Applying to Graduate School

Applying to Graduate School

Applications will be different for most schools.  Most importantly, you should adhere to deadlines and make sure that everything is filled out properly and that anything asked for is provided.  Remember that your application is a representative profile of you. The Purdue Online Writing Lab offers excellent advice, tips, and samples for all your writing purposes.

The top-ranked credentials (in no particular order) needed for graduate school applications are:

  • The Statement of Purpose, also known as the admission essay, is an important part of your application; it is used to tell the admissions committee who you are, what has influenced your career path so far, your professional interests, and where you plan to go from here. Additional guidance for a statement of purpose.
  • GRE (or other required tests) scores.
  • Academic achievements/experience
  • Undergraduate GPA (major and cumulative)

Graduate Record Examination (GRE):  Most graduate schools require the General Test and many require the Subject Test.  The GRE General Test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and critical thinking, and analytical writing skills.  The GRE Subject Tests gauge undergraduate achievement in 8 specific fields of study.

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT):  The GMAT is required for most students seeking an MBA degree.  The GMAT exam measures basic verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills that you have developed in your education and work.

Law School Admission Test (LSAT):  The Law School Admission Test is a half-day standardized test required for admission to LSAC-member law schools, most Canadian law schools, and many non-ABA-approved law schools.  It provides a standard measure of acquired reading and verbal reasoning skills that law schools can use as one of several factors in assessing applicants.

Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT):  Almost all U.S. medical schools require applicants to submit MCAT scores.  Medical college admission committees consider MCAT scores as part of their admission decision process.  The MCAT measures abilities in chemistry, physics, biology, reading, and quantitative and analytical skills.  There is one test in the Fall and one in the Spring.  Applicants are encouraged to take the MCAT 18 months before entering medical school.

Dental Admission Test (DAT): Required by all dental schools in the U.S. You may download a copy of the DAT guide and register to take the exam at this site. The Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) lets you apply to 56 participating dental schools with one online application.

Miller Analogies Test (MAT):  Currently unavailable here at UMaine Machias until the coronoavirus has resolved. The MAT uses verbal analogies to test reasoning ability.  Some graduate schools will accept the MAT in lieu of the GRE.  The MAT is administered here at UMaine Machias.  If you wish to make arrangements to take the MAT once the coronavirus has resolved and the campus has reopened, you may contact

Financial Aid

Financial Aid comes in many forms.  Some examples are:

  • Fellowships and Grants:  Awards based on scholastic merit.
  • Assistantships:  A stipend or tuition assistance given in exchange for 10-20 hours of work.
  • Resident Assistantships:  Working in resident halls for benefits.
  • Educational Loans:  Based on financial need, loans are available such as Perkins and Stafford.
  • Employer Assistance:  Some employers offer full or partial tuition reimbursement for employees who continue their education.
  • Scholarships:  Awards based on scholastic merit and/or financial need.  Fast Web and offer the largest and most complete sources of scholarships available.


The American Museum of Natural History has a new Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program with a focus on teaching earth science. Full-time, paid program beginning in June 2012.

American Psychological Association: Scholarships, Grants, and Awards.

NBCC Foundation Program: Rural and Military Scholarships for individuals pursuing careers in professional counseling.

The NORTHEAST AQUATIC PLANT MANAGEMENT SOCIETY is offering scholarships to students who are, or may be interested in, pursuing a degree in Aquatic Plant Management.

The National Science Foundation awards fellowships to outstanding students in various NSF-supported fields.

NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fellowships

NASA related internships, fellowships, and scholarships.

Help is available but you need to research and apply early!

Graduate School Timeline

Ideally, you should begin the process one year in advance–Junior Year!

It is a good idea to have your applications in by November or December of your senior year, but pay attention to deadlines because they are different for every University.