Five Tips for Applying to Grad School

Five Tips for Applying to Grad School

Making the decision to pursue an advanced degree can seem daunting. There are many factors to consider before applying–and once you’ve decided “where,” you need to evaluate “how.” Gaining admittance to your dream program takes more than a great test score or recommendation, as graduate programs are increasingly taking a more holistic approach. You can come to the Alumni Association for help–from test prep to the final interview.

1.) Test Prep is Key

Taking the GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, or GRE is not just about knowing the right answer, but how to take the test. Prep courses often come with a guarantee to improve your score, so spending the extra money could be worth it. The Alumni Association offers our members $100 off Kaplan test prep services to help you get ahead.

2.) Get Your References

Any graduate program is going to require references. Professional references are recommended, but some personal references may be accepted. It’s important to keep in touch with previous colleagues or professors. These are the people who can give you that killer recommendation that will get you in over someone else. Find an alumni club in your area to network and stay connected.

3.) Check It Before You Mail It

Create a checklist for each school you are applying to. Things can get lost in the shuffle and some programs have different requirements than others. Keep a checklist of what each school needs to make sure you’re sending in required materials. Don’t miss out because you didn’t send your test scores into all the schools on your list.

4.) Remember the Resume

Review your resume and make sure all the information is up to date and matches what you put on the application. Our career team has some great guides for crafting your resume, and also offers members personal resume and cover letter review.

5.) Nail Your Interview

Oftentimes interviews are part of the admissions process for graduate programs. Don’t freeze up in front of the dean. InterviewStream interactive preparation software can get you prepared before you step in the room. Available to members at no charge, InterviewStream allows you to practice hundreds of scenarios, including graduate school entrance interviews.

Members can count on the Alumni Association to help them develop and stay connected. Remember you also have access to discounts on Kaplan test prep, so make sure your membership is up-to-date and take advantage of all the Alumni Association can do for you.


Michigan Alumnus is made possible through the generous support of Alumni Association members. Join today to help sustain the future of Michigan Alumnus and other alumni programs. Visit