Monday, March 6, 2017

What it takes to Graduate and even go on to Graduate School

Graduating college can prove to be difficult at times. But your education and future is worth the effort. So, here are a few tips we’ve learned about graduating on time and successfully at UMSL that we think could help you. Everything has been divided into sections based on when you need to take action.


Each Year of Undergrad

  • Get to know the DARS. This is how your advisers check to see if you're on track, and it will help you do the same.
  • Look up your degree sheet at the University Bulletin. This is very helpful when mapping out courses.
  • Schedule a meeting with your adviser for a checkup. To make sure you’re on track, schedule a check-in meeting once a semester, usually best when you're signing up for classes. ASK QUESTIONS. Take control of your own education.

Junior Year

  • Start meeting with UMSL Career Services. Meeting with them during your junior year gives you the opportunity to land one of those valuable summer internships before your senior year. However, you can meet with them even earlier to land internships or even jobs around campus.

Senior Year

First Semester

  • At your first semester advising meeting you should be filling out an “Intent to Graduate” form. Ask your adviser any questions you may have about commencement.
  • Check DARS. Check it again. Make sure that every course you need is planned for either this semester or the next one.
  • Check the commencement website for more questions you may have.
Second Semester

  • Check your contact information in MyView and make sure it is all correct so your diploma can be mailed to you post-graduation.
  • Register for your major field test if required for your major.
  • Sign up to participate in the commencement ceremony. You will need to go to the Triton Store during the Grad Kick-Off and purchase your cap, gown, and tassel.

Students who plan on attending Graduate School...

Junior Year

  • You should be looking for opportunities to bolster your future application even before this, but this is the time to jump for research, volunteer, and leadership opportunities when they come available. If you're not at all sure what you should be doing, request a meeting with one of the professors in your department.
  • Brush up your CV or resume making it easier to update for applications next year. Check in with both Career Services and a professor in your department should have more specific knowledge concerning what a graduate school is looking for in your field.
  • Begin writing your personal statement; have a faculty member review for you.
  • Check to see if your focus area requires a standardized test, such as the GRE, LSAT, or MCAT. Look into attending a workshop from UMSL to prepare.

Senior Year

First Semester

Many graduate school applications are due during the first part of December, so you should plan to have these steps done before then.
  • Take the standard test required for your desired postgraduate focus area. It may take 6-8 weeks to receive scores, so you'll want to take it at least 2 months before your applications are due.
  • Line up letters of recommendation for your applications. You'll generally need three, and it's polite to allow those writing your letter 2-3 months to finish them. Make sure you have their correct contact information for use on the applications.
  • Have your CV or resume completely up to date for use on the applications.
  • Request an unofficial transcript from UMSL Registrar’s office ($5 for email, $10 for paper). This is another requirement for most applications.

Second Semester
  • Attend your interviews and nail them!


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