Manhattan College provides an excellent groundwork for those who wish to attend graduate school. Presentations are scheduled throughout the year so that you may learn more about graduate school and the application process.
Graduate School Application Process
- Discover your interests and career goals: It is never too early to start exploring career interests. As early as freshman and sophomore year, meet with faculty to find out more about the different academic areas that interest you.
- Get research and work experience: This will help you get a sense of what you would actually like to do. Also, it will add to your credentials when applying to graduate school.
- Meet with advisors: Discuss your graduate school plans and what programs best suit your interests with your faculty advisor and/or a career counselor. Your department chair and academic advisor, or the pre-law and pre-health advisors may also be a good resource.
- Request information: Start getting information about graduate school programs in the beginning of the spring semester of your junior year. Check out the program’s website, and explore resources in the O’Malley Library and GSFA office.
- Take required standardized tests: Determine what, if any, standardized tests the institutions you are applying to require. Prepare for the test by taking a practice exam, taking a prep course or working through a preparation guide. It is generally best to take these exams in the summer after your junior year, but check with your academic advisor, pre-law and/or pre-health advisor to be certain. Required tests include:
- Dental Admission Testing (DAT)
Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)
Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)
Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
Optometry Admission Test (OAT)
Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT)
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
The Praxis Series Tests
Miller Analogies Tests (MAT)
- Prepare and send your applications: Preparing a strong application for graduate school is time consuming. Find out application deadlines and start well in advance (spring of your junior year).
- Take note of what documents are required. Transcripts can be ordered from the Registrar’s office. If you’ve studied elsewhere, remember to request those transcripts as well. Be sure that the appropriate standardized test scores are sent to the schools on your list that require them.
- Your essay or statement of purpose is your opportunity to tell them what you want to do in graduate school and why. Put a lot of thought into it. Ask a trusted advisor to read and comment on it.
- Take note of how many letters of recommendation are requested. Choose people who know you well and with whom you have worked closely. Help them write the best possible letter for you by giving them a copy of your résumé, a good paper you wrote in their class, or anything that would help them write specifically about their experience of you.
- Send out all applications in the fall. Follow up to confirm that your application materials have been received. Do this more than a month before each school’s notification deadline, typically February or March.
- Prepare for interviews: Some schools interview applicants. Check to see if the schools you have selected conduct interviews. If you are invited for an interview, you should prepare for it. Anticipate questions that might arise. Do your homework. Familiarize yourself with the program. Come with a few of your own questions — ones that cannot be answered from brochures or catalogs. Ask your questions after the formal interview is complete. Asking thoughtful questions about the program will demonstrate your interest in it. Make use of the Center for Career Development’s mock interview procedure, where you can practice interviewing techniques.
- Negotiate acceptance: Many school have notification deadlines in April. If you are not notified by this date, or have heard from other schools and need to make a decision, you can (in some cases) get a decision over the phone. Explain your situation and say that you want to be informed of the status of your application. This is also a good time to bargain. For instance, if you have been accepted to school A with a given financial package, then inquire if school B can offer you more. Assistance is available in Ph.D. programs in the form of teaching and research assistantships and graderships, which pay a monthly wage for these duties.