…be it a passion for research, a desire to contribute knowledge to a specific field, or an ambition for a specific stage of career advancement. A few forms of graduate education Colby alumni have traditionally pursued include:
Although some Colby students will begin graduate studies immediately after graduating from Colby, many will take a few gap years between undergraduate and graduate school to gain professional and life experience or source funds for living and educational expenses. In a vacuum, it can be hard to determine which application and enrollment timelines make the most sense for your situation and goals. Take the perspectives of those you trust and respect before jumping into the application process.
While they do not form an exhaustive list, the following factors can help you rigorously assess various graduate schools:
Each graduate program and degree can have a unique application timeline because admissions decisions can be more complex at the graduate level, involving faculty, admissions counselors, and department administrators. For example, application and enrollment timelines for professional degree programs (e.g., law school, medical school, MBA programs) follow very different conventions than those of scholarly and research graduate programs (e.g., Ph.D.). To learn more about professional school application processes, please speak with your DavisConnects advisors.
Graduate program applicants typically need two to four recommendation letters from professors and mentors who can speak to their competencies, personal maturity, and preparation with enthusiasm and specificity. Each program may have a particular process and preference for how these letters are to be composed and submitted, so research each program’s requirements carefully. Support your recommenders by providing them adequate time to write (i.e., at least six weeks notice) and copies of relevant materials (e.g., CV, essays).
Many graduate programs require applicants to submit a personal statement, research statement, statement of purpose, and/or a writing sample. (Sometimes these terms are interchangeable; sometimes they have distinct definitions.) Generally, graduate programs request an essay that fits one of two molds:
The most common admissions exams are the GRE, LSAT, MCAT, and GMAT. Prior to the pandemic, most graduate programs required applicants to complete a graduate admissions test; however, many programs have since revised this requirement to be optional, so please research each program’s requirements before registering for any standardized admissions exams and speak with a DavisConnects advisor or faculty member.
A graduate school fair provides a wonderful opportunity to speak virtually or in-person with admissions representatives from a number of graduate and professional programs about your credentials, their admissions requirements, and what distinguishes their program from other programs offered in the same field. Each year, Colby College partners with Bates and Bowdoin Colleges to offer an annual graduate school fair, featuring more than 100 diverse graduate programs from around the Northeast. In addition, we advise that you work with your DavisConnects advisor to learn whether you are pursuing a professional field, such as medicine or law, that hosts an annual or biannual graduate school fair for applicants or students exploring the profession.
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Friday: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
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