Consider Graduate/ Professional School

Career Services can help you clarify goals for pursuing a graduate/professional degree, identify programs and assist you in the application process.

Researching Programs

Here are some steps that can help guide you through your graduate/ professional school research process.

  • Talk to UNL faculty in your interest area about their training, research and publications.
  • Clarify the specific area in which you hope to earn your advanced degree
  • Research faculty in each program and their areas of specialty including research interests and projects
  • Contact admissions representatives to learn about programs, requirements, and costs
  • Consider geographic location, population, housing, cost of living, and cultural and social opportunities
  • If possible, communicate with students or alumni in the program to ask about their experience
  • Visit the individual campuses if possible and meet with faculty and current students

Preparing to Apply

Application process can differ among universities. Identify application processes and deadlines for each institution. Common elements of the application include application forms, fees, admission tests, resume/CV, personal statement/essay, recommendation letters, and admission interviews.

Academic resumes or curriculum vitae (CV) highlight your academic achievements, campus involvement, leadership and relevant experience and differ from ones used for jobs or internships. UNL Graduate Studies provides more information on academic resumes. Possible headings for an academic resume include:

  • Education
  • Academic Honors
  • Awards and Scholarships
  • Study Abroad Experience
  • Honors Thesis
  • Research Experience
  • Language Skills
  • Internships
  • Volunteer Experience
  • Campus Activities
  • Leadership
  • Work Experience

An essay, personal statement or answers to specific questions may be required as part of the application. The purpose is to evaluate your written communication skills, motivation and commitment for entering a particular field as well as your ability to succeed academically and professionally. When developing your essay or personal statement:

  • Adhere to length, organization and content instructions.
  • Identify your main message and focus on that throughout the essay.
  • Make your main point early and support it using specific examples.
  • Tailor each essay for its intended institution and program.
  • Seek feedback from faculty, academic advisers and Career Services.

Graduate schools usually require multiple letters of recommendation from past employers or university faculty. Choose people who can accurately assess your abilities in relation to the graduate program you plan to pursue. Approach them in a professional manner with a generous amount of time, your most recent resume and information on how to submit the recommendation.

Some graduate and professional programs, require an admissions interview. To gain valuable practice and feedback, schedule a mock interview with Career Services through MyPLAN. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your admissions interview:

  • Research each program and institution thoroughly and tailor your answers. Evaluate your interests, skills, experience and strengths/weaknesses.
  • Be prepared to indicate why you are interested in a specific program/institution.
  • Talk with current or recent students from that program to learn what to expect including format and questions. Student Doctor Network includes an interview feedback section to review ratings and questions supplied by students who interviewed for health programs.
  • Review your application, resume and personal statement prior to the interview so that you are prepared to answer questions about them.
  • Dress professionally for the interview and bring a list of questions to ask about the program.
  • Interview Stream is an online video interview tool that includes questions to simulate medical and other admissions interviews, respond to pre-recorded questions and practice both verbal and non-verbal communication skills via webcam.