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Graduate School Information

Preparing for Graduate & Professional School

Should I go to graduate school? Is the grad school option right for me? Why do I want to go to graduate school? Is it for the right reasons? What are my career goals? Will graduate school assist me in meeting my career goals? What will I specialize in? What are my interests? Do I have the motivation for another two to seven years of school? Do I have the academic and personal qualities to succeed?

Grad School Prep Articles and Resources
Grad School Preparation Tips
Grad School Advice
Grad School Notes


How do you know which programs to apply for? Start by evaluating your situation. What work do you hope to do? Determine your academic and career goals. Decide what work you want to do and how you'd like to spend your life.

What are your chances of success? Learn as much as possible about your chances of succeeding in that field once you have the degree. Can you do it? Graduate school is an enormous commitment of time, money, energy and effort. It is important to make an informed choice.

How do you decide where to go? Do you know what to look for in a good graduate or professional school program? Consider these critical components: The credentials and reputation of the faculty and department, the quality of the students, breadth and depth of class offerings, admission and application requirements, employment success of the graduates, the job prospects, access to campus resources, and availability of financial aid.

How long it will take to get the degree? How is the program ranked? Is the program accredited? What percentage of graduates of the program get jobs in the field? What are your prospects for getting financial aid?

Do you have the requirements to be admitted? What are graduate school programs looking for in an applicant? How do you effectively present yourself?

Grad School Application

Regardless of discipline, virtually all graduate school applications entail the same basic components: Application form, academic transcript, GRE or other standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, resume or curriculum vitae, and personal statement or admissions essay.

Be sure your test scores are the best they can be by preparing sufficiently so that you can submit a competitive score. Request letters of recommendation from your professors and employers. Produce an effective resume. Devote the necessary time and energy to the process of writing, editing and polishing your essay.

General Info

College Source
Grad Schools
Grad View

Grad School Tips

Peterson's Education Portal   
The Princeton Review
US News & World Report: List of On-Line Programs
US News & World Report: Best Graduate Schools
Alabama Connection
US Graduate School Programs

Financial Aid

Fast Web / Monster
US News & World Report
Princeton Review
Study Abroad Fellowships
Minority Financial Aid

Application Essays

Admissions Essays
Grad School Sample Essays
Essay Writing Tips
Writing the Grad School Application Essay
Grad School Admissions Essay
Sample College Admission Essays
Law School Personal Statement Samples

Medical & Health Related Schools

Association of American Medical Colleges
Association of American Veterinary Colleges
American Dental Association
Advanced Specialty and General Dentistry Education Programs
Association of Schools & Colleges of Optometry
American Academy of Optometry
Physician Assistant Programs
Northeast Association of Advisors for the Health Professions
Interview Questions and Feedback
Health Profession Tests
US Medical Schools
US Nursing Schools
Compare Medical Schools

Law Schools

Samford University's Cumberland School of Law
University of Alabama School of Law
Peterson's Education Portal
Boston College Law School Locator
Law School Search
Law School Admission Council
Law School on the Princeton Review
Donahue & Grolman Virtual Law Office
US Law Schools
Compare Law Schools
LSAT Practice Test
More LSAT Practice Tests

Business Schools

Business Schools
Financial Times Ranking of MBA Programs
Peterson's Education Portal
US Business Schools
Compare Business Schools

Grad Test Prep

Princeton Review
Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions
Study Guide Zone
Educational Testing Service
Graduate Record Examination
Graduate Management Admission Test
Medical College Admission Test
Law School Admission Test
Pharmacy College Admission Test

Local Test Prep Services

Princeton Review, Maxwell Smith, Territory Manager for Georgia & Alabama, (800) 2Review Ext 5425, Fax: (404) 249-9411, E-Mail: MaxwellS@review.com, Website: www.princetonreview.com.

Princeton Review conducts test prep classes on the BSC campus on a regular basis. They offer classes on LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE. Contact Maxwell Smith for dates and times of the next class: MaxwellS@review.com

Kaplan Test Prep, Karen Johnson, Campus Manager for North Alabama, (205) 704-7385, E-Mail: Karen.Johnson1@kaplan.com, Website: www.kaptest.com.

Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions, Alabama Kaplan Center, 500 Office Park Drive, Suite 100, Birmingham, Alabama 35223. Manager: Sarah Beth Averitt. (205) 879-1307. E-Mail: Sarabeth.averitt@kaplan.com.

New Horizon of Birmingham, Prometric Testing Center (Sylvan Center), 601 West Beacon Parkway, Suite 106, Birmingham, Alabama 35209. (205) 263-5061. Appointments are made based on the availability of 14 testing stations. Arrive 30 minutes early. Cost $115. Testing is available every day, except Sundays and holidays. Test time 4 hours. Open M-F, 7am - 7pm, Saturday, 9am - 6pm. Recommended scheduling 1 to 1 1/2 months in advance.

GRE Information

Most general graduate schools require the General Test and many require the Subject Test. The General Test contains a verbal, quantitative and analytical section. The Subject Test measures knowledge of a particular subject matter. The General and subject Test can be taken on the same day or on different days. Each year, the pencil and paper test is given one time.

Contact: Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6000, Princeton, NJ 08541-6000.  E-mail address: gre-info@ets.org (Include your complete mailing address and telephone number in message)

GMAT Information

The GMAT is required for most students seeking an MBA degree from a graduate school of management. It measures general verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills that are developed over a long period of time. It is designed to help graduate schools of business assess the qualifications of applicants for advanced study in business and management. The GMAT Computer-adaptive test (CAT) includes verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing questions that you will answer on computer. You will have 75 minutes for 37 quantitative questions, 75 minutes for 41 verbal questions, and 30 minutes for each of the two analytical writing topics. Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving questions will be mingled within the quantitative section and Sentence Correction, Reading Comprehension, and Critical Reasoning questions will be mingled within the verbal section. You will key in your essay responses to the two analytical writing questions.

The GMAT is now administered on computer only. It is offered many days every month at hundreds of sites. Contact: Graduate Management Admission Council, Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6103, Princeton, NJ 08541-6103. Phone: 609-771-7330. FAX: 609-883-4349. Email: gmat@ets.org.

Local GMAT Test Prep

The Samford University Brock School of Business offers the course to anyone, regardless of the school you plan to attend. Reinforce your skills with practice on real GMAT questions and exam simulations and benefit from the tips and strategies offered by an experienced GMAT instructor.  Improve your chances of gaining admission to the MBA program of your choice with a comprehensive, 27-hour course. The course covers every area of the exam (mathematics, reading comprehension, grammar, critical reasoning, essay writing).  Course fee:  $875.  Contact: Rebekah E. DeBoer, Program Assistant, Graduate Programs and Executive Education, Brock School of Business / Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229.  Office: Dwight Beeson Hall 313.  Phone: (205) 726-2040

LSAT Information

The Law School Admission Test is a half-day standardized test required for admission to all 194 LSAC-member law schools. It consists of five 35-minute sections of multiple-choice questions. Four of the five sections contribute to the test taker's score. These sections include one reading comprehension section, one analytical reasoning section, and two logical reasoning sections. The fifth section typically is used to pretest new test items and to pre-equate new test forms. A 30-minute writing sample is administered at the end of the test. The writing sample is not scored by the Law Services; however, copies of the writing sample are sent to all law schools to which you apply. The LSAT is designed to measure skills that are considered essential for success in law school: the reading and comprehension of complex texts with accuracy and insight; the organization and management of information and the ability to draw reasonable inferences form it; the ability to reason critically; and the analysis and evaluation of the reasoning and argument of others. The LSAT provides a standard measure of acquired reading and verbal reasoning skills that law schools can use as one of several factors in assessing applicants.

Contact: Law School Admission Council, Box 2000, Newtown, PA 18940-0998.

Miller Analogies Test

The MAT is a high-level mental ability test which requires the solution of a series of intellectual problems stated in the form of analogies. The test consists of 100 analogies arranged in order of difficulty taken in 50 minutes. Some graduate schools will accept the MAT in lieu of the GRE.

Contact: The Psychological Corporation, Harcourt Assessment, Miller Analogies Test, Customer Relations, 19500 Bulverde Road, San Antonia, Texas 78259. (800) 622-3231 or (210) 339-8710. Monday-Friday, 8:30am - 5:00 pm Central Time. Fax (888) 211-8276. Email: scoring.services@harcourt.com.

Local MAT Test Sites:
University of Alabama at Birmingham  205-934-5503
University of Montevallo  205-665-6350
University of Alabama  205-348-6760