Graduate school is an opportunity to further your education and further specialize in the field of your choosing. Preparing you with added education to encourage success in the field you hope to enter, graduate school can vary from doctoral programs, master's programs, and specialist degrees.

The Different Graduate Programs Available

Masters: Are typically 1-2 years specialized programs that place an emphasis on job specialization. Common jobs that require a master’s degree include high school teachers. 

Doctoral : Take anywhere from 5-8 years to complete and are typically research-based programs common doctoral programs are M.D, PhD, and PsyD programs 

Specialist:  Are degrees typically offered in conjunction with master's programs. Meant to offer certification in addition to the degree. Common specialist certifications are Ed.S for teaching.


What does the Graduate School Application Look Like? 

Typically, the graduate application will consist of multiple parts

  1. Online application 
  2. Application Fee
  3. Transcripts 
  4. Letters of Recommendation 
  5. Statement of Purpose 
  6. Transcripts 

While these are just the general requirements certain programs require a diversity statement and some will also require a Curriculum Vitae/ Resume. Make sure to double-check your program's requirements, as most schools will mark your application incomplete and not look at it all if any parts are missing.

Where Can I Get Help? 

Getting help can be a daunting task however, it is a crucial part of applying for graduate school. You probably haven’t done this before and that’s okay! At Oregon State, we pride ourselves on making resources available to you every step of the way.

The Oregon State Career Development Center has satellite offices specific to your college that can help connect you to current graduate students,  graduate program options, and an in-depth explanation of steps to take as graduate school application deadlines approach. 

Writing in general is a time consuming process, however, the Oregon State writing center has consultants available, as well as online tools to help streamline the CV/resume process as well as help you revise and edit your Statement of purpose.

When should I start looking at grad schools?

  • Begin research possible graduate programs that interest you
  • Request information regarding the programs 
  • Talk to faculty/alumni about their experiences 
  • Explore financial aid opportunities
  • Look into whether you need to take a standardized test (note: institutions have began waiving the requirement of standardized tests for admittance check to see if your program requires it)
  • Identify possible faculty to write you letters of recommendation
  • Get involved in research, clubs, and volunteer opportunities
  • Draft your statement of purpose, revise revise revise
  • Request your letter of recommendation in advance prior to applications opening (most programs require of a minimum of 2 letters of rec
  • Request your official transcript
  • Applications typically open from September to December 
  • Finalize your application before the deadline
  • Begin financial aid applications
  • Tour facilities 
  • Receive acceptance 
  • Submit deposit to secure spot in program 
  • Write thank you notes to all who helped you
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