1 in 3 Binghamton University Graduates Pursue Graduate/Professional School
Earning a graduate degree can be a fulfilling and life-changing experience, and it's important to conduct significant research before determining if advanced study is the way to go. Many occupations don't require a master's or higher, and in some fields it is better (or even required) that you gain a few years of practical experience before enrolling in a graduate program. Before jumping into the application process, make sure you've carefully considered your career aspirations and motivations for advanced study to determine whether it's the best choice for you and your career pursuits.
Myths about graduate/professional school:
- The master's is the new bachelor's (true for a few fields, but definitely not all)
- If I don't know what I want to do, grad school is a good place to "figure it out" (grad school is meant for those who already have strong sense of what they want to do and need the degree to move forward)
- I'll make a lot more money (it depends on the field and the job and you should research your industry)
- I'll be more marketable with an advanced degree (that depends on the field you have chosen)
- There's nothing I can do with a bachelor's degree in ____ so I need to get a graduate degree (totally false...most fields do not require a specific major to be successful and experience is key)
- I'm not ready for the "real world" (grad school is a really expensive way to get "ready" and you're more prepared than you think)
So what are the "right" reasons to continue your education?
- You need an advanced degree in order to achieve your (well-researched) career goals
- You have a passion for learning and wish to explore a subject area more deeply and at an advanced level
Career Consultants in the Fleishman Center can help you sort out your goals, make informed decisions, effectively search for programs and review your application materials.
Career Consulting and Advising
Fleishman Center staff are always happy to meet with students about preparing for their future! You can meet with a Career Consultant during our daily Walk-in advising hours, or schedule an appointment through hireBING.
Interested in medicine or another health-related field? Be sure to connect with Pre-Health Advising.
Interested in law? Be sure to connect with Pre-Law Advising.
While conducting online research is important, sometimes it's the individual conversations you have with admissions reps and faculty that have the greatest impact on your candidacy. Take the initiative to have these conversations!
Each fall, the Fleishman Center hosts a Graduate School Fair and co-hosts Law Day with Pre-Law Advising. Both events offer an opportunity to learn about program requirements and to speak individually with representatives from multiple schools. Additional institutions can be identified through online searches.
YES! There is funding for graduate school! Rather than automatically rejecting a program from consideration based on cost, apply and make your final decision about attending once you know what financial assistance you'll be offered. Do your research and start early to learn what types of financial assistance might be available to you:
Graduate Assistantships: an opportunity to work for your institution in exchange for a tuition waiver and/or stipend (varies by school). Graduate assistants may work as teaching assistants, research assistants or in an office on campus. Application processes and availability vary by institution and academic program.
Federal Work Study: Federal Work Study is available at the graduate student level and is based on your financial need as reported in your FAFSA. Because graduate students can file their FAFSA as independents, you may qualify for aid, even if you did not qualify as an undergraduate.
Fellowships, Grants & Scholarships: may be offered directly by the institution, foundations or other organizations and may be need- or merit-based. Inquire with individual institutions and with Binghamton's Office of External Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards.
Testing requirements are determined by individual institutions and programs. Check with your schools of interest to learn which tests are required:
GRE - Graduate Record Exam
LSAT - Law School Admission Test
GMAT - Graduate Management Admission Test
MCAT - Medical College Admission Test
MAT - Miller Analogies Test
OAT - Optometry Assessment Test
DCAT - Dental College Admission Test
PCAT - Pharmacy College Admission Test
VCAT - Veterinary College Admissions Test
TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language
Your application is comprised of many pieces—typically a personal statement, transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, and sometimes an interview. Generally speaking, no one component will make or break your application. Your personal statement provides an opportunity to demonstrate your commitment the institution and/or your field of study, but is also a place where you can make up for a lower-than-desired GPA or test score. Personal statement feedback and interview assistance is available in the Fleishman Center.
The application process can get expensive! The CAP loan is an interest-free six-month loan for Binghamton University students in need of financial assistance to pursue professional activities, including but not limited to, interview travel, graduate school visits and school applications. Applicants must meet with a Fleishman Center staff member for approval prior to submitting the CAP loan application.
Law School applicants are advised to consult with the Pre-Law Advisor prior to beginning the process
Students applying to doctoral-level health programs must consult the Pre-Health Advisor
Binghamton's Writing Center also provides support with writing essays
Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation are important pieces of the application process. Begin identifying potential authors as soon as you start considering attending graduate school. Letter writers are frequently required to be faculty members, so be sure to build those relationships early! Visit your professors during office hours and discuss your academic interests and career plans.
- Request letters of recommendation in person if possible
- Provide a copy of your resume
- Provide detailed instructions and a timeline for submission to your letter writer
- Allow plenty of time for your recommender to submit your letter
The Fleishman Center recommends utilizing Interfolio to for managing your credentials documents and reducing the burden of writing multiple letters on your recommenders.