CGSR hosting workshops for graduate students


Graphic courtesy of Graduate Studies and Research

Madoline Plattenberg, Copy Editor

Students interested in attending graduate school can take advantage of a series of workshops to help them better understand the process of applying to programs – including the requirement of the Graduate Record Exam.

Northern Michigan University’s College of Graduate Studies and Research hosted a virtual workshop on Wednesday, Jan. 19. The workshop, “All about Graduate School – Planning, Applying, and Expectations”, was held on Zoom from noon to 1 p.m. The event featured a student speaker from the School of Health and Human Performance who briefly spoke about their experience with the application process. Heather Pickett, director of graduate enrollment and marketing, presented the workshop. 

Pickett covered application requirements, the application timeline, different ways to fund for school and general graduate school requirements. Students can expect to learn how to write a thesis, who will be on their thesis committee and how keeping yourself healthy and well is important during these stressful times, said Pickett. All students, undergraduate and graduate were encouraged to attend.

“It’s a really good idea to just get a little heads up of what to expect and to not be caught off guard with expectations they’ll be looking at for applications,” said Pickett. “Students who end up applying to graduate school ought to be thinking about it when they are juniors in their undergrad.”

Pickett encourages juniors wanting to get ahead to attend these workshops and suggests researching programs in advance to narrow down what type of program they want to do.

“If you don’t spend time kind of talking to people in those positions or faculty at those programs, then it’s hard to really get a sense of what they’d be really getting into,” said Pickett. 

Spending time talking to faculty and reaching out to programs is an important part of the narrowing process. If students might think they’d be interested in programs elsewhere, it will help in deciding which program to choose, said Pickett.

Students seeking help in other areas of the application process, such as the Graduate Record Examination, can attend free prep classes online. The GRE is required for prospective applicants for an academic masters or Ph.D.

The GRE covers three sections: an analytical writing assessment, a quantitative section and a verbal section. Andrew A. Poe, professor in the mathematics and computer science department holds these classes every Monday and Tuesday at 5 p.m. over Zoom. 

“A lot of schools don’t require it right now because of COVID. A number of schools are making GRE optional,” said Poe.

A lot of students are still interested in taking the exam despite it becoming optional for a number of schools due to COVID-19 restrictions, said Poe.

You don’t have to sign up. You just have to show up, you just come whenever you feel like coming and then we cover the entire GRE general test over the course of a semester,” said Poe. Students can get involved by contacting Poe at [email protected] for more information.

Poe recommends taking the GRE during a students’ third academic year when they feel comfortable and to have scores ready to go for when the application process starts. The exam spans roughly three hours long. Students can find more information on the GRE’s Website. 

Students who missed the event can find the recorded video on the CGSR Website. 

Contact Heather Pickett for more information or questions at [email protected] or 906-227-2538.