Explore Graduate School
Around 10% of each senior class pursues a graduate program in a variety of disciplines immediately following graduation from UMN Crookston. Even though you’re not going straight into full-time employment we can still help you research, apply to, and practice interviews for graduate programs.
- Meet with your Adviser
If you’re interested in going to graduate school contact your academic advisor to learn more about how best to prepare for a graduate program. Stop by Career Services to visit with a career counselor.
- Find a Program
Begin your graduate school search with research on various graduate degrees, programs and schools. To start this research check out Petersons.com to learn about different schools and their admissions processes or use one of the many graduate school research resources available to you through our office.
- Prepare for Admission Exams
Once you determine where you’d like to apply, determine the admissions requirements for each program. While some programs will require that you’ve completed various academic coursework, every graduate program will require that you take an admissions exam like the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT.
- Personal Statements and Interview Prep
Throughout your graduate school research and applications feel free to schedule an appointment with a career counselor to discuss your graduate school options. In additional to our regularly scheduled resume and cover letter reviews we also review personal statements and essays for graduate school and can help you prepare for your interview with a graduate school mock interview with a career counselor. Don’t miss out on all of the resources our office has to offer and the many ways we can help you as you explore graduate school programs and the career possibilities that come with an advanced degree.
- Paying for Graduate School
Interested in pursuing a graduate degree? Can you afford to attend? Cash Course offers students resources to discover how to pay tuition, and compare costs and loan options.
Before proceeding to the following financial resources, please create a free account on Cash Course using your UMN Crookston email address. Read about financial assistance and other ways to pay for graduate school. Determine the annual net cost for school and calculate how much your loan payment will be after graduating.
Suggestions for researching programs:
- Attend preview or visit days at the schools you are considering. If there are no scheduled preview days, schedule your own visit. Set up appointments ahead of time to talk with faculty, current students and graduate or professional school coordinators and tour the campus and facilities.
- Use graduate school search websites (e.g., petersons.com) or CAS systems to search for schools and programs.
- Attend graduate and professional school fairs and information sessions.
- Talk with your faculty advisor and other faculty and staff.
- Seek out professionals currently working in your desired field.
- Connect with current graduate students and follow career or departmental offices through social media. Join LinkedIn "groups" associated with the school and area of study.
Criteria for evaluating programs:
- Quality of academic program in your area of interest
- Degree(s) offered, length of program, program requirements
- Faculty and their areas of expertise, reputation and credentials
- Cost and financial aid available including assistantships, fellowships and scholarships
- Location and surrounding community
- Career planning and job search assistance
- Culture of the program, school, community
- Physical facilities, equipment, labs, libraries, and practicum/clinical opportunities
- Additional criteria important or necessary for you to succeed
As part of the application process for most graduate or professional school programs, you will be asked to submit a personal statement. Some programs will have specific prompts to answer; others might simply ask you to “write a personal statement.”
If you are asked to write a general personal statement without specific prompts, here are a few tips:
- Include: your background and experiences that led you to develop an interest in the specific program or field of study, your specific long term goals, and how the program to which you are applying will help you to accomplish your goals.
- The personal statement is personal. It is a chance for the admissions committee to get to know who you are. Use a specific anecdote or several anecdotes to show rather than tell your personality, strengths, and character. Anecdotes will help make you more memorable.
- Use the opening sentence and paragraph to entice the reader to continue reading.
- Avoid restating your resume in a paragraph form. Provide information about yourself that the interviewer is not able to attain from other parts of your application.
- Go for depth rather than breadth. Focus on one, two, or three points about yourself.
- Write about what makes you unique and sets you apart from other applicants.
- Tailor the statement to each program to which you are applying. If a program has specific features in which you are interested, mention these features and why you are specifically interested in them as related to your experience or goals; however, don’t tell simply tell the reader things about their program that they already know.
- Avoid clichés.
- Avoid delving too far in the past. In general, don’t write about high school or earlier.
- Proofread your essay very carefully. Write clearly and concisely. Adhere to stated word or page limits. If no word or page limits are given, limit your personal statement to two to three pages double-spaced.
- Have several people read your personal statement, such as professors, the Writing Center staff members, and UMN Crookston career counselors. Personal statements are subjective, so it is a good idea to get opinions and input on your statement from a variety of people.
Additional Graduate School Resources
- Getting into Grad School: 5 Steps to Admission
A guidebook walking students step-by-step through the grad school admissions process and providing tips to improve their chances of getting into their dream program. Choosing the right program and getting accepted might seem like the challenging part. But behind the scenes, research, planning, and staying organized significantly increases your odds of getting accepted into your top-choice program.