What steps should those interested in attending graduate school take?
- Get to know one or more Biology Faculty members on more than instructor/student level.
In this way the faculty can prepare better letter(s) of recommendation for the student. This sort of personal contact can be obtained through volunteer work in research activities, special reading or library searches, use of educational/personal counseling, or any activity which assures personal contact with faculty members.
- Prepare and update periodically a statement of your goals in a graduate career.
This should be in its completed form during the first semester of the senior year. This statement should be in some detail as it may force you to think about your goals more intensely. Its preparation may include the type of counseling suggested above and it will certainly be required by most graduate schools at some point in the application process.
- Register for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
The results of this examination are used to screen applicants in many of the graduate schools and are receiving more and more emphasis as the pressure to get into these schools increases. You may take it more than once and submit your best results so you should register for it as early as your junior year. You may also want to take the BIOLOGY SUBJECT TEST - as some schools require this of their applicants as well. Dates for taking the Subject test can be found on the ETS website:http://www.gre.org/testdate.html#subdate .
- Obtain copies of your undergraduate colleges(s) and high school(s) transcripts for inclusion in your application.
- Examine copies of the catalogs of graduate schools.
These should be studied carefully as it may be that the area of study which interests you is available in a school not previously considered. You may also obtain information on tuition, out-of-state fees and financial aid. These may have important influences on your ultimate decision to apply. Obviously the standard required for entry and continuance will also be obtained from these catalogs. If the catalog of a particular institute is not available, you should request it as soon as possible.
- Finally, and almost without need to mention herein, you must maintain at least 3.0 GPA or higher during your undergraduate years to be seriously considered by most graduate schools.
Obviously the higher the GPA the better are your chances for acceptance. It is also a good idea to know what you ant from a graduate school, and the field of study you are most interested in. Biology department faculty are available to help you with these decisions so come to see us early.
We hope that these suggested activities will be of some aid to you as prospective graduate school candidates. We will be happy to help you in any way possible with your implementation and with your successful application to graduate school. GOOD LUCK!