Graduate and Professional School Planning

VOCA Counselors can help you:

  • Research graduate programs and talk through the factors you should consider when choosing a school
  • Review personal statements and essays for admission
  • Prepare for your graduate school interview or Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) for med and vet school
  • Explore ways to finance an advanced degree

What you need to apply:

Every graduate school has some kind of admission requirements. These may include an application fee, admission tests, transcripts, a minimum GPA, letters of recommendation, essays or personal statements, an interview and a resume or work history. Most schools also have deadline dates for receipt of applications; pay attention to these dates. 

Entrance Exams

The more poplular entrance exams include, GRE (Graduate Record Exam),  GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test), LSAT (Law School Admissions Test), MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test). The VOCA office has test prep books that can be borrowed.


The Registrar's Office is the only office on campus that can forward your transcript to a graduate school. You must submit a transcript request form; the cost is $5.00.  For information call 585-567-9350 or email

Letter of Recommendation

Most graduate schools require 2-3 letters of recommendation. Faculty letters typically carry the most weight. It is important to ask a professor for a letter of recommendation when you are still in school or shortly after graduating, so they can recall your performance in the classroom. Be sure to give a resume and your application essay to aid them in writing a thorough recommendation. Write thank-you letters to anyone who writes a letter of recommendation for you.

Application Essay

Essay requirements vary considerably, but essentially, the application essay is a statement of your goals. It should be clear and definitive, indicating that you have a sense of what you want to do and you are enthusiastic about the field of study you have chosen. Your essay should reflect the following:

  • Personal goals, motivation, and commitment to the field of study
  • Writing ability
  • Unique voice or perspective
  • Research and work experience
  • Educational background
  • Reasons for wanting to attend the particular graduate school
  • Expectations of the program and career opportunities