UVU students prepare for graduate studies through faculty-led workshops

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UVU’s communication department commenced their ongoing grad-school workshop on Jan. 22. The event was the first in a series of monthly workshops designed to help students throughout the application process for graduate school. 

“We’re here to create a space to discuss the mythical beast that is grad school,” said Leandra Hernandez, an assistant professor in the communication department, to a room full of students contemplating graduate studies.

“With the new workshop series, we hope to demystify the graduate school process and experience by focusing on how to decide if graduate school is a good fit; how to research, select, and apply for programs; and how to both survive and thrive while being immersed in the graduate school process.” Communications Assistant Professor Leandra Hernandez.

Why should you apply?

Hernandez and Jessica Pauly, also an assistant professor in the department, directed the event, which was comprised of a panel discussion with five of the department faculty, as well as group mentoring sessions with students. The panel of professors each shared their personal experiences and individualized journeys to graduate studies. These stories laid the groundwork for many students to consider both why and how they should apply for graduate programs.

How do you pay for graduate school?

For many students, the tuition and costs associated with a master’s degree are a source of discouragement from applying for graduate programs. Many are unaware of funding opportunities available or do not understand how to apply for and obtain funding. However, most undergraduate students at the top of their programs qualify for grants, financial aid and fellowships to continue their education.

Each panelist stressed the importance of securing financial aid through both teaching and research assistantships. They explained that typically an assistantship involves teaching undergraduate classes in exchange for a tuition waiver and a yearly stipend. Students were also advised not to take on additional debt, if possible, for graduate school.

“If you learn nothing else from tonight, remember that you should be attending a good school that provides you funding to attend.” Stevie Munz in the workshop’s closing remarks.

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