Event held for prospective grad students

Held in the Great Hall of Coffman Union, Graduate and Professional School Day showcased various schools.

Mike Rose

Some University students love college life so much that they don’t want to be finished after receiving their undergraduate degrees.

For those collegiately inclined individuals, the 2007 Graduate and Professional School Day provided a plethora of possibilities for future studies.

One hundred and six different graduate and professional programs converged in Coffman Union’s Great Hall Wednesday for the event. An estimated 900 students attended, said Lisa Murphy Filhart, the lead event coordinator.

While the University had a number of representatives, many more came from colleges across the country. One college from the United Kingdom even made a trip across the pond.

Students who attended were able to chat with representatives from various colleges about all aspects of graduate school life. A wide variety of programs were showcased, including a large contingent of law schools.

Two workshops were also held to help students learn more about the graduate school application process and about funding graduate school.

Filhart, who works in the University Career and Community Learning Center, said the event was open to both students who knew what they wanted to do and those who were just beginning to consider graduate school.

“Students are gearing up, they’re starting to look at graduation,” Filhart said. “Really, we’re trying to educate students.”

Liz Hruska, a coordinator for the CCLC, said the funding workshop would provide information on how to receive loans and how to do the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is open to graduate students as well as undergraduates.

Angie Schmidt Whitney, who also works in the CCLC, said the application workshop showed students what graduate programs look for on applications. She said overall the event provided a good way for hands-on experience.

“You can ask direct questions (to schools) that you may not always get on the Web,” she said.

Representatives from the University of Stirling came from Scotland for the second straight year.

Jo Hagerty, study abroad adviser from Stirling, said her school had a new international strategy. Hagerty said many students are drawn to Scottish schools because they have one-year Master’s programs as well as elite professors.

“Scottish degrees are recognized internationally for quality,” she said.

There was also a lone theology and seminary graduate program represented.

St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., was the only holdover from last year, when three similar programs were represented, Brendon Duffy, admissions director for St. John’s School of Theology, said.

He said University students tend to have a broad and diverse background that makes them ideal for the program.

“The students we’ve had from the ‘U’ have been really well prepared,” Duffy said.

Another unique program on display was a Peace Corps graduate program.

Brian Green, regional recruiter for the Peace Corps, said students can sign up for a graduate program in natural resources science and management that incorporates a 27-month Peace Corps stint.

“Every fair we have, there’s always a ton of ‘U of M’ interest,” he said. “I’m excited about this.”

Many students said they were looking to narrow down their options and find schools that fit them well.

Janey Hsu, a chemistry senior, said she was looking at a variety of programs, including those in the health field. She said she was interested in schools that took more than just grades into account when reviewing applicants.

“I would be looking for a school that is most flexible about student differences,” she said.

Some students came from other Minnesota colleges, like Adam Spitler, a senior at Northwestern College in Roseville.

The Wisconsin native said he saw advertisements for the event on his campus and wanted to check out law schools.

“I’d like to stay near home, but if away is better, I’ll go there,” Spitler said.

Jordan Koch, a biology and computer science senior at Hamline University in St. Paul, said he heard about the event because he’s also enrolled in the University’s College of Continuing Education.

“I wasn’t quite sure what schools would best fit my interests,” he said, “so going around to different schools really opened my eyes.”

University statistics show

35 percent of students enrolled at the Twin Cities University campus this semester are in either a graduate or professional program. This is roughly equal to numbers from a year ago, but up 7 percent from fall 2000.

University graduate school tuition for 2007-2008 is $4,870.00 per semester for full-time students. However, some programs, such as Law School or the Carlson School of

Management’s Master of Business Administration programs can cost more than $10,000 per semester.