As 90,000 fans united in a glorious sea of red and black this past weekend, I know the one thing that every upperclassman had on their mind was the ever-exciting idea of grad school.

Kidding, of course.

Whether your motives for attending grad school are similar to Elle Woods’, a case of avoiding the real world for as long as possible, or actually career-driven, the time to begin the planning process is now. Many application deadlines for a fall 2011 start can be as early as November. Likewise, just as undergraduate applications required an SAT or ACT score, graduate and professional school applications require a submission of a standardized test score specific to the program you are applying for- meaning you’ll need to factor in time to prepare and take the test!

While the application process may seem daunting itself, there are plenty of resources at UGA to assist you in your endeavors. The Career Center has planned a few events over the course of the year to educate you about such programs as well as relay information about applying to graduate and professional schools in general. Through these programs, we hope to empower students with the knowledge to get into the program that is best for them. Here are a couple of upcoming events:

Graduate School Workshop Series –Wednesday, September 8th – 1:00-4:00pm – TATE Grand Hall

Workshop 1: Graduate School Overview (1:00-1:45pm) A brief synopsis of searching for programs, finding ways to pay for school, etc.

Workshop 2: Get the Right One (2:00-2:45pm) Selecting the best program for you!

Workshop 3: Admission Essays & Interviewing for Programs (3:00-3:45pm) Essay writing and interviewing tips from people who have been through the process!

Resource Fair: (1:00-4:00pm) Learn about departments and opportunities with awesome resources to help you with this process!

Graduate School Fair – Wednesday, October 20th – 10:00-2:00pm – TATE Grand Hall

Admissions representatives from across the country will be here to answer your questions and provide more information about their graduate and professional school programs.

So what if you aren’t sure yet?

I have personally been contemplating the idea of grad school for quite some time now. While I know a Master’s Degree could provide access to a better range of job opportunities, the idea of being in school for an extra few years AND walking away with thousands of dollars of student loans is slightly repulsing. Before making the time and monetary commitments to attend grad school, I have met with professionals in my field of interest to discuss the necessity of a Master’s Degree.  In my case, the real-world experience gained over a two-year period in the Public Relations field far outweighs having a Master’s Degree right out of school. While this is not always the case, it proves that doing your research can ensure you make the right investment.

If there’s even a chance that graduate school could be in your future, attend the Graduate School Workshop Series. The information you learn will help you make a wise decision that you won’t regret!