What do graduate schools look for when admitting students?

Most graduate programs are looking for applicants with strong academic standing who possess a wide range of personal characteristics, acquired skills and intellectual abilities. Specifically, the important characteristics are:

Personal Characteristics

  • Motivated and hardworking
  • Emotionally stable and mature
  • Capable of working well with others
  • Strong character and integrity
  • intellectually independent
  • Possess leadership ability

Acquired Skills

  • Research
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Computer

Intellectual Abilities

  • Creativity
  • Strong area of knowledge
  • Capable of analytical thought

To pursue a graduate degree, students should make a concerted effort to work closely with a faculty member, develop these specific skills and abilities (e.g., learn SPSS, take public speaking and writing courses), conduct their own independent research, and/or complete an undergraduate practicum.