Graduate School Resources

It is very common for students in cognitive science to pursue study at the graduate level. Below is information about graduate study in cognitive science as well as information on finding graduate programs, degrees, entrance exams, application tips, financial aid, and much more.


Finding Graduate Programs Made Easy

The first step in planning your graduate education is locating the programs that are in line with your interests and goals. Several factors play into this decision including location, cost, research opportunities, and other aspects that make programs unique.

At first, locating the right graduate programs for you may seem difficult and maybe even impossible. While the field is definitely growing, the current list of cognitive science programs is short to grasp. The iCogSci website contains several features that make this process easier. We have compiled a comprehensive list of Cognitive Science Programs and we have also developed a Program Search feature that allows visitors to search by program name, degrees offered, location, keywords, and CogSci discipline. For information on a particular program, you can browse through our program profiles. Here you will find information on location, degrees, research themes, and faculty at various programs and departments across the nation.



Taking the Anxiety out of Entrance Exams

Most graduate schools require prospective students to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). This test is intended to measure critical thinking, analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are not related to any specific field of study. For some, standardized tests like the GRE do not pose any real threat, but for others, studying and test day can evoke high amounts of fear and anxiety. Below is a list of resources that are designed to help students prepare effectively for the GRE as well as reduce overall test anxiety:

  GRE.org - The official site for the GRE general and subject tests provided by Educational Testing Services. Provides information on test dates, test centers, registration, and study materials.

  Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions - With nearly 70 years of experience, Kaplan is the world leader in test prep and has helped more than 3 million students prepare to take the tests necessary to achieve their education and career goals. Kaplan offers complete preparation for entrance exams for secondary school, college, graduate school as well as English language and professional licensing exams.

  Princeton Review - Princeton Review is a leading publisher of print and online study aids and practice exams for various college and graduate entrance exams. Visitors can also take a free, full-length GRE practice exam online. Princeton review is also popular for their college and university rankings that are released annually.

  Test Masters - Test Masters offers professional test preparation services for a variety of exams, including the GRE, GMAT, and LSAT. Over 63,000 students have taken Test Masters courses from all across the country.

  Barrons GRE Materials - Barrons publishes a series of popular GRE preparation books with companion CDs that contain information about study skills, sample questions, and practice exams. These books can be found at any major book retailers.


Paying For Your Graduate Education

The hard truth is that graduate school costs money, and often a lot of it. While many graduate programs have funds to provide full-time graduate students with fellowships and teaching and research assistantships, this is not a universal standard. Even with the tuition and fee remission that most graduate schools offer, the financial burden on the student can be daunting. A number of resources are available to help grad students pay for their education, including government and private grants, fellowships, scholarships, and student loans. Below is a list of valuable resources for managing the cost of graduate school:

  Federal Student Aid - An office of the U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid plays a central and essential role in America's college and graduate education community. The U.S. government has distributed over #390 billion in student loans and grants, and the budget increases each year. The FAS site has information about grants, loans, and work-study options. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is also available from this site. over

  Sallie Mae - Sallie Mae is one of the nation's largest student loan distributors. Sallie Mae distributes federal loans including Stafford and Perkins Loans that are guaranteed by the U.S. government under the federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). Sallie Mae also offers private student loans.

  FinAid! - FinAid! is a web guide to student financial aid, including information on scholarships, loans, savings, and military aid. This site provides information about loan applications, financial calculators and answers to frequently asked aid questions.

  Princeton Review Scholarships and Aid - Provides valuable information about scholarships, loans, and other options including various financial calculators, a scholarship search, and advice center.

  Other Resources:
Grants.gov
Scholarships.com
FAFSA Application
Peterson's Financial Aid



Selling Yourself: Writing Effective Applications and Curriculum Vitae

When applying for graduate school, it may seem hard to summarize four or more years of undergraduate education into a few pages. Applications are designed to give admissions committees a broad picture of an applicant's background and potential, but these questions give little room for personal expression. The personal statement, however, gives the applicant a chance to convince and persuade faculty to offer admission. An equally important document is the curriculum vitae. A CV is the best chance for an applicant to document years of undergraduate writing, research, and other academic involvement. Writing effective personal statements and CVs is an important way to increase your graduate school and future career options. Below is a list of resources to help with writing effective application materials.

Personal Statements:
 
Indiana University Writing Tutorial Services - Steps for writing stronger personal statements and application letters

  American Psychological Association - Contains various information about graduate admissions and the application process. APA also publishes GradPsych a magazine for graduate psychology students.

  Purdue University Online Writing Lab - Tips and information about writing personal statements

  University of Toronto - How to write an effective admission letter


Curriculum Vitae:
 
Questions and Answers by Encyclopedia.com - How do you write a good cover letter?

  Quintessential Careers - Preparing a Curriculum Vitae (CV) by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.

  University of North Florida Career Development Center - Curriculum Vitae and Related letters

  Ask Faculty - Faculty and graduate students have a lot of experience with preparing CVs. It is a good idea to ask this individuals for advice and feedback as you write your CV. It may also be useful to view faculty CVs that are often available on faculty or department websites.


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