Steps to Graduate School (for Undergraduates)
- Start building your resume
- Attend a research conference
- Begin assembling a professional wardrobe
- Ask upper-class students for guidance
- Use summer to gain work and/or research experience or take extra classes
- Take leadership roles in teams, groups, projects
- Consider studying abroad
- Get research experience in a field of interest
- Network; ask people for business cards
- Research environmental or other graduate programs
- Learn about the application process
- Look into graduate-level courses
- Continue to build a strong GPA
- Search/apply to summer research programs/internships (e.g. Summer Research Opportunity Program)
- Attend campus open houses
- Attend and present at research conferences
- Start drafting personal and academic statements
- Start saving money for applications, transcripts, required exams, and interviews
- Start preparing for entrance exam(s) (Note: U-M's School for Environment and Sustainability no longer requires/accepts GRE scores)
- Look into application fee waivers and additional resources to help cover application costs
Summer of Junior year
- Participate in a summer research program
- Create a list of graduate programs of interest
- Look at financial resources for graduate students
- Finish personal and academic statements (tip: ask faculty and/or colleagues for feedback)
- Take a Graduate Record Exam (GRE) prep course or search for free practice tests online. (Note: U-M's School for Environment and Sustainability no longer requires GRE scores)
- Take entrance exam(s) (Note: U-M's School for Environment and Sustainability no longer requires/accepts Graduate Record Exam scores)
- Attend campus visit programs and/or symposiums
- Prepare a "recommenders’ package" that includes a list of universities to apply to, deadlines, copies of your transcript, and personal and academic statements
- Request letters of recommendation (at least two months before the deadline)
- Apply to your top schools. (Most applications open in September, and deadlines will vary by program)
- Talk with faculty, family, and friends about your options
- Accept an offer by April 15
Steps to Graduate School (for Professionals Returning to School)
Often after working several years, your goals change and you want to advance your career and/or start a new career path. At this time, many students decide to explore graduate school as one of their key options. Programs like the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability value the experiences and skills these applicants bring to the classroom. Relevant work experience and demonstrated skills can give you an advantage during the admissions process, so please make sure to highlight these items throughout the admissions process.
As you take the next steps to graduate school, consider the following items:
- How will this impact my overall professional growth?
- How will this impact my personal and financial life?
- How do I gain information to make the best decision for me?
- How do I prepare to apply? To be competitive?