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Graduate and Professional School

Here, find the resources you need to prepare for your next step

Each year, between 20 to 25 percent of Agnes Scott College graduates go directly to graduate school. The Office of Internship and Career Development supports Scotties who are pursuing graduate and professional schools with resources that include:

  • Affordable GRE prep class taught in the fall and spring
  • Affordable LSAT prep launched in fall 2020 
  • Workshops on post-college success
  • Collaboration with major advisers to support personal statements

Degree Types

An advanced degree in a specific area of study. Some examples include:

  • Master of Arts (M.A.)
  • Master of Science (M.S.)
  • Master of Education (M.Ed.)
  • Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.)
  • Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

Study beyond the master's level. For example:

  • Specialist in Education (Ed.S.)

A degree that prepares individuals to enter specific professions. Some examples include:

  • Juris Doctor (J.D.)
  • Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)
  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.)
  • Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S)

A post-doctorate includes advanced study, research or training in a specific area. Many are completed at the end of a Ph.D.

Some schools also offer joint degree programs, such as the J.D./M.B.A. and M.D./Ph.D. programs. Many programs have an accelerated structure that allows students to finish two degrees more quickly as a joint degree than they could separately.

Selecting a Graduate School Program

Selecting a graduate program can be overwhelming. Start the process early to give yourself time to make good selections.

  • Speak with your faculty adviser.
  • Ask us to connect you to alumnae who have pursued graduate degrees in this career field.
  • Access online resources. Access our McCain Library LibGuide for recommended websites Explore Grad School Programs and the list of schools where students have successfully applied and attended in the past.
  • Visit program websites and review online materials including deadlines.
  • Use the advanced search function on LinkedIn to identify and reach out to alumnae who have attended the program.
  • Contact the program to see if they are hosting information sessions or attending graduate school fairs in the Atlanta area.

Find answers to these questions:

  • Are you a competitive applicant for the program?
  • What experiences will make your application more competitive?
  • Is there a strong focus on GPA or standardized test scores?
  • What is the culture of the program?
  • What is the quality of the program?
  • What are the research interests of the faculty associated with the program?
  • What kind of placement assistance does the program or department offer? Where are recent graduates employed?
  • What is the total cost of the program including the cost of living in the location? What forms of financial assistance are available? Is there affordable health insurance?
  • What additional features of the program fit with your goals?
  • What is the length of time and pace of the program?
  • What field experiences and internships exist?
  • What exam requirements exist?
  • Does the program require a dissertation or thesis?

Applying for Graduate School

Unlike undergraduate applications, graduate and professional school applications strongly emphasize recommendations and the applicant’s statement of purpose. Most schools want to see demonstrated evidence that a candidate has a passion for the material and the determined work ethic to thrive and succeed in their program.

Ninety days before application deadlines:

  • Identify areas of potential study (access McCain Lib Guide: Exploring Graduate Schools).
  • Finalize CV/resume with the Center for Writing and Speaking (CWS) and a career coach.
  • Attend graduate school fairs/info sessions.
  • Conduct info interviews with alumnae who attended programs of interest.
  • Take prep courses or use online prep resources for required tests such as GRE/LSAT.

Sixty to ninety days before application deadlines:

  • Meet with a CWS tutor to outline and begin a draft of the personal statement (most take several editing cycles).
  • Identify potential faculty references (ask for their help/requirements), and review the list of programs with advisers.
  • Write your first draft of a personal statement.
  • Use COMPASS to schedule time with a career coach to review a draft of your personal statement.

Forty-five days before application deadlines:

  • Finalize your personal statement.
  • Provide proofed/final materials to faculty recommenders.
  • Finalize application materials.

Questions Students Should Ask Before Applying to Graduate School

  • Should You Go To Graduate School? 
  • What factors should I consider when applying to grad programs?
  • When do I need to apply?
  • How many schools should I apply to?
  • Who do you ask for Letters of Recommendation (LORs)?
  • What prerequisites are needed?
  • Should I consider school ranking in my decision?
  • What are the school/program acceptance rates?


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