Preparing for Post-Graduation Resources


Suggested Timeline for Graduate School

During your sophomore year, begin to explore departmental opportunities (honors, clubs, research, directed readings, etc.) to help you gain unique and relevant experience to your career interests.  This is a great time to try something to see if you truly want to pursue a path long term.  Not sure where to start?  Check with your academic advisor!

  • During your junior year, begin researching graduate programs (if you haven’t started yet).  The University Career Center provides a helpful tools to help you in your search.

  • Narrow down list of grad programs and take into consideration:

    • Program Strengths

    • Admission Information and Requirements

    • Funding Opportunities

  • Talk with faculty and GTAs to learn more.  Ask them the following:

    • Do I need a masters of Ph.D. for what I want to go into?

    • What is the job market like in this field?

    • Which path will align best with my long term goals?

    • Anything else that is important to you in making a decision.

    • Start with someone you have a relationship with already or the graduate director of your department.

  • Take advanced courses that are suggested for your program of study (for example, it advanced statistics or methods courses are recommended for some programs, while advance writing courses may be recommended for others).

  • Create a short-list of your top grad school programs and budget cost of applications.

  • Start writing a personal statement. The KU Writing Center is happy to help!

  • Update your resume or curriculum vitae (CV).  University Career Center coaches can help with this.

  • Prepare for any entrance exam that may be required.  Begin studying at the begging of the summer and plan to take the test before the fall semester begins.

    • Many programs requirement GRE exam, while others require different entrance exams.

    • Some programs may not require an entrance exam – if you are unsure, contact the school offering the program you are interested in.

  • If needed, take the GRE (or other entrance exam) again early in the semester.

    • Some programs won’t take highest score only, but average or lowest score, so double check on program requirements

  • Early in semester, request letters of recommendation from faculty.
    • Provide all needed information, such as a current resume and directions on where to upload letters.
    • Be sure to give buffer space for your letters of rec. to be carefully crafted and submitted in time.
  • Gather all application materials

  • Request a transcript through the KU Registrar.
  • Focus on finishing your undergraduate coursework. Finish strong!

  • Apply for Undergraduate graduation.

  • Share Commencement Information with family.

  • Wait for decisions and next step information from grad programs.

Please note these are general suggestions and may vary between fields and programs. Please check in with programs you are interested in for more information.