that are competitive, challenging, and only top students are admitted.
  • Certain admission will be the schools that are certain acceptance. You typically exceed the GPA and minimum test scores requirements. If you earned your bachelor's degree at a university that has a more competitive admissions process than one of the graduate schools on your list, consider it a safety school.
  • Targeted admission are the schools to which you have a likely chance of being accepted. You meet all the requirements and qualifications but it is still a little competitive.

We suggest having multiple schools in each of the school categories for a more well-rounded application process and a higher chance of acceptance.


2. Personal statement 

Your personal statement is extremely important! It will set you apart from all the other students trying to get admitted to the same program as you. When writing your personal statement, you want to catch the readers' attention. Remember that the office of admissions reads tons of essays!

Write about yourself in a way that shows how you'll be an asset to the school. This means that you may have to write one to each school, instead of a general statement.

Make sure to ask a trusted mentor or professional to read your statements before you send them out. You may have a couple of small mistakes. By getting them proofread, it can help you catch mistakes before they're submitted.


3. Recommendations 

Most graduate and professional schools will ask for multiple recommendations. Make sure you are using different, credible sources. For example, a professor and boss will say two different things about you as a student and as an employee.

Make sure you give your recommenders plenty of time. Don't ask them just a few days before your deadline. The more time they have, the more time they have to think through everything great that needs to be said about you! Make sure you give some wiggle room to your writers for your application deadlines; ask for recommendations back at least a couple weeks before you actually need them.

Share a copy of your personal statement with the people who are recommending you. This allows for them to know what you said about yourself, so there is no repeating.


4. Request transcripts well ahead of application deadlines.

You will have to request an official transcript from the college or university from which you graduated or took classes from. You may be able to do it online through the schools' websites, or you can call the registrar's office. Be prepared to pay for each transcript.

Arrange to have your schools send the official transcripts directly to the graduate or professional school to which you are applying to, as some schools will not accept transcripts coming directly from you. Send all of your transcripts ahead of time, so you do not procrastinate. 


5. Gather examples of work you've done.

If you have to submit examples of work you've done, ask one of your trusted professors to look over it. It needs to be your best work! It is probable that in your admission interview, they'll make reference to your work. Be ready to talk about it in depth.


6. Meet with the appropriate university offices before you graduate.

There are many offices to visit at UAH to make sure you have everything you need for success. For example, The Office of Career Services can help with a mock interview before your big day! 


7. Triple-check each graduate school application requirement.

As an applicant, you must ensure you have every requirement in your admissions application packets. Be sure you are submitting every piece of information with the correct certifications. If it is possible, submit your applications early! Most people wait until the last minute, so your application will be better read if it's early. 


The UAH Graduate and Professional School Expo is on September 29, 2021, and again on October 5, 2021, from 11:00 am-1:30 pm! Check your Charger Path profile to register now and see which schools will be attending the fairs--the list will vary for each fair!