Graduate School Information
Applying for graduate school programs is a common career pathway that STU students choose to take after their undergraduate degree, as there are many benefits of obtaining further education. This page will provide you with information, resources, and things to consider if you are considering graduate school.
For specific information on STU’s Master of Social Work visit: www.stu.ca/msw
Things to consider:
- Research different graduate programs and determine the expectations of each one: what the course load is like, how much independent research you will be able to do, whether you are required to complete a thesis or major essay, etc.
- Program requirements (minimum entrance GPA, Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores, specific courses required from your Bachelor of Arts, etc.)
- Possible faculty supervisors in your program of choice
- Funding and scholarship opportunities
A faculty mentor at STU can help to guide you through the process of applying to graduate school programs. They have:
- Knowledge of the discipline
- Knowledge of different graduate programs across Canada and the world
- Knowledge of potential supervisors at different programs
Faculty mentors are professors with whom you have already established a working relationship, and who know your talents and capabilities. A mentor can also help you to craft an effective research proposal that is well-aligned with the standards of your discipline.
How to Choose a Graduate School
Below are some questions to ask yourself in order to make an informed decision. At the end of the day, think about what makes the most sense for YOU.
- What are your research interests?
- Are these research interests specific to a single discipline, or are they interdisciplinary?
- Would you be more comfortable in a large graduate program/school, or a small one?
- What information is available on the graduate program’s website?
- Who are your potential supervisors?
- What is the length of the program?
- How much does it cost? What funding do they offer?
- Is there a residency requirement? Where is the university located, and where would you like to live?
- Are there recent graduates that you can talk to about their experience?
Gather as much research as possible and consider your personal values.
Preparing To Apply
Typical graduate school applications consist of:
- Application form
- Application fee
- Official transcripts from STU
- Letter of intent/cover letter/research proposal
- Sample of your writing
- Reference letters
- Curriculum vitae
Pay attention to deadlines! Funding deadlines and application deadlines often differ. We recommend you keep a detailed spreadsheet of programs and deadlines to keep yourself organized.
The Writing Centre at STU can help you strengthen your writing skills to help improve your letters of intent.
Asking for References
Consider who would be a positive reference for you that will benefit your application:
- Does the program ask for academic and/or non-academic references?
- Have you established a good working relationship with this person?
- Is this person in a position to supply you with a positive reference (I.e., did you do well in their courses, do they know your strengths)?
- Give potential referees at least one month's notice to write you a genuine and personalized letter.
- Arrange a meeting with your referee and provide all required information such as: why you are applying for this particular program, what is the deadline for references to be submitted, links to application portals, and a copy of your application letter or CV (Curriculum Vitae).
It’s important to note that each program may have its own requirements, therefore the information provided here is a general overview.