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Preparing for Graduate School

The following steps will help you begin the process of preparing for Graduate School. Good luck.

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  • Step 1   Take Challenging Courses in an Area of Interest

    • Explore your interests by taking undergraduate or graduate courses that contribute to your overall knowledge of an area and challenge you to think critically. 

  • Step 2   Conduct Research

    • Participating in research projects provides students a valuable opportunity to learn more about a program of interest as well as get to know a faculty member in a non-classroom environment who can also provide useful career contacts and information. 

  • Step 3   Participate in Internships

    • Internships provide students an opportunity to learn more about a subject of interest and get to know contacts in the field.

  • Step 4   Research Schools and Programs

    • After deciding to attend graduate school, you should begin doing research on schools and programs that might be of interest to you. You can visit a school's website directly or check out website guides that will give you insight to several schools and their programs. 

  • Step 5   What about funding?

    • There are many sources of financial support for graduate study. Graduate programs often (but not always) pay for a student's tuition, fees, professional memberships, and travel to professional meetings. Make sure you understand what will and will not be covered by the graduate institution. The basic forms of financial support for graduate students are fellowships, assistantships, tuition remission, and health insurance. Loans and external fellowships are also available.

      Fellowships are very competitive but are also very prestigious. They do not require service, such as teaching, in return for funding, but some external fellowships may have payback requirements. Fellowships can be externally funded or funded by your institution. Graduate students often have assistantships in their graduate program or department. These appointments offer opportunities for students to engage in research, teaching, and other projects during their graduate study.

      To find out more about UCF financial assistance opportunities, visit Funding. For student loans and other funding sources, you should also visit the Office of Student Financial Assistantance site at 

  • Step 6   Prepare for the GRE or GMAT

    • Prepare to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the General Management Admission Test (GMAT) by taking practice tests until you feel comfortable with the content, instructions, and item formats and until you believe you can score up to your ability. Visit or

      The Division of Continuing Education at UCF also helps students prepare for these important tests through various workshops and programs. Visit or call 407-882-TEST for more information.

  • Step 7   Apply to Graduate School

    • Each school's application process is different and programs vary in their requirements. Be sure to follow the instructions on your application.



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The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, master’s, specialist, and doctoral levels. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call (404) 679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of the University of Central Florida.

Please note the commission's expectation that contact occur only if there is evidence to support significant non-compliance with a requirement or standard. For other information about UCF’s SACSCOC accreditation, please contact the university's SACSCOC liaison in UCF's Office of Academic Affairs.

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