What to Know When Applying to Graduate School

Congratulations on starting the process of applying to graduate school! Here are a few things to keep in mind as you start your journey!

Getting In: First thing you need to do is to make sure you gather all the required application materials, such as:

  • Transcripts of all secondary schools
  • Statement of background and goals (AKA personal statement)
  • Resume
  • Graduate Assistantship/Fellowship Application (if available for your program)
  • Your recommenders’ names and email addresses
  • Any program-specific application materials

Funding: Everyone asks about funding. Universities have many avenues for employment and financial support, so don’t be discouraged. Here’s where to get started:

  • Tuition scholarships, fellowships and assistantships are offered by various departments, but it’s up to you to seek them out!
  • Federal work study and state aid are possible options.
  • Student loans are also applicable to help pay for classes, if needed. Filling out your FASFA is important to see if you qualify!

Standardized Tests: Many programs have started to phase out testing. Make sure to check the requirements of your specific program.

Helpful Tips and More:

  • Start your application early! Deadlines can approach quickly once you start the process.
  • Be prepared to work hard. Graduate school is demanding, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. Take advantage of the school’s resources and faculty that are here to help you grow.
  • Do your research on your advisor in all aspects and see if their style works best for the way you learn.
  • Get involved in your program and community. There are so many opportunities to meet new people and learn new things.
  • Take care of yourself. Graduate school can be stressful, so make sure to make time for self-care.

Best of luck with your applications to graduate school!

By Xavier McClean, UAlbany Anthropology PhD student and Graduate Ambassador

By Xavier McClean
Xavier McClean