Graduate school is becoming an ever more common and necessary stepping stone to long lasting and successful careers in our culture. Graduate degrees give students a chance to specialize and gain extra knowledge in a specific field, and in many cases they are required for advancement beyond middle level in a field.

The goal of this resource guide is to help current and prospective graduate students leverage the many powerful resources that are out there to achieve success in their pursuit of a graduate degree, helping them sort out things like financial aid, what publishing companies publish journals they should be reading or writing for, resources for finding niche journals and helping them determine what journals are good candidates for getting published, and how to balance graduate school and life successfully.

Financial Aid

  • Government Student Aid is a federal resource website devoted to informing students of all potential federal funds including loans and grants that might be available to them as they pursue their graduate degree.
  • FinAid covers the plethora of different types of available financial aid, from public and private loans, to every scholarship you can imagine. The website covers military aid as well. The website is exhaustive and allows students to create profiles, then selects scholarships for which they are eligible based on the profile.
  • Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions features everything from blog posts, to a video series on strategies for getting into grad school, to lists of potential scholarships and loans. Kaplan also features a guide to the FAFSA to ensure students they will get the most out of government aid.
  • New York State Government Financial Aid is a link included in the list as an example of available funding from the state level. Most states offer financial aid for residents in much the same manner as New York.
  • GradLoans is a site that offers students insights into how different loans work, interest rates and what loans might be available to potential grad students.
  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing is listed here as an example of a professional association/organization that offers members or future members scholarships and financial aid. Many associations show similar support for their members.
  • Mapping Your Future consists of many FAQs, to help students figure out exactly where they stand, and what decisions might be right for them. This is a particularly good resource for those that are still unsure whether or not a graduate degree is right for them.
  • The National Science Foundation’s fellowship program is an example of many such programs offered by organizations around the country. Fellowship programs are a common way for students to defray the cost of school.
  • Scholarships.com features in depth commentary on the scholarship potential of graduate students, what they can expect, and seek out in order to meet their financial aid needs.
  • Fastweb is one of the leading online scholarship databases in the world. The service is fast and informative, and it helps students access new opportunities every day.
  • Peterson’s has your best interests at heart, which makes this article very important. The linked article is full of valuable borrowing tips. Many students find themselves overwhelmed by debt when they graduate. Peterson’s wants to change that by making practical suggestions for borrowing, and that’s just the beginning, Peterson’s is full of great advice articles like this one on a wide array of topics.

Study, Writing, and Life

  • Test Prep Review is a website featuring extensive information, both general and specific, about studying for various exams, both those necessary for entrance into graduate school, and those graduate students most commonly encounter for licensing and entrance into specific programs.
  • American Psychological Association features many articles about how to prepare yourself for graduate school. This linked article on breaking bad habits that may have formed during a student’s undergraduate experience stands as an example of the type of content offered by the APA’s official website.
  • College Atlas features numerous articles providing students with tips on study methods, reading and writing, test preparation, time management, and memory techniques. The website features both general advice and subject specific tips.
  • APA Writing Style Guide is an important resource for graduate students entering the social sciences, as the APA style is the standard for those subjects. There are plenty of good general guides online, but students may also want to consider picking up the books available as they cover more information and can serve as a valuable reference.
  • Chicago Style Writing is an example of the kind of free online resources available on the different styles of writing. This particular link is to a guide on citing works in the Chicago style. Chicago style writing is used primarily by book authors and some journals.
  • Purdue Online Writing Lab Guide to MLA is primarily used by people writing research papers for classes, as well as being commonly used by writers in the humanities. MLA is rarely used when writing for scholarly journals or other academic publications.
  • GradSchools.com offers a useful guide about surviving graduate school. The categories covered include dealing with stress, advice on graduate thesis/dissertation, networking skills, building relationships with peers and professors, time management, and more.
  • 12 Tips for Surviving Grad School is an extensive article featuring the best strategies not just for surviving, but for thriving in the graduate school environment. The article covers the life of a student from a multitude of angles. Graduate students will benefit from these tips regardless of their area of study, as the tips are meant to be broadly applicable.
  • GRE Study Plan, provided by Happy Schools Blog, features 20 steps to successfully completing the GRE exam. The article features advice on avoiding common pitfalls, as well as actual tips for creating a study plan for success. The list looks not just at how, when, and how hard to study, but also gives planning strategies to help students know when to schedule the exam and more.

Academic Publishers, Journal Databases, and Publishing Resources

This section, instead of featuring specific academic journals, which would be of little use in a list intended for graduate students in general, features prominent academic publishers, databases, and resources devoted helping graduate students discern which publications their writing may fit.

  • American Medical Association is the primary publisher of medical and medicine related journals in the United States, and one of the most respected medical journal publishers in the world.
  • The National Academies Press is the publishing arm of the National Academy of the Sciences. The Academy publishes over 200 books per year, and is also responsible for disseminating the annual reports of the various academies included under the broad heading.
  • Sage publishes both open access and traditional journals. Sage is an independent publishing company that was founded in 1965 and has become one of the premier names in academic and professional publication.
  • Oxford University Press publishes in a wide range of countries and over 40 languages. The scope of Oxford University Press is more broad than many traditional academic presses. Target audiences of the OUP range from pre-school all the way up through post doc researchers and everything in between, including general readership.
  • Cabell’s Directories is a database of scholarly publications intended to help graduate students and academics identify the best publications for their works. The information provided includes helpful things such as acceptance rate, review process, writing style requirements and more.
  • Columbia University Press was founded in 1893 and is one of the oldest University Presses in the United States. The press has held to its tradition of focusing primarily on publishing original research in economics, science, history, and literature.
  • Wiley-Blackwell is one of the oldest publishing companies in the United States, started by Charles Wiley in 1814. The company has been committed to publishing quality works from the very beginning, publishing works by James Fenimore Cooper and Charles Dickens in the early years, but changed focus in the mid 19th century to scientific, medical and technical nonfiction works.
  • Facet Publishing is an academic and trade publisher devoted to publishing the premier materials on information in the world. The target audience is information and library professionals and academics.
  • University of Chicago Press publishes works for scholars, students and general readers and has been doing so since its founding in 1892. The press publishes over 50 journals in several disciplines including humanities, education, and physical, medical, and biological sciences.
  • JSTOR is a resource for libraries and students, and a unique opportunity for publishers. The mission of JSTOR is to collect and preserve the writings of all academic journals for current and future generations. The company is non-profit, and charges fees simply for the maintenance of the service, and to be able to pay publishers for access to their materials.
  • Taylor and Francis Group exists to disseminate knowledge from scholarly researchers and academic societies through the publication of journals and partnering with libraries and universities to make their publications available in the markets to which they are applicable.
  • Science Direct is an online database designed to help professors, students, and interested general readers find all the journals available on their subject of interest.
  • Springer was founded more than 170 years ago in Berlin. Over the first 100 years the company expanded and set up offices in London, New York and many other major cities around the world. Springer has grown into one of the world’s foremost scientific publishers through years of organic growth.
  • Elsevier Elsevier has grown over its132 year history from a small Dutch academic publishing company into one of the premier publishers of scientific, healthcare, and education resources.
  • Scholarly Open Access is a blog that strives to serve as a watchdog regarding the new movement in open access journal publishing. The site maintains lists for predatory and disreputable open access publishers with the goal of informing students about the pitfalls in this new aspect of academic publishing.
  • University of Pennsylvania Press was founded in 1890 and is a non-profit organization that relies primarily on donations for support as they do not believe in sacrificing the quality of their publications on the altar of mass appeal.

Ranking Authorities

  • U.S. News and World Report is one of the premier college ranking entities in the country. Their yearly lists cover just about every type of learning environment and help students make good decisions about prospective schools.
  • The Princeton Review publishes several “best of” lists every year featuring information on hundreds of different types of universities, ensuring that students will be able to find quality schools that align with their personal goals.
  • Newsweek/The Daily Beast features many different lists concerned with more than telling students that Harvard and Yale are the best universities. The lists include most and least affordable colleges, most and least rigorous colleges, most liberal, most conservative, most beautiful, happiest, most stressful and more. The lists offer students a different perspective than some of the more traditional ranking authorities.
  • Kiplinger College Rankings is another list concerned with things like best value, top public colleges, and other categories concerning the economic side of choosing a college.