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Graduate School

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Continuing on to Graduate School is a big decision to make in your life. First, you should decide what it is that you want to continue your schooling for and where. Listed below are links to sites to help you figure out where you want to get your degree and where. Also stated is information that we feel is important to keep in mind when you are going through this process.

If you are thinking about going to Graduate School here, visit the Graduate Studies office for more information regarding programs offered at UW Oshkosh:

For more a more broad search engine, visit

One thing that might turn you away from Graduate school is the financial aspect of it. Fortunately, there are many different sources which can make Graduate school more affordable. Loans, grants, scholarships, fellowships, assistantships, and tuition reimbursement make going to Graduate School a little more feasible.

If you are wanting to go on to Graduate school, it is important to be well prepared when you are in the process of applying. For a timetable which plans out and gives you more information about when to apply to Graduate school, view the Get Hired! Guide.

Another part of this process you will encounter is the personal statement section of your application. Your goal here is to write an authentic personal statement emphasizing your strengths, abilities and experiences with relevant examples to help you differentiate your qualifications. The Get Hired! Guide also has great tips and tricks on how to make your personal statement stand out.

Advice courtesy of the Writing Center

A Curriculum Vitae is similar to a resume, but differs in that it includes areas of interest, grants received, publications and presentations, research projects and your references.

For an example from our Resume Resources site, follow this link.

Personal Statements

The purpose of a personal statement is to help the graduate program, in which you are applying to, gain insight into your academics, research, and career goals. It also provides you with the opportunity to discuss what sets you apart from other applicants and to highlight additional qualifications beyond grades and test scores.

Essentially in this written essay, you are trying to “sell” yourself to a particular program by emphasizing your strengths, abilities, achievements and providing examples of relevant experiences.

General guidelines for writing a personal statement:

  • Follow the directions

Some graduate programs may ask for a personal statement without providing any guidance in shaping your response. Other programs will tell you exactly how they want the essay structured and formatted, along with word count limits. Some may have specific questions that they want you to respond to.

Make sure to follow the directions specified by each program you’re applying to. If there are no specifications, limit yourself to two pages and write about the most vital aspects of your experiences and qualifications. Be organized, concise, and clear.

  • Research

Visit the graduate program website for information about faculty and their research, courses offered, current student profiles, and student support and professional development activities. This will help you learn more about the program objectives, what they may be looking for in a potential student, and if the program is a good fit for you.

  • Be specific

Provide detailed examples of relevant experiences that helped you prepare for graduate school. Outline specific skills you gained from those experiences. Using brief anecdotes is a good way to make your points. You may mention extra-curricular achievements to illustrate additional dimensions of your qualifications.

Discuss your interest and knowledge particular to the program. Provide a detailed description of the types of topics and areas you wish to study, as well as outlining any specific research questions you have or research you wish to pursue while you are in graduate school. This will help to demonstrate how you are a good fit with the program and institution you are applying to.

  • Be unique and authentic

Try to find an angle or story to capture your reader’s attention. If your statement is fresh and different, it may help to distinguish you and make yourself memorable.

Avoid clichés as, “Since I was a child, I have always wanted to be _________.”  Or an applicant applying to a counseling program who writes that they want to be a counselor because their personal counselor helped them and now they want to do the same for others, is not exactly expressing an original thought.

  • Revise and revise again

Proofread carefully! Make sure your essay is free of errors in spelling, mechanics, grammar, punctuations, and/or format. Any errors reflect your ability as a writer.

Always ask someone else, preferably a faculty member in your area to proofread your essay and provide feedback. Also, visit the UW Oshkosh Writing Center.