Yikes! Grad School Already?
Grad school selection can be a very difficult and scary process. I myself am going through it as I prepare for my last year at OSU next year. Many questions come to mind about where the right program will be for you; so here is some friendly advice from somebody in the midst of the craziness.
PLAN! Plan early and plan a lot. Schedule dates for conferences, schedule your courses so you will actually graduate as expected, plan to go to interviews, and plan to apply as well. Make a master document with all of your deadlines to stay on track.
Take your GRE early! Deadlines usually need you to have it done by mid-November so take it at least once before then (get school codes if you know where you’ll be applying so they can send them early and for free- up to 3 schools). Give yourself time to even take the GRE a second time too because often you want to improve your score after your first try at the exam.
Attend conferences in your field to meet with potential programs (especially useful when meeting other grads in the current program and get their insider info). Also, it’s a great way to put a face with a name so that you will get an interview!
Don’t procrastinate! This is awful and your future literally depends on it. You need to be on top of things and great personal statements don’t come from a 5 minute cram session on your MAC.
Ask advisors, masters and grad students, and professors where they would suggest (based on your interests) and if they have any advice. They have been or are going through the process so they can give you the do’s and dont’s of the whole thing.
And last but not least, FEEL IT! Most of the time as you interview and meet with programs you will get a sense of where you belong and where you want to be for the next 4+ years of your life.
Good luck and may the force be with you all as you apply!