Helpful Tips When Preparing for Graduate School


Did you know that AU awards both undergraduate and graduate degrees in a number of programs of study?

Research suggests that many Hispanic and Latino students possess knowledge gaps regarding the application process for graduate programs*. As a Hispanic-Serving Institution, AU provides many opportunities for students of all backgrounds to pursue graduate study. When you’re ready to explore your options, consider the following tips for successfully preparing to apply for graduate school.

Discuss your future plans with your trusted mentor and/or faculty advisor.
Seek guidance from individuals who know your academic history and are knowledgeable about the graduate school application process. They may be able to help you narrow your interests and will likely write you a letter of recommendation for your application.

Attend information sessions and workshops hosted by academic departments and the Admissions and Recruitment Office at least two semesters before graduation.
These sessions provide information about AU’s academic offerings, which can help you make a timely decision about which graduate degree you’d like to pursue. Attending them well before graduation gives you enough time to consider your options and prepare your application materials before the deadline.

If your program requires a standardized test, prepare ahead of time.
Standardized tests can be “culturally skewed,” meaning underrepresented students can enter the testing environment at a disadvantage due to a lack of cultural knowledge*. Begin preparing as soon as possible by seeking out free preparation resources online or enrolling in a test prep course. Leave enough time before your application deadline to take the test multiple times if needed to improve your score.


Are you currently in graduate school? What advice can you share with AU undergraduate students to make the graduate application process seamless?


*Ramirez, E. (2011). “No One Taught Me the Steps”: Latinos’ Experiences Applying to Graduate School. Journal of Latinos and Education, 10(3), 204-222.


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