Determine whether you plan to pursue a graduate degree and learn about key steps to take before and during the application process.

Research Graduate Schools

There are many factors to consider when deciding which graduate programs to apply to. Conduct thorough research on Graduate Schools of interest to aid in your decision making process.



Visit Graduate Schools

Visiting graduate schools can be instrumental in your final decision on where to attend.





Office of Pre-Professional Advising

Furman offers specialized advisors in the Office of Pre-Professional Advising for students interested in pursuing careers in healthcare and in law. Students will receive general advising, assistance with graduate applications and gaining experience, and access to specialized resources.

General Application Timelines

Junior Year:

  • Research areas of interest
  • Discuss with your faculty advisor
  • Register and prepare for appropriate admissions tests
  • Take required tests
  • Research specific schools
  • Draft your personal statement and resume
  • Register for a centralized application service, if applicable (i.e. AMCAS-Medical School)

Senior Year:

  • Obtain letters of recommendation
  • Take or retake admissions tests
  • Send in completed applications
  • Fill out your FAFSA for Financial Aid
  • Check with institutions prior to the deadline to make sure your file is complete
  • Visit institutions that accept you
  • Select a program and notify others if you will not be attending


Standardized Testing

The majority of graduate programs will require a standardized test. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is the most common. However, some programs have specific tests related to a profession or field of study. Test structure, timelines, costs, and scheduling vary. Be sure to do your research!

Examples of Specialized Program Exams:

  • Allopathic Medicine (M.D.): MCAT
  • Dentistry: DAT
  • Osteopathic Medicine (D.O): MCAT
  • Pharmacy: PCAT
  • Law School: LSAT
  • Business (usually MBA programs): GMAT
  • Optometry: OAT

More information on specialized test preparation, study guides, and practice tests.

Useful Test Prep & Resources:

Personal Statements

A personal statement is your chance to provide your application with your authentic voice and personality. The statement typically answers why you are interested in a particular field and what experiences you have that are relevant. A personal statement can take a few months to create and revise, so start early!

Curriculum Vitae

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a special type of resume that is traditionally used within the academic and scientific research communities. Degrees, teaching and research experience, publications, presentations, and related activities are typically featured. At the undergraduate level, CVs are not much different than a resume. If asked for a CV, tailor your resume accordingly to showcase applicable academic accomplishments.


Recommendations are a critical part of graduate school applications. Faculty can attest first-hand to your academic discipline and enthusiasm. A positive recommendation can put a stamp of approval on your application that will make all the difference. It is critical to approach your professors early and professionally so they have enough time to write you a letter.


Make sure to ask about grants, scholarships, and loans to help you pay for school. Some programs also offer assistantships (graduate assistant positions) that will help fund your tuition. Ask programs directly about funding opportunities as not all information is posted online. When searching for programs, use keywords to help you. For example, when looking for funded masters programs, search for your program title in Google with “assistantship” in quotes or ‘fully funded” in quotes for PhD programs.

Graduate students also have the option of applying for student loans. Always be conscious of the amount of money you are borrowing–it all needs be paid back (plus interest). Talk frequently with financial aid professionals at your chosen school to discuss what’s right for you. Below are some websites where you can research scholarships available to graduate students:

Scholarship Search Engines for Graduate Study: