This book provides college students with all the information and advice they need to apply successfully to graduate school. In chapters 1 to 4 several misconceptions about graduate school are revealed and dispelled, including the most common myth that one must have excellent grades to get in, and that excellent grades are all that one needs. Certain factors that can play an even bigger role than GPA in determining the fate of an application are discussed, and the reader discovers how the process of selecting applicants actually works in most graduate programs; it is not the way that most people think! Students with outstanding grades will discover why they need more than just their grades to get into grad school and succeed once there. These other requirements are explained, along with numerous tips and suggestions for making sure that one has it all when it comes time to apply. Chapters 5, 6 and 7 go step-by-step through all stages of the application process, focusing on ways to maximize the quality of each of the five main components of a graduate school application: 1) application forms, 2) transcripts, 3) letters of recommendation, 4) standardized tests, and 5) the personal statement. Pitfalls of the application process are revealed, and the reader is shown how to avoid many of the costly mistakes that most graduate-school applicants unwittingly make. The later chapters, beginning with chapter 8, discuss how to go beyond the basic application requirements and take extra steps to stand apart from the crowd. Included are such topics as making pre-application contact with a prospective supervisor, writing proper cover letters, and preparing for interviews. Many of the ideas outlined in these chapters do not occur to most students, but those who understand and incorporate them into a strategy for applying to graduate school are almost always successful. The final chapter examines ways that students may find the money they need for graduate school. Intended for students in most disciplines within the Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities, the book also contains valuable insight and advice for students of Engineering, or Fine Arts, and for those seeking a degree in Business, Law, or Medicine. The author is a university professor whose advice has helped countless of students get into graduate school. Research for the book included surveys and interviews with Admissions Committees and Faculty members of graduate programs across North America.
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Dave G. Mumby, Ph.D. graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1992. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Concordia University and a member of the Center for Studies in Behavioral Neurobiology (CSBN). He has supervised many graduate students over the past 15 years and has served on numerous graduate admissions committees at Concordia University. He is also an academic advisor for the Psychology Department and holds frequent workshops on applying to graduate school. From the author: Something that I hate having to do as part of my job is denying certain students entrance into our graduate programs. Many of the rejected students are probably great candidates and would likely succeed in graduate school, but they were unable to convey their true potential; essentially, they were unable to sell themselves. Don t let this happen to you. Regardless of whether you are just starting college or University or you are a few months away from application deadlines, if you are willing to put in the time and work, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of getting into graduate school. My advice, however, is not to wait until you are in your last year to start preparing for graduate school and as I emphasize in this book, many of the recommended steps take a good deal of time to implement. If you have weak grades and no notable and relevant accomplishments, then you should really consider reading this book and take a look at these useful on-line resources, where I write about the various requirements of applying to graduate school and I give lots of tips on how you can improve your chances of getting in: MyGraduateSchool.com & myGraduateSchool.wordpress.com If you don t think you have a realistic chance of getting into graduate school this year no matter what you do, consider it a blessing that you figured this out before you wasted your time and money and take advantage of all the advice in this book and other on-line resources that I mentioned to prepare for next year.Review:
So, are you content with your bachelor's degree -- or do you just think that you can't afford grad school? Perhaps you're convinced that your grades aren't up to par, or that you won't do well in a certain program. The application process seems too daunting, so you've decided to forego the opportunity to attend grad school, and roll the dice in the job market. Don't settle for that entry level job just yet; there's a book you should read before you make up your mind about postgraduate education.
Graduate School: Winning Strategies for Getting In, by Dave G. Mumby, was originally published in 1997. At that time it was one of the few books on the market that offered advice about applying to graduate school. Fast forward 15 years and we have the second edition. The title has been edited, the role of modern technology in the application process has been addressed, a few key sections have been added, and the book now works in tandem with the websiteMyGraduateSchool.com
However, one important element has not changed with this edition -- the content of the book remains an asset to undergraduate college or University students who are either currently planning to apply to graduate school or professional school, or who have not yet made that decision but eventually will.
Information is only as valuable as its source. Much of the advice and insight throughout the book comes from professors and faculty members, interpretations of other books that offer similar advice, and of course, Dave G. Mumby himself. As a professor at Concordia University, and a supervisor to undergraduate honours and graduate students in psychology, Mumby has direct experience with assisting students that decide to pursue or have pursued postgraduate education. Moreover, he is keen on what selection committees look for when evaluating potential grad students, because he has personally served on such committees.
Experience aside, Mumby's words come across in a calm and direct tone; it's a good lecture spliced with an in-depth conversation during office hours. There is a sense that he genuinely wants to help potential grad students. Several books that offer grad school advice have a chapter near the beginning about, why you shouldn't go to grad school. Instead, this book includes a section entitled, Find out what grad school is all about. In fact, that sentiment was the motivation for the introduction to this review. It's not often that you hear (or read) the phrase, grad school is more rewarding than most people think. It's education, romanticize it if you choose, but the point is that Mumby is helpful, honest, and positive. The positive part is especially refreshing.
Don't get too giddy, the book is just as much realistic as it is positive. You don't want a letter of recommendation from just any professor, regardless of whether you hold he/she in high esteem, or vice versa. You're good grades don't guarantee you'll be successful in grad school. Do you even understand how the application process works? And how can you afford grad school? All of these topics are covered. For example, chapter 11 covers;financing your graduate studies, and the entire fourth chapter is dedicated to a discussion about grades -- two common misconceptions are that one must have outstanding grades to get into grad school, and that outstanding grades are all one needs.
More of this review can be found at the on the GradShare blog
"I have recommended this book to my students because it is simply the best recourse out there for students interested in grad school" --Dr. David R. Brodbeck, Department of Psychology, Algoma University
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