There are things that you should do before applying to graduate school.
-First of all, independent of the field you are applying to try to become involved in research, or do independent work and participate on internship will definitely help you
-Also, be more involved which means be in a club or professional association and participate on it. Letting people know you nationally and internationally will definitely help you because you might apply to those school or get to know a professor that know someone in that school and could put you in contact with people in that university.
-There are also other things that you can do if clubs are not your thing, you should look into other organizations that are more volunteering related like UNISEF and Heart Association
-Get to know your professors. You need three recommendation letters and the more specific that your letter is will help your chances. A general letter could be detrimental to your admission.
-Take care of your GPA this doesn’t mean panic if you aren’t 4:00 GPA, obviously try your best but don’t stress yourself. Actually there are universities that will double look your application if you have 4:00 GPA like UC Davis or that is what the dean of graduate programs said. They say is perfect if you have a 4:00 GPA and you are also involved in the university but if you are just a good grader this will point out some red flags about your personality.
-Try to get a publication, which will increase your chances of being accepted to any program
-Apply for scholarship. Some of the acceptance of graduate school especially in the science field are based on the money that the school have to accept X number of students. If you apply for scholarship they will know if you got it and you might have admission to that institution because you bring your own funding and therefore they can still accept the number of student that they have money for.
-It is best if your mentor is really involved in the process. I have met people who become accepted to top PhD programs with less than 3.00 GPA and average GRE score because their mentor was involved and knew people in the institution. He called every time until he convinced them to look at all the other good things that the student have like publications and years of research experience.
-Start early and draw a timeline of what things you should do each day. Applying to graduate school is more stressful than applying for undergraduate especially if you had to take loans as undergraduate because they will start charging you in 6 months and if you don’t get in, you have to apply for a job to start paying for your loan dept.
I hope these advised and the series help you if you end up applying to graduate school.
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