Making Contact: How to reach out to grad programs

We like to encourage people considering graduate school to reach out to the departments they’re interested in joining.  We think it helps prospective students to assess how good of a fit the program will be for them and if the program will be able to meet their needs. Making contact first also helps applicants to put together more competitive applications.

But, how do you reach out, and what is that experience really like? We interviewed Lindsey Jendraszak, Associate Director of Curriculum and Student Services for the Institute of Child Development to find out how she typically works with prospective students.

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How’d you get that cool thing? Featuring Damir Utržan

CEHD graduate students do some pretty amazing things. However, if you’re just starting out, or even if you’ve been around for a few years, it can be a challenge to identify paths to success while you’re busy juggling deadlines and meeting program milestones. “How’d you get that cool thing?” is a series we’re launching this year to help you find your way as you pursue those special achievements you’re most proud of.

This time around, we feature Damir Utržan, a newly-minted graduate from Family Social Science’s doctoral program. Damir studies the impact of displacement on parent-child relationships. In his dissertation, Damir interviewed Syrian refugees about their resettlement experience. In this interview, Damir tells us how his topic and engaging writing attracted the attention of a publisher interested in bringing Damir’s research to a wider audience.

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Grad School with Benefits

Graduate school offers many highly visible benefits. Attending grad school connects you with a professional and scholarly social network. It boosts your career performance and could get your foot in the door for interviews. It awakens you to opportunities and knowledge you didn’t know existed.

Would you believe me if I said, “that’s not all”?

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What you need to know about the GRE

We know that many prospective students feel a twinge of anxiety when they think of taking the Graduate Record Examination, otherwise known as the GRE. That’s why we asked CEHD Professor, Michael Rodriguez to provide some insight for people preparing to take the GRE and to answer the frequently asked questions we get about the test. Michael Rodriguez is the right man for the job! He’s a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and an expert on the psychometric properties of tests. He serves as an adviser to the National Assessment of Educational Progress at ETS, and was an advisor to ETS during the redesign of the GRE (2005-2013). See his answers below, and if you’re preparing for the GRE in the next few weeks, best of luck to you!

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Summer reading for graduate students

In the last few weeks of summer, you might be preparing to start your graduate program, thinking about applying to a program this fall, or planning out how to start the new semester on the right foot. You’re not alone. And, lucky for you, there are some fabulous reads waiting to point you in the right direction.

We asked current and former CEHD graduate students what books influenced them in their programs, and this is what they said. So, get your library cards out and get reading!

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Tackling the Graduate Application Personal Statement

Writing a personal statement for a graduate school application can feel a little like building a bicycle from leftover car parts. You know you have the components for a vehicle. But, each piece feels bigger and more complicated than what you need, and nothing seems to fit together perfectly. It’s intimidating to distill your experiences down to a few sentences and knit them together to form a cohesive narrative explaining why you’re ready for the next academic step.

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Keeping your graduate school applications on track

You have a full and busy life. So, when you’re applying to graduate school, it can be hard to know exactly how much time and effort is needed to put together a quality application, especially when you have family and work responsibilities.

Considering that many schools expect you to submit an application almost a full year in advance of your potential start date, applying to graduate school can take some serious long-term planning. This timeline is intended to help you make decisions about how long you should study for the GREs or GMATs, when you should have your schools narrowed down by, if and when you might consider contacting potential advisers, and how to feel confident when it’s time to hit that big “submit” button. Here’s our recommended timeline.

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Top 6 practical things to know when preparing to apply to graduate school

So, you are thinking about applying to graduate school. Good for you! Graduate school is a fantastic way to build new knowledge and capabilities, dive deeply into a subject matter for which you’re passionate, and prepare for a high-skilled professional career.

A lot of time and planning goes into applying to graduate school. And, it would be a shame if you put forth a lot of energy (and money!) only to hit a roadblock at the eleventh hour. That’s where we come in. As you plan this next phase of your academic career, we’d like to recommend you keep in mind these 6 things so that you are confident and good-to-go when it comes time to hit “submit.”

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How to know if you’re working with a great adviser

Getting into graduate school is a huge accomplishment in itself. Once you’re in, you’re bound to have anxieties about how you will stack up against your peers and make your way through a new landscape of classes, assignments, relationships, and original research. One critical piece of the puzzle is connecting with your graduate adviser. But, it can sometimes be difficult to know what’s appropriate to expect from someone you just met (or in some cases, haven’t met yet).

To help you get a sense of what you should be looking for, or to know if you’ve got a great one, here’s our list of qualities that make a great adviser.

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The low down on master’s degrees, Part 1: Understanding your degree options

Whether you’ve been out of your undergraduate degree program for years or just a few minutes (or maybe you’re still earning your bachelor’s degree), you might be thinking about getting a master’s degree. In this series, we hope to provide you with an arsenal of insights and inspiration to help you plan for your next academic adventure.

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