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Books on Grad School

By Experience

If you're thinking of continuing your education, you should begin by doing some research. Here's a list of some interesting books to help you begin your research on grad school.

The Ultimate Grad School Survival Guide: Getting In, Getting Money, Exams and Classes, the Profs, the Thesis/Dissertation, by Lesli Mitchell (Peterson). Based on an extensive survey of graduate students from a wide range of disciplines and universities, this book is loaded with hundreds of practical tips on every aspect of grad school life, including finding the right school, preparing applications, writing high-impact application essays, maximizing financial aid, gathering vital information early, networking and building alliances, choosing a thesis or dissertation topic, and much more.

The Grad School Handbook: An Insider's Guide to Getting in and Succeeding, by Richard Jerrard and Margot Jerrard (Perigee). Is graduate school for me? What should I study? Where should I go? How am I going to pay for it? From academic requirements to financial realities, this all-in-one guide answers the questions, and helps prospective students make the decisions that will guide them toward their advanced degree. It covers the GRE and other relevant tests, discusses good and bad reasons for going to grad school, explains what schools look for in an applicant, offers information on fellowships, teaching assistantships, and other sources of financial assistance, and much more. With advice and commentary from admissions officers and experienced students, plus lists of useful references and addresses, The Grad School Handbook helps potential candidates master the maze--and get what they want and need out of their education.

How to Write a Winning Personal Statement for Graduate and Professional School, by Richard J. Stelzer (Peterson). Gaining admission to law, business, or medical school - as well as graduate school on the whole - is more competitive than ever. So how do you ensure that you have the edge over other applicants? One surefire way is to submit a thoughtfully crafted application essay or personal statement. It is through this personal statement that admissions officers gain insight into your personality and intellect. Good ones take time and preparation; bad ones may sabotage your chances for success. This one-of-a-kind book gives you valuable advice, including critical guidance on how to start, what to include, and what you should never say; dozens of examples of personal statements that worked at the most competitive schools; and what admissions directors at the top schools are looking for.  

  Real Life Guide to Graduate School: Insider's Guide to the Grad School System, by Cindy Rold and Kerry Foster (Pipeline Press). Cynthia Rold's Guide to Graduate and Professional School breaks the process into concrete steps that reduce the feelings of graduate-school trepidation and help you plot a sensible, comfortable, fiscally sound plan.  The book further addresses the details of application and admission, how to deal with stress and social issues once you're in, how to get the best out of financial aid (detailing the variety of scholarship, grant, and fellowship opportunities that exist, plus work programs, loans, and repayment concerns), and how to choose a school that's best for you. And finally, Rold's guide considers the job situation after graduate school and what your various options are, depending on what sort of degree you earn.

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