The Grad School Tango: A Personal Take on Steps Towards Grad School Education

Hey everyone!

I’m Mike, and I’ll be chiming in every once in a while about my graduate school search and application process. I’m a senior with majors in Exercise Science and Biology. I am looking at graduate school programs in Biomechanics, Motor Control, and Kinesiology looking to apply research in these fields to dance.

Leading up to my senior year, the two most important things I’ve done to prepare my application are (1) get involved in research and (2) get involved in a professional organization. I started in the research field by applying for Summer Scholars in the Exercise Science department. I learned so much working with the graduate students both about the field and about how research in general runs. Through my discussions with other researchers in the dance science field, I found out about the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science. This is exactly what I want to do! Haha. I attended their conference in Washington, D.C. last fall and loved it. This year, I applied to present my senior thesis research and got funding to attend the conference in Singapore! I just got back two weeks ago. It was incredible.

The graduate school search process for me started with asking my research advisor about schools he recommends. I also got a lot of tips from looking at where the papers I cited in my senior thesis research were written. This is how I found University of Southern California, which is my top choice right now! I got a lot of help with my application from a lot of different people. I talked with Robin Marks at the Career Services Center on how to write a Career Statement. I got letters of recommendation from my research advisor, one of my dance professors, and one of my biology professors. Thank goodness my roommate motivated me to take the GREs last summer with him so that I wouldn’t have to try to squeeze it in during the school year. My biggest tip for the application process is to ASK FOR HELP from A LOT OF PEOPLE! Hahaha.

Only one school has had their deadline already. The others I probably won’t be applying to until after the semester is over. I’ll let you know how things turn out and where this CareerMAP path takes me!

Thanks for listening!

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