Graduate School

Consider continuing on to graduate school if . . .

  • You have just finished college and want to earn a graduate degree before being tied down to a job
  • You want smaller, more focused classes in your specific area of interest
  • You want to position yourself for expanded career opportunities
  • You need further education for certification or qualification purposes

Many graduate programs don’t require full-time residence but can be completed through a combination of distance learning and residence courses.

BJU Distance Learning Options

For information about BJU’s online learning options:

Graduating Student Checklist

Checklist for gaining employment and grad school acceptance before graduation

Researching Your Options

  • Talk with your pastor and mentors to get their recommendations
  • Conduct internet research of various schools and programs
  • Talk with alumni or other individuals in that field to find out the benefits of extending your education and obtaining another degree
  • Consider your career goals and research the specific requirements that need to be addressed in order to reach those goals
    • Career Central — Web-based job networking resource for BJU students/alumni and employers managed by Career Services
  • Look into other online resources for graduate school information like the Graduate Guide, GoGrad.org, or OnlineMastersPrograms.org 

General Timetable for Graduate School Acceptance

Graduate Admission Tests

Admission tests should be completed around 3 to 6 months prior to the application deadline. Make sure to give yourself ample time to submit results or even retake the test if necessary.

  • GRE — The Graduate Record Examination is one of the most common graduate admissions tests. OnlineMastersPrograms.org offers a free GRE test-prep guide.
  • GMAT — The Graduate Management Admission Test is commonly used for admission into an MBA program or other business-related graduate programs.
  • LSAT — The Law School Admission Test
    (7Sage–LSAT Prep Course & Resources)
  • MCAT — You can find a prep guide for the Medical College Admission Test at gograd.org.

The Princeton Review provides online review materials, including some free materials, available to students preparing to take graduate exams.

Statement of Purpose/Essay

This is one of the best ways to highlight yourself and explain why you would be a good fit for the program in which you are applying. Also, you are able to identify what you desire to learn and how your background and interests fit into the purpose of the program. Make sure you get several peers and mentors to check over this document, because it also serves as a writing sample for the admissions committee. It is critical to make sure you are clear and direct so that you can bring to light your qualities as a candidate. This resource from the Berkeley Graduate Division gives good tips on writing statements of purpose. If you need to complete your statement quickly, this article helps you to get off to a good start.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters from advisors, supervisors, and professors are often required in the graduate admissions process. Make sure you give your references plenty of time (usually about a month) to write the letter and get it sent to your school of interest. Typically, graduate schools require that the letters come directly to them from your reference. You will want to provide your references with information about the program, why you desire to be in the program, samples of your work, and a copy of your resume. This will help them personalize the letter and give it more substance.

Thank you notes should be sent as soon as possible to those that you enlist as references. This will show them that you value their time and will make them more willing to be a reference again in the future if needed. Once you have made your decision, make sure to share with your references where you will be attending graduate school and keep them updated on your progress. This will benefit your networking efforts and give you more possibilities when you finish graduate school and enter the job market.

Transcripts

Another general requirement of the graduate admissions process is providing an official transcript. You can order these from the Records Office and have them sent directly to the graduate school. If you are still an undergraduate when you apply to graduate school, have the Records Office send your incomplete transcript first, as close to the application deadline as possible. Then, you will want to follow up and have a copy of your final transcript sent after you complete your degree.

Specific Requirements

Check with the graduate school you are interested in attending for any specific requirements that they may have. This includes application fees, specific admission test requirements, and financial aid instructions. You may have to include a portfolio of your work, any published work or research you may have. You will probably want to make a copy of these materials for your record as well.

Pursuing BJU Graduate Assistantships

  • The Human Resources Office handles the hiring process for graduate assistantships.
  • The Records Office handles admission to graduate school. Current BJU students can complete the application on StudentCentral: Student > Program & Graduation > Graduate Approval Application.