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Preparation for Graduate & Professional Study
Graduate Assistants


Preparation for Graduate & Professional Study

Graduate Study and College Teaching

The academic qualification for most positions in college teaching is possession of the master’s or doctor’s degree.  Teacher certification is not required.  The doctorate often is also the avenue to a career in research, education, or industry as well as to various executive responsibilities in management.

Usually the master’s degree requires at least one year of full-time study beyond the bachelor’s degree.  The doctorate requires at least three additional years.  Graduate study presupposes fundamental preparation in a special field as well as supplementary skills in foreign or computer language or statistics that should be acquired in the undergraduate program.

Students contemplating graduate study should become familiar with conventional procedures, the comparative merits of various institutions, and the availability of financial assistance.  Faculties and graduate schools tend to have particular strengths in special fields, with corresponding prestige for their graduates.  Fellowships, assistantships, and other types of appointments often are available to students who require financial assistance.  Information is available at the University or public library, on the Internet, in the bulletins of graduate schools, in the annual Directory of Graduate Programs published by the Educational Testing Service, and in the annual Peterson’s Guide to Graduate and Professional Programs.  Early in their senior year students should contact selected graduate schools to obtain applications for admission and financial aid and other pertinent information.  Most graduate schools now have online applications.

Early and sustained consultation with John Carroll faculty members will be most helpful in planning graduate study.  Faculty may assist in submission of applications for admission to graduate study or graduate appointments.  Credentials commonly must be submitted during the late fall and early spring semesters, and selections are ordinarily announced about mid-spring.

Undergraduate preparation generally requires a full major in the chosen field.  Quality of achievement as evidenced by grades is an important index to probable success in graduate study.  Undergraduate transcripts are required and examined by the graduate school for both admission and appointments.  Another common expectation is good performance on an examination, which should be taken as early in the senior year as necessary to submit test scores by the date designated by each graduate school.  Students must determine whether a particular graduate school requires the Graduate Record Examination General (Aptitude) Test or Subject (Advanced) Test or both.  Other tests such as the GMAT or the Miller Analogies Test may also be required.  Information about testing dates and locations may be obtained at the College of Arts and Sciences website:  www.jcu.edu/graduate/future/exams.htm.

Students must take the initiative in seeking advice and obtaining application forms, meeting requirements, and enlisting recommendations.  The dean and the faculty of the major department, however, are ready to assist in any reasonable way to provide endorsement warranted by the student’s ability and achievement.

Professional Programs
Professions such as law, medicine, dentistry, and engineering ordinarily have two phases of schooling:  preprofessional and professional.  John Carroll cooperates with the students’ preprofessional schooling by offering programs of two, three, or four years’ length.  Although there is increasing preference within professions for candidates who have completed baccalaureate programs, students with exceptional academic records and personal development may enter some professional schools such as dentistry or optometry after two or three years of preprofessional education.  Students are urged in most cases to pursue programs leading to a bachelor’s degree.

Health Professions
Students pursuing full four-year degree programs as premedical or predental preparation normally earn the bachelor of science degree with a major in either biology, chemistry, or physics, but they are free to follow any degree program provided they complete the specific premedical or predental requirements.

Students should familiarize themselves with the general admission requirements of the profession which they aspire to enter in addition to those specific to the schools of their choice.  The coordinator of Pre-Health Professions Studies, Dr. Gwendolyn Kinebrew of the Biology Department (gkinegrew@jcu.edu), is available for individual advising.  In addition, general meetings are held each year to provide information for each class level.  Faculty advisors in the biological and physical sciences are also available to act in an educational and advising capacity.  Students are encouraged to avail themselves of these resources.

The Health Professions Advisory Committee is the University agent which recommends students to medical, dental, and other healthcare professional schools.  The committee, rather than individual faculty members, issues letters of recommendation, which are based not only on academic performance but also on factors such as integrity, industry, maturity, judgment, and social development.

Post-baccalaureate students who have not received their undergraduate degree from John Carroll may use the Health Professions Advisory Committee as the source of their letter of recommendation if they so choose.  Normally such students should have completed 24 semester hours of course work at John Carroll, which may include the semester in which they interview before the committee. 

Current admission practices of health professional schools suggest student qualifications considerably higher than the minimum C average required for graduation.  Therefore, normally a letter of evaluation will be written to these schools only for applicants who have attained a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 overall and 3.0 in science courses (biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics).


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