Prepping for Graduate School from Day One

Some students know right off the bat that they either want or need to complete a graduate program in order to work in their chosen field. For example, lawyers, doctors, and college professors all need to study beyond their undergraduate degrees. Other students may be considering graduate school as an option but aren’t entirely sure if it’s right for them. There are multiple ways that undergraduate students can work towards a graduate school acceptance, even from day one (READ: “What to Consider if You Plan on Going to Grad School”).


1. Keep those grades up!

Many students think that they don’t have to worry about their grades once accepted into college. This is not true for those who wish to move on to a Masters program in the future. Graduate schools look heavily at grades, especially in the student’s major field of study to see if that student is capable of the additional rigors required of a Masters program – our Orange County graduate school admissions consultants have a 97% success rate.

2. Do undergraduate research

Most large public universities have an undergraduate research program available to upperclassmen who meet a minimum GPA requirement. Because most graduate programs require a large amount of research, undergraduates who can show that they are capable of conducting research independently and in their free time, will be able to boast an impressive student resume.

Conducting undergraduate research is also a good way for students who are only considering graduate school to know if it’s the right choice for them. If undergraduate research is overly difficult or distracting, students may want to give themselves more time before committing two to three years to extensive graduate research. On the other hand, students who enjoy independent research more than their regular classes are probably great candidates for a Masters program.

3. Get some experience in the field

Many students will not go straight on to graduate school, either for financial reasons or because they need to gain some job experience. Students whose resume is not quite up to par for graduate school just yet should consider getting some experience in the workplace, usually about two years. Also, students who have lower grades in college but excellent reviews from their supervisors on the job can put themselves one step closer to graduate school acceptance (CLICK: “Best Graduate Schools – USN Rankings”).

4. Get an internship

Students who have successfully completed multiple internships in their fields are improving both their resume and practical experience needed for a Masters degree. The great thing about internships is that they can often be used for college credit and are generally conducted over the summer, when the student doesn’t have a full load of classes.

In short

Students who are considering graduate school as an option, either immediately upon graduation or after gaining a few years work experience, should consider that their entire student resume, starting from the first day of their freshman year, will be available to graduate school admissions departments. Students are advised to consider their student resume as well as their practical and research experience when making the important choice of whether or not to apply to a graduate program.

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