Exploring Options for Graduate & Law SchoolPursuing advanced studies beyond your undergraduate experience is a common consideration among students. Advanced studies might include a post-bachelor's degree (a second bachelor’s degree is common if you decide you want additional training, most often in health sciences), a master's degree (one to three years of additional study beyond a bachelor's degree for in-depth study and practice in a specific field, commonly a MA, MS or MEd), or a doctoral degree (three to six years advanced study, typically with a strong research component, common for law (JD), medicine (MD, DO), pharmacy (PharmD) or research/teaching (PhD)).
Whether you plan to apply to a graduate program, law school or another post-grad academic opportunity, it's important to weigh the following questions before applying. Once you have made the decision to go, consider making an appointment with Hiatt Career Center to review your resume and personal statement as well as to prepare you to interview.
Should I Go?
First, evaluate whether graduate/law school is the right decision for you. Does your desired career path involve an advanced degree? Do some research that focuses on the subject area or program that aligns with both your personal and professional goals. We also encourage you to do some networking with alumni and other professionals in your field of interest to inquire about the need for an advanced degree in that specific area.
It’s important to note that graduate programs seek applicants who demonstrate an ability to succeed in a rigorous academic setting and that the candidate’s goals align with the offered program. Your interest in enrolling should go beyond the notion of just wanting to continue being in a college setting.
When Should I Apply?
Many graduate schools and programs have varying deadlines, as well as certain criteria for applicants. When to actually apply will depend upon your field and area of study. Some programs are intended for students immediately after college, while others look for a mix of recent graduates and those with work experience. Certain degrees are designed to build off your professional experience, and therefore those schools strongly encourage working for a few years after graduation before applying.
I Made Up My Mind. What's Next?
Review the graduate school and law school resources and follow up with Hiatt to make an appointment. You'll want to see us at least nine months to a year before the application deadline of your school of choice.
There are many people and departments on campus who can help you with different aspects of the graduate school process.Hiatt offers one-on-one meetings to discuss graduate school preparation, selection, application materials and interview preparation.
When you are ready to talk more about your law school plans, schedule a meeting with the senior assistant director of career development, pre-law advisor. During your appointment, you can discuss whether law school is right for you and if so, when to go, navigating the application process, analyzing which law schools will be a good match, discussing LSAT preparation, as well as reviewing your personal statement and other elements of your application.
Hiatt's resources will help guide you in the process of researching programs, preparing your application, writing a personal statement and hitting "Send." When you are ready, meet with anyone on our career team to discuss whether graduate school is right for you and if so, when to go. We'll help you with navigating the application process, as well as reviewing your personal statement and other elements of your application.
Brandeis offers tailored academic assistance to pre-health students through Pre-Health Advising. Advising is available to any student considering a career in health and health care fields. While many students are interested in pursuing their MD degree after Brandeis, there are a variety of other health professions addressed by Pre-Health Advising.
Hiatt can also assist students and alumni interested in health-related graduate programs (e.g., psychology, biology and neuroscience) and regularly works with pre-health students to prepare for graduate and medical school interviews.
Individual coaching on communicating science to any audience, helpful when looking at application materials and essays.
Tutoring sessions in written and oral language skills for non-native speakers.
Tutoring and grammar sessions for all stages of the writing process.
Identity in Grad School
Graduate schools and professional organizations have created materials to help students find resources and develop connections to support the pursuit of a graduate degree. Below are some resources that provide insight and advice about best practices and strategies for success if you are an under-represented student pursuing a graduate degree.
- APAGS Resource Guide for Ethnic Minority Graduate Students
- GoGrad.org: The Most Popular Online Graduate School Programs<
- Doctoral Program Resources for Minority Students
- McNair Scholars Funding
- Sharing your race/ethnicity in the application process
- Presenting your involvement with diversity groups on campus on your resume
- Graduate school opportunities and internships
- Evaluating if your prospective graduate school will have an inclusive environment
- Discrimination or inequity in graduate school and the workplace