Graduate School Preparation
In the last five years an average of 9% of Wentworth graduates enrolled in master’s- or PhD-level graduate programs. Students from most of our majors pursue graduate education. Requirements for admission can vary greatly depending on the type of program. Use the tips and resources below to begin preparing for your graduate journey.
Deciding to Pursue Graduate School
Before you start applying it is important to ask yourself some critical questions. This will help you gain clarity and allow you to start developing a plan of action.
- Why do you want to go to graduate school?
- What type of degree do you want to pursue? Master’s? PhD? MBA?
- Do you want to work in industry? Do you want to teach at the college level?
- Do you want to do academic research?
- Do you want to enroll immediately after graduating from Wentworth? Do you want to work for a few years first?
- How long do you want to be in school? One year? Two years? Five+ years?
- Where do you want to be geographically? Does it matter?
- What schools offer your desired program(s) of study in your preferred location?
Applying to Graduate Programs
Once you have asked yourself these questions you can start to make an action plan:
- Make a list of target schools. Consider making a table or matrix that includes the names of program directors/coordinators and their contact information. Reaching out to clarify the importance of each application requirement can help you determine which parts on which to focus your energy. If you are considering a PhD program, it might be good to identify faculty members that you want to work with should you be admitted.
- Conduct outreach – ask clarifying questions about the admissions process, show interest in the program.
- Rank programs. Know their requirements. Work backwards from their deadlines.
- Prepare for and take the GRE. (Or whichever standardized test the program(s) require). NOTE: Some programs may not require the GRE at all – be sure to confirm with each school.
- Connect with faculty mentors to get their advice on selecting schools and the application process. (They once went through the same process!).
- Make an application timeline that ends with application deadlines and works backwards. This will help you stay on track with your research and application materials.
Once you have answered these questions and developed an action plan, you can (and should) speak with your Co-op & Career Advisor for guidance. They can help you navigate the application process, prepare a CV or resume, and write your personal statement.
You should also consider speaking with your Faculty Mentor and other professors. Most went through graduate school themselves and can speak from experience. Ask them! Below you will find some blog posts and podcasts where Wentworth faculty discuss the ins and outs of graduate school.
- Listen to Professor John Haga talk about graduate programs in mathematics.
- Listen to Professor Aaron Carpenter talk about PhD programs and the benefits of graduate education for STEM students.
- Graduate School FAQs Part 1. Blog post covering general questions about why someone might be interested in graduate programs with an emphasis on master’s degree programs, written by Professor Aaron Carpenter of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.
- Graduate Schools FAQs Part 2. Blog post covering the basics of PhD programs, also written by Professor Carpenter.
- Graduate Schools FAQs Part 3. Blog post covering the application process, also written by Professor Carpenter.
GRE and Other Entrance Exams
Many graduate programs will require GRE scores for admission. You should check admission requirements for each program you plan to apply to before you schedule a GRE exam. You can learn more about the GRE here.
If you are considering an MBA, you may need to take the GMAT instead. Learn more about the GMAT here.
Writing a Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose
Most graduate programs require some form of a personal statement as a part of the application. There may be specific questions you must answer, or it could be a general personal statement. You should confirm requirements for each program before you begin writing. Generally speaking, a personal statement is a narrative that highlights your experience, interest in the program, and future career goals. Remember, your Co-op & Career Advisor can help you craft and edit your statement.
- Top Ten Tips for Writing a Personal Statement. A blog post detailing the most important considerations for personal statement writing, by Lauren Creamer.
- Perdue Owl – Writing the Personal Statement. Excellent resource highlighting the common components of personal statement.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Wentworth graduates in August – how will that impact my ability to enroll in graduate programs?
- Most graduate programs begin in September, though there are certainly exceptions. You should confirm start dates well in advance, so you know whether you need to take a gap year. (A gap year is time off school between undergraduate and graduate programs).
- Should I take a gap year?
- Some individuals may need to take a gap year in order to complete missing academic requirements. Others choose to do so to continue skill-building or to gain additional experience in the field.
- If you are not sure what you want to study yet, and you are close to graduating, a gap year could be a good opportunity for you to continue to explore your options.
- Should I get research experience while at Wentworth?
- Finding a research co-op or part-time opportunity is important if you are considering graduate schools that require you to conduct research as a part of the program.
- On Finding a Research Co-op. Read this blog post detailing how to find and secure a research-based co-op.
- Research Co-ops Radio Show. Listen to former Wentworth students talk about their experiences searching for and securing research co-ops.
- Do I need a resume or a CV (curriculum vitae)? What is the difference?
- You should always check the requirements for admission – it is okay to ask for clarification. Sometimes the requirement may be a CV, but your resume would be acceptable for submission.
- PhD-level academic programs generally want a CV, which is much longer than a single page resume. You will want to include academic research, publications, teaching and/or mentoring experiences, and research interests. Resumes are one-page and highly tailored; CVs tend to be more all-encompassing.
- Use this Purdue Owl resource to learn more about what goes into a CV.
- Can I get a graduate degree from Wentworth?
- Yes, Wentworth offers a number of graduate programs and we are always developing new programs for the future. For the current up-to-date catalogue of graduate programs at Wentworth visit the Graduate Studies webpage.
- What if I am a current Wentworth architecture student planning to go into the M.Arch program?