What does the graduate school application involve?

Transcripts – Your transcript provides a valuable indication of your ability to succeed in a specific field of study.  

Admissions test scores – GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores. The GRE test measures verbal and quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills.

Letters of recommendation – Select three or four people (professors, advisors, or supervisors) who know your character and academic or professional work ethic and who can write positively on your behalf.

Work/Research Experience – Some graduate and many doctoral programs, specifically public health and education, require a certain length of work experience and/or research in their respective fields.

Statement of purpose – This is an essay about your commitment to pursue and complete graduate school. It should be well written and specific about your background and educational and professional goals.

  • Outline your educational and professional strengths 
  • Define your education and professional goals. Explain how you came to set those goals, how you will accomplish the goals and how you will use them in your profession. 
  • Draw from life experiences and professional experiences that are significant in your decision to return to school

How Can I Finance Graduate School?

Graduate school can be costly and should involve research into the types of financial assistance you might qualify for as you decide which graduate program is best for you. Several types of financial assistance are available to you including:

  • Native Forward Scholars Fund Opportunities
  • Tribal Scholarships
  • Tuition fee waivers
  • Teaching and graduate/research assistantships
  • Employer education programs
  • Federal and private loans
  • Scholarships (departmental, minority, etc.)
  • Fellowships


Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies. (2012). Getting in Tips for Students Applying to Graduate School [Booklet]. Washington University in St. Louis.

Petersons.com. A Guide for Potential Grad Student: Should You Go to Graduate School? Retrieved from https://www.petersons.com/blog/a-guide-for-potential-grad-students-should-you-go-to-graduate-school/