Preparing for a Doctoral Program

Once you have made the decision that graduate school is the right step for you, it is a smart idea to begin your preparation early in order to better your chances for acceptance.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Work at getting good grades as most graduate schools strongly consider your transcripts for admittance.
  • If you are going into a professional doctoral program (J.D., M.D. D.P.T., O.D., D.D.M, D.D.S, etc.), visit a pre-professional faculty advisor at Fresno State. A list of contact information can be found here.
  • Visit the websites of your top graduate school programs to ensure you are taking the needed prerequisites for admission. Review the “Research Graduate Programs” section on this website for websites with a comprehensive directory of college and university catalogues.
  • Work to develop your writing skills and research techniques as these will be valuable resources.
  • Speak with professors who teach and have experience in the field in which you are interested and ask for advice.
  • Set up an informational interview with people who are in the field in which you are interested. Learn from them about the current trends as well as what skills are required in their profession.
  • Apply for internships or research opportunities in order to gain experience in the field.
  • Review graduate school directories and catalogs available on the internet or in Career Development Center.
  • Get information on the required entrance exam for your program (e.g. GRE general test, GRE subject tests (if it applies to your program), LSAT, MCAT, etc.)

REMEMBER: There are career counselors ready to help and the Career Development Center office is an excellent place to begin collecting information.