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The Honors College — The University of Texas at Arlington

The Honors College — The University of Texas at Arlington


Graduate School Preparation

Believe it or not, the day will come when you will want to read this section of your Handbook carefully and thoughtfully. That day may seem remote today but soon you will need to consider what steps to take next in your career path.

Increasingly, the mark of expertise and leadership of the professional is the advanced degree, a Masters degree or doctorate in the selected field. This fact has several implications for you. First, you need to take a long-range view of your career aims. For some, it may make sense to work in your field for a few years after receiving your Bachelor's degree before beginning your advanced studies. Certain professions --Nursing and Education are two such areas-- often involve substantial field experience before employees can decide upon an area of specialization that matches their particular talents and interests. For other professionals, it may make sense to pursue graduate studies immediately upon finishing the Bachelor's degree or even to pursue an accelerated Bachelor's/Masters program. Science and Technology fields often exemplify the latter course of action. In other words, it is important to be familiar with the career trends in your field and to watch current employment practices. Staying in touch with Honors alumni may be one way to help you spot those trends and practices.

A second implication is that you will need to spend some time planning for advanced study. Admission policies and procedures for professional schools, graduate programs and advanced certification programs vary considerably from institution to institution and deadlines may even vary within the same institution. Often, selecting a faculty mentor and communicating with that person prior to making out an application to a program is a more important step than the selection of the university. Therefore, it is important to talk with graduate advisors and faculty members of your prospective department during your decision-making pr ocess. At that time, learn all you can about the availability of department scholarships and graduate assistantship funds. In addition to reviewing the graduate catalog, you may wish to ask for the department handbook for graduate students and to speak with some current graduate students. In your final planning, please consider applying for one or more of the national, prestigious scholarships available for advanced study here and abroad.

Finally, the Honors College has multiple resources to assist you as you make your plans for advanced study. Visit the Honors College library to review books on admission processes, scholarship applications and financial planning. Watch for announcements on the Honors College listserv and campus bulletin boards for clinic dates to assist you in writing the personal statement, completing applications, obtaining letters of recommendation and searching scholarship databases. And for those of you planning to attend UTA, make an appointment with the Honors College Associate Dean to discuss the Bridge to Graduate School scholarship and other scholarships available through UTA's Graduate School.