Graduation is a little over a month away for students graduating in December. Most students already have jobs or job interviews lined up after graduation. However, other students feel staying in school is a better option.
According to a survey done by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) and the Graduate Record Examinations Board (GRE), schools surveyed received 1.88 million applications to graduate programs for the Fall 2011 semester. Nearly 1.73 million students were enrolled in graduate programs in 2011, 58 percent of those students were enrolled full time.
SFA enrolls approximately 1,590 graduate students each year. SFA offers 43 masters and three doctoral degrees in its six colleges. Theses include the college of liberal and applied arts, education, fine arts, sciences and mathematics, business and the college of forestry and agriculture.
Admission to SFA Graduate Programs
In order to apply for a graduate program at SFA, students must fill out the graduate school application on applytexas.org. There is a $25 application fee. Students must also submit transcripts from all previous universities. SFA does not have a minimum GRE (Graduate Record Examination) score requirement for admission. However, each department may require different scores. Certain departments will also require letters of recommendation. Students seeking a degree in business or accounting are required to take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Also, students whose native language is not English, must have a score of at least 550 on their Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). For detailed admission requirements for each school view the Graduate Bulletin.
The Overlap Program
SFA offers the “Overlap Program” for current students. The Overlap Program allows current undergraduate students to enroll in graduate classes along with their undergraduate classes. These classes are limited to 12 hours. In order to be eligible to participate in the program, SFA students must have at least 90 undergraduate credit hours and an overall GPA of 3.0. Students can also be eligible if they have a total of 115 undergraduate credit hours, a 2.5 overall GPA, and a GPA of 2.8 in their field of study.
SFA Graduate School Costs
The cost of tuition for a graduate student at SFA is approximately $2,730 for full time students (nine credit hours). Graduate students can apply for scholarships, grants, financial aid, work study programs and assistantships.
Universities across the country offer students opportunities to be Graduate Assistants (GA), Teaching Assistants (TA) and Research Assistants. Graduate students who participate in these programs will be employed by certain departments in universities. They are offered a stipend that varies depending on the department that they are employed under.
SFA offers Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships and Administrative Assistantships. TA’s are usually lab instructors in science courses or primary instructors in undergraduate classes. Research Assistants are employed by academic departments to be part of a certain research project. Administrative Assistants are employed by offices in the university and work with the administrative staff of certain departments. Full time graduate students employed by SFA are limited to working a total of 20 hours a week.
Graduate School Admissions Tests
Schools across the country require different tests for graduate school applicants. The most popular is the GRE. The GRE tests analytical writing, verbal reasoning and quantitative skills. The GRE can be taken either by computer or on paper. The computer based test is three hours and 45 minutes long and is made up of two verbal reasoning sections with 20 questions per section and two quantitative skills sections also containing 20 questions per section. The analytical writing part is made up of one section with two different timed writing tasks. The paper version of the GRE is three and a half hours long. It is made up of three sections. It is made up of two quantitative sections and two verbal reasoning sections; each section containing twenty-five questions. The analytical writing part is made up of two sections with one task in each section.
Business schools require prospective graduate students to take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). The GMAT is a timed test made up of four sections. The analytical writing assessment is 30 minutes long and consists of one topic. The integrated reasoning section is also 30 minutes long and consists of 12 questions. The quantitative section is made up of 37 data sufficiency and problem solving questions, and is an hour and 15 minutes long. The verbal section is made up of 41 reading comprehension, critical reasoning and sentence correction questions. It is also an hour and a half long.
Law schools require graduate applicants to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) . The LSAT is made up of analytical reasoning, logical reasoning and reading comprehension questions. The questions are multiple choice, with five thirty-five minute long sections. For some sample LSAT questions visit petersons.com.
Medical schools require the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). The MCAT is also a multiple choice exam that examines students’ problem solving, knowledge of science and critical thinking. It is made up of general chemistry questions, biology, verbal reasoning skills, and physical and biological sciences cognitive skills. For sample MCAT questions, and MCAT e-course and test prep visit mcatquestion.com.
Value of A Graduate Degree
Salaries of professionals with master’s degrees are higher than those with only a bachelor’s degree. According to a study done by Georgetown University college graduates with a masters degree make about 38 percent more than those with a bachelor’s degree. Business majors with a graduate degree made an average of $20,000 more in a year than those with a bachelor’s degree. Biology and Science majors with a master’s degree made an average of $35,000 more in one year than those with only a bachelor’s degree.
Additional Grad-School Information Websites