CLAS Academic Advising Center

Graduate School Resources

Personal Statements

Personal statements are necessary for a graduate school application and provide insight about your abilities and experiences, while also functioning as a sample of your writing skills. The following resources can help you develop your personal statement.

 
     
Interviewing

The interview process for graduate school is a way to learn more about a graduate program, as well for the graduate school to determine if you meet their criteria. These resources will help guide you through the interviewing process.

   
Graduate Record Examinations (GRE's)

The Graduate Record Examinations, or GRE's, are an exam required to enter many graduate schools. The links below will direct you towards websites that will offer you tips and strategies to complete the GRE.

   

Career Exploration Resources

Career exploration is a part of preparing for graduate school. Finding a career that is right for you takes time and research. These resources can help you in this decision making process.

  • O*Net - Detailed descriptions of career pathways and job outlooks for job seekers
  • Career Onestop - Provides you with information regarding job demand, salaries, résumés, and more.
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Outlook Handbook: Employment outlook, salaries, settings for work, training needed, etc. 
  • The Counseling & Career Development Center can help assist your career planning by helping you research graduate schools, guide you in  deciding on a major, and provide you resources to explore your career options.
  • Career Services offers a variety of services that can help you in the career exploration process including job and internship search services.
  • Career Service's Contact Bank allows you to connect to GVSU Alumni.
   
Professional Associations When you begin developing your career path, you may want to join a professional organization related to your career field. These associations will allow you to connect with other individuals in a similar field, keep you updated about on-goings in the field.

http://www.google.com/Top/Society/Organizations/Professional/
   
Presenting and Participating in Research

Some graduate programs require you to have research experience. Presenting and participating in research could also allow you to stand out from other graduate school applicants. Begin by discussing your research interests with your faculty advisor, or another professor who does research in your field. GVSU has programs that will allow you to become involved in the research community.

  • Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship - Grand Valley's OURS office provides comprehensive services and programs which support students in their pursuit of inquiry, creativity, scholarship, and research. They can help you get started, provide resources and connections, and even fund travel to present your research.  The Office is located in 181 Lake Ontario Hall.
  • Student Scholars Day - Student Scholars Day is held once each year to celebrate the scholarship and creative work  by GVSU students.
  • Summer Scholars - Allows you and a faculty member to devote 12 weeks on a research or creative project. A scholar must meet specific admission criteria to be accepted into this program. Scholars also receive a stipend, a form of monetary support, as compensation for their work.
  • McNair Scholars Program - This program is designed to prepare highly talented undergraduates to pursue doctoral degrees and to increase the number of individuals (from target groups) on college and university faculties. McNair Scholars receive academic counseling, advising, and GRE preparation. In addition, they're matched with a Ph.D. faculty mentor to conduct research and attend a McNair research conference to present their findings. In the first semester of their senior year, the scholars receive assistance with the graduate school application process.
   
Volunteering Opportunities

Working as a volunteer can help you gain extra experience in your career field. It is also a good way to give back to the community.

  • Learning Center – Lists volunteer opportunities maintained by the GVSU Community Service Learning Center.
  • Volunteer Match – A data-base that allows volunteers to search all over the country for opportunities or organizations that fit their interest areas.
  • Volunteer Solutions – A United Way volunteer-matching database for the Grand Rapids area. 
  • 1-800-Volunteer – A web-based search that allows you to locate opportunities within your zip code, as well as track your hours.
   
Competitive Fellowships and Scholarships

Paying for graduate school can be expensive. Fellowships, scholarships, and assistantships can help alleviate some of this financial stress.

  • GVSU's Office of Fellowships - Provides nationally competitive scholarship & fellowship advising services to GVSU students (not only Honors students) and alumni who show extraordinary potential in disciplines all across campus.
  • To learn more about the types of graduate school scholarships you can look for, click here.
  • Graduate Assistantships tend to be more common than scholarships in graduate school, so check with each program to determine if they offer assistantships.

 

Page last modified April 16, 2014