What should students be doing if they are interested in graduate study?
Students who are interested in graduate school either immediately after graduation from Princeton or in the foreseeable future should be sure to take care of some things while they are still on campus. Students should meet with faculty in their discipline of interest or the designated pre-professional counselor (e.g. pre-med or pre-law). Counselors at Career Services can advise students about general graduate school admissions, as well as pre-law and business school advising. The Health Professions Advising Office advises all students who are pre-med or pre-health. These professionals can help students identify whether graduate study is right for them as well as what programs might best meet their interests and needs.
Students should research different graduate programs to see what the requirements are for admissions (many business schools, for example, want students to have full-time work experience prior to applying). Representatives from graduate, business, law and medical schools visit campus and attend the Graduate School Fair in the fall. These are great opportunities for students to learn specific information about programs.
Is it better for students to go right on to graduate school or to take some time off?
Some students need a break from school after graduation from Princeton. It is important that students begin a graduate program well rested and motivated. If a student is unsure of whether he or she should go directly on to graduate school, Career Services encourages the student to speak to a career counselor or health professions advisor about the best plan for him or her.
Are standardized tests required for graduate schools?
Students need to research the graduate testing requirements for the program they will be applying to. Information about the GRE and the LSAT is available in Career Services, while information about the MCAT is available in the Health Professions Advising Office. Typically, if a student wants to attend graduate school in the fall semester following graduation from Princeton, they need to take the MCAT by the middle of their junior year; or the LSAT by the spring or summer of their junior year; and the GRE should be taken by the fall of their senior year. Since most students do not go directly to business school directly after graduation, the GMAT can be taken during the college years (junior or senior year) and the scores are good for 5 years (as is the case for the GRE, LSAT, and MCAT).
Will letters of recommendation be needed for graduate school?
Students should open a credential file in the Career Services office. This file holds confidential letters of recommendation that students collect from recommenders, such as professors, advisors, and work supervisors; the student can later request letters be sent to various graduate programs as part of their admission application.