SUU Sheds Light on the Transition to Graduate School 

Utah State University doctoral candidate Stephanie Crank spoke for a public seminar on graduate school preparation over Zoom Nov. 11.  Most of her advice was focused on preparing students who are still pursuing their undergraduate degrees for their future transitions to graduate programs. 

Crank is researching deception and decision making with the Utah State University Brain and Cognition Program. She has a Master of Science in applied psychology from Angelo State University and a Bachelor of Science in psychology and criminal justice from Southern Utah University. 

Crank shared her master’s and doctoral application curriculum vitae to illustrate the differences between the two. CV’s are similar to professional resume, but they focus on a person’s academic career and achievements.

“You need to find things you can stay excited about,” Crank said.

Crank spent a substantial portion of her presentation urging students to take advantage of SUU’s student resources while they’re still pursuing an undergraduate degree. She specifically recommended the Writing Center, Speech and Presentation Center, the Undergraduate Research and Scholarship program and the Community Engagement Center.

Crank also said students should involve themselves in the community where they’re studying to make living more comfortable and enjoyable. Volunteer opportunities are also useful for networking, she said.

“There are a lot of different volunteer opportunities that are going to match what you want to do,” Crank said.,” she said.  

During the question and answer portion of her presentation, Crank gave advice on how to structure personal statements, good networking habits for the COVID-19 pandemic and advice for underclassmen to start thinking about now.

“Self control is a learned skill,” Crank said.. “And it’s best learned early.”

Students should reach out to researchers they would like to work with and inquire how their data collection has been altered by the pandemic, Crank suggested. Starting a line of dialog over email is a safe way to network. 

After Crank’s portion of the seminar, she turned the time over to SUU’s Associate Director of Enrollment Management Jonathan Roberts, along with Community and Campus Outreach Associate Grace Walton and SUU Graduate Recruiter Lydia Nelson to answer attendee questions for the remainder of the seminar. 

Many questions directed at the Online Admissions Team were regarding SUU’s doctorate program in psychology, which Roberts said is currently under development. This is actually the first doctorate program that SUU has offered, and it is a research-driven degree focusing on mental health in Utah. 

Attendees also asked about Graduate Record Examinations and their necessity. Nelson said that standardized tests like the GRE are fading from many graduate programs, but that students should find out what the requirements for their specific programs are. 

Roberts gave attendees similar advice to Crank’s regarding networking with graduate program faculty. 

“You need to build relationships,” he said. “Take advantage of office hours, and things like that.”

A recording of the entire seminar is available on Youtube. Also, SUU’s Online Admissions Team are available to answer any questions students may have about transitioning to a graduate program, Roberts said.


Story by: Janzen Jorgensen