CPD hosts the graduate school fair

by Emma Demers | 10/6/16 12:30am

Yesterday over 85 institutions participated in the third annual Graduate and Professional School Fair, giving students the opportunity to meet with admissions representatives from many schools. Hosted by the Center for Professional Development in the Hopkins Center, the fair provides students exposure to graduate programs in the arts and sciences, medical schools, law schools, business schools and other educational opportunities. Representatives came from schools across the nation.

Past fairs have drawn 120 to 170 students. The CPD gives students a list of potential questions to ask admissions officers, as well as a list of possible questions that the officers may ask them in return.

“You don’t have to know now if you’re going to go to graduate school,” said project manager and CPD associate director Leslie Kingsley, encouraging students to take advantage of resources like the fair.

Kingsley and the other CPD advisors involved in the fair work to ensure that the schools present are those that are attractive to students. Medical schools and law schools were the most popular types of graduate programs represented at the fair, reflecting a high level of undergraduate student interest in both disciplines.

However, for some attendees, finding the right school proved to be a challenges. Physics major Sam Greydanus ’17 said he enjoyed talking to many school representatives but was hard-pressed to find schools representing the sciences.

“There was a lack of physics research,” he said. “Same for biology and chemistry to a certain degree.”

Every year, the CPD reaches out to a multitude of schools as well as to the Graduate Enrollment Professional Association to gather a group of the top schools in a variety of fields. Schools represented this year included Tufts University School of Medicine, the Rhode Island School of Design and New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

“We really look strategically at what are past behaviors of where people are going, where people are applying, what kind of programs they’re looking into,” Kingsley said.

According to Kingsley, less than 20 percent of Dartmouth undergraduates go directly into a graduate school program. However, a significant proportion of students eventually pursue a graduate degree, often after waiting five to seven years.

While the fair is a culmination of the CPD’s efforts to connect undergraduates with future education, it also offers the Dartmouth Graduate-Undergraduate Program, where an undergraduate student is paired with a graduate student in order to learn more about life in graduate school.

Kingsley hopes that students use the fair and the CPD to learn how to become a competitive applicant in the graduate and professional school pool.

“Graduate school becomes a much more narrowed focus for your future career trajectory and career aspirations,” she said, “so we want to give students that insight and clarity.”