Graduate and Medical School Prep
Apply to Graduate School
Find out what you need to know to be an undeniable graduate school applicant. Explore the ASU Graduate School Seminar (EGSS) Series or call 480-727-7627. Seminars include but are not limited to:
- Getting into graduate school
- Financing graduate school
- Preparing for the GRE, LSAT, MCAT and more
Guide: Apply to graduate school
Your application will be reviewed by at least three School of Life Sciences faculty members. It’s best to identify them ahead of time.
Think about whom you might like to work with, and on what types of projects. Use the references cited in faculty journal articles to learn more about their particular research and whether it appeals to you.
Identify these faculty members in your Statement of Research Interest, and on application forms.
Carefully prepare your Statement of Research Interest
This statement does not tie you to a specific research project. We do use it to identify students who have a mature sense of the kind of research they want to pursue in graduate school. We are looking for students who think critically and write clearly about research problems. Identify the faculty members you may like to work with and the types of projects that interest you.
Hint: Don’t begin your statement with, “Ever since I was a child...”
Email the faculty member(s) with whom you want to work
Tell them about your interests and reasons for wanting to work with them. Ask:
- What kinds of projects are currently going on in your laboratory?
- Are you accepting additional students in the coming year?
Consider visiting the campus
We are looking for a good fit between a student, program and faculty member. That’s difficult to evaluate from an application. A visit allows us to put a "face" with your application and allows you to closely evaluate our programs. Travel funds are often available for top applicants. If you are a serious candidate, ask whether funds are available to defray the cost of airfare.
Ask potential mentors the tough questions
Compare the places you are considering. Ask questions! We are confident the more you know about us, the greater chance you will select our program for your graduate studies.
Hint: Spend your valuable time on campus with potential faculty mentors to talk about your research interests.
Finding a Graduate Program
- Princeton Review Tips and information to get your search process started.
- Peterson's Guide to Colleges Helps you search for graduate programs.
- gradschools.com Provides information on nearly 50,000 graduate programs.
- U.S. News and World Report Search for rankings and information on graduate programs.
- College Net Search for graduate school and find scholarship dollars.
- Careers in Science and Engineering: A Student Planning Guide to Grad School and Beyond
Graduate School: life and admissions
How to be a good graduate student: Important issues you should be aware of as a grad student.
Graduate Record Exam (GRE) This is the standardized test required for most graduate school programs.
Two exams are available: General and Subject
"General" test is most often required. It's available online and provides sub-scores for skills in three major areas (verbal, quantitative and analytical).
- "Subject" test is also required by many, but not all, graduate programs. Subject exams are given in a number of specialized fields including Biology and test specific disciplinary knowledge.
Both exams are extraordinarily rigorous and require significant preparation. Do not use your first attempt at the exam as "practice." Practice materials may be found in college bookstores and through the testing agency itself.
Important note: Because of the delay in scoring the exam, plan on taking this exam by mid-fall the year before you want to attend graduate school. Most schools require these scores to make decisions on admission and financial aid packages — such as teaching and research assistantships, and fellowships.