Preparing for Graduate School

SEAS 360: New Graduate Student Engagement, Professionalism and Ethics Orientation

On this page:

Is Graduate School right for you?

There are many reasons why students decide to pursue a graduate degree. These reasons can include:

  • You want to specialize in a certain area of study within engineering.
  • You are looking to increase the number of job opportunities available to you.
  • You would like a higher starting salary.
  • You want to teach at the university level.
  • You are passionate about engineering research.

Preparing for Graduate School

Planning early for graduate school is key! If you want to go on to a Masters or PhD program, you should expect to have:

  • A strong GPA. At a minimum, you will need a 3.0 GPA in order to be considered for graduate work.
  • GRE scores.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation. These letters should come from faculty members or supervisors who have gotten to know your work and capabilities. You should form these relationships early if you plan on graduate school.
  • Research Experience. There are numerous opportunities for Undergraduate Research available to you so you can learn these skills early and see if Graduate Studies is right for you.
  • Statement of Purpose. You should have clear career and research goals that you can explain this admissions essay.

Recommended Timeline

Year Goal
Freshman & Sophomore Years
Junior Year
  • Begin Undergraduate Research and/or Internships if you have not done so already
  • Discuss Graduate School with your Faculty Advisor and/or with professors with whom you are close
  • Begin researching programs and areas of interest
  • Start exploring financial aid resources
  • Prepare for and take the GRE exam
  • Start discussing Letters of Recommendation
Senior Year
  • Work on Personal Statement, and have it reviewed by numerous people
  • Retake GRE, if necessary
  • Order official transcripts
  • Formally request Letters of Recommendation
  • Finalize Personal Statement
  • Apply!
  • Prepare for interviews
  • Send Thank You notes to recommenders