Graduate Studies

General Information  

The purpose of graduate school is to provide a general education in any number of professional careers.  There is a broad range of programs available to acquire through the completion of a graduate program including M.S. (Master of Science), M.A. (Master of Arts), M.Phil. (Master of Philosophy), M.Ed. (Master of Education), PhD (Doctor of Philosophy), or ED (Doctorate of Education).  The typical graduate program consists of two parts, the first being about a year's worth of structured coursework and the second being a year of work towards a thesis.  Typically, individuals will select a graduate major that is in-line with their undergraduate program, and they have options for attending full or part-time.  

 

The Basics of the GRE

The GRE or Graduate Record Exam is an entrance exam used by most schools and serves as a requirement for admission into a selected program.  The test consists of 3 sections: Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical, with each section being scored on a scale between 200 to 800.  Typical average scores for the Verbal section are 480, 550  for the Quantitative section, and 520 for the Analytical.  In addition to the GRE being offered as a general test, there are also several subject tests that some schools require applicants to take addition to the general test.

The GRE is exclusively administered through the computer (CBT-Computer Based Test) at specified testing sites so it will be necessary for you to set up an appointment with a testing center to take it.  The GRE is unique in that its questions are administered different for each person because they adapting to your skill level while you take the exam.  For example, the test will first ask you an average-leveled question and if you answer it correctly, the next question will be harder.  If your answer is incorrect, the computer will offer you an easier question next.     


GRE test preparation materials are available
HERE.

 

The Application Process

The application process to get into graduate school is comprised of a number of parts that, when viewed together, are intended to show a university that you have what it takes to succeed.  It is important to keep in mind that schools have set deadlines for completed applications and it is your responsibility to find the deadline dates and abide by them.  The various components of the application process are listed below. *Please note - not all schools require all of this information, but this is a guide as to what you can expect.

 

Acceptable GRE Scores

Official copy of your transcripts

Letters of Recommendations

A Personal Statement

Short Essays

A Resume

An Interview

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

By Christopher Volpe, Ph.D.

Assistant Vice President, Graduate Courses

The Princeton Review

 

When should I take the GRE?

Find out the admission deadlines for the graduate schools to which you are applying.  Then work backwards so that you take the GRE at least 6 months before your earliest deadline.  This gives you some extra time for unexpected delays in case you need to take the test again.  You can only take the test once per calendar month.  And keep in mind that it can take as long as four weeks for your official scores to arrive at your designated schools. Some testing months are more popular than others, so it is very important to register early.  The GRE can be taken on nearly any day except Sundays and major holidays.

 

Do you have to get a master’s degree before a Ph.D.?

No. Graduate degrees are not like promotions-you don’t need to go through one to reach the next level.  In fact, three out of four Ph.D.s do not have a master’s degree.  Some doctoral candidates (graduate students working towards a Ph.D.) elect to complete the requirements for a master’s degree along the way as an “insurance degree” in case they to not complete the Ph.D. requirements.

 

I’ve heard that grad students go to school for free and also get paid.   Is this true?

Master’s students and part-time doctoral students usually pay tuition and do not receive a stipend. However, most full-time doctoral students receive a stipend in the range of $10,000 - $15,000 per year.  In addition, their tuition is paid for by departmental research funds.  In contrast, business, medical, and law schools do not offer students any salary or stipend.  Instead, these students have to fork over $5,000 - $35,000 per year for tuition and fees.

 

How much teaching will I have to do while pursuing my degree?

Master’s students don’t have to teach, but they may be given the opportunity in order to offset some of their tuition costs.  Full-time doctoral students often teach half of the academic terms during their first and second years.  After that, it really depends on the research funds of your advisor.   If your “group” is well-funded, then you may be off the hook because any research grants that your advisor receives can cover your stipend and tuition.  If not, you’ll probably have to teach throughout your graduate career.

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