Graduate School Resources

Best Resources for Learning More About Graduate School

Faculty: Your teachers are your best sources of information when it comes to graduate programs. Professors know you. They know the field. They know which programs are good fits for Olin students and they have friends and colleagues at graduate programs where you might like to apply.

Other Students and Alumni: Olin alumni who are currently studying at or graduated from programs you’re interested in can share their perspective about the program. 

Choosing a School and Program

Once you have determined a career goal, look for programs with strong reputations in that particular field. While it’s good to pay attention to publications that rank schools as a whole, remember that these rankings can be based on the school’s overall reputation—not necessarily on the strength of the program that interests you. The best way to find programs suited to you is to research which schools suit your specific areas of interest.

  • Ask professors for their recommendations
  • Read journals in your field and discover who is writing articles that excite you and where the author teaches
  • Talk to alumni who recently attended your schools of interest and ask about their experience
  • Talk to career services at that school to learn where graduates find jobs and what type of work they are doing

There are many websites that are helpful in researching information on graduate school programs.

There are several websites that offer helpful materials for the GRE and GMAT exams which might be a required part of the graduate school application.

  • For starters, has a review of every GRE prep course offered nationwide, online or in-person
  • Kaplan and McGraw-Hill Education offer free online practice tests
  • PGP has several books, cds and other resources in our office.

Stop by CC 314 or contact Sally Phelps for more information.


Below are links to timelines to help you plan for applying to graduate school. Your first step should be to meet with both the graduate school and advisor and your academic advisor. Don’t worry if you haven’t completed every action item in the timeline. Your meetings with them will help you plan a course of action.

Letters of Recommendation

Keep in mind when asking a faculty member or former employer for a letter of recommendation, that they are busy people. Your first step is to ask early. When you ask, be sure that you ask the person if they can write you a good letter of recommendation. This way, they can say "no" if they do not feel strongly about writing you a letter. If the person agrees to write you a letter, make this process as easy as possible. Remind them how you know each other. If you had a class with that individual, tell them which semester and what your grade was in that class.

It is perfectly acceptable to remind your recommendation writer about projects you have done together, or areas where you have shown initiative. Tell the individual what information the school or job or internship is looking for. That way, they know which skills to best highlight. It is also helpful if you give your recommender a copy of your resume and personal statement (if applicable.) That way, they know your most recent experiences, and can speak to those accomplishments.