Preprofessional, Graduate School & Gap Years

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Planning to continue your education or take some time off for volunteer work or travel before your next step? Our Career Development staff can help you plan that journey, as well. More than 30 percent of Arts & Sciences students decide to continue their education in graduate school. Your broad liberal arts education as an undergraduate prepares you well for entry into law school, medical school or other graduate programs.

Graduate School and Career Planning

If you're headed to a career in academia, business, law or medicine, attending graduate school may be a requirement, but for many other students, the decision to attend graduate school comes after deep consideration of the options. Will it offer you an extra boost in the labor market or potentially increase your salary? Should you go directly to graduate school or gain work experience first?

Before you make a decision, talk to a career advisor to discuss your plans. We also encourage you to discuss your graduate school plans with your academic advising dean as well as faculty in your academic department. Faculty and TAs in your department are the best source of information on graduate studies in your field. Check out the academic advising graduate school page as well.

For more information about planning for graduate school, visiting our advising website here. 

Law School

Interested in law school? 

Consult with the Cornell Career Services pre-law advisor, Diane Miller, for advice on choosing the right law school for you. There is also an online guide to legal careers. For seniors applying to law school, dean’s certification letters can be obtained with a few weeks advance notice. In order to submit your Cornell records to a law school, click here to access the release form. For more information, click here.

Health Careers

Interested in medical school or other health careers?

Many rewarding occupations exist in the field of healthcare, and many of these career paths involve additional schooling post-graduation. Medical school, dental school, veterinary school and a host of other health graduate programs are common destinations for Arts & Sciences students. The health careers graduate school process can be long and complicated, but Ana Adinolfi, our Arts & Sciences pre-health advisor, can help you with your application. You can also consult with your advising dean for advice on course requirements and academic preparation. In order to submit your Cornell records to a medical school, click here to access the release form. An online guide to health careers is also available. For more information, click here.

Gap Years

Taking Time Off Before Graduate School

Do you want to take a year or two to explore the world, develop your skills, take on a new challenge, or give back to the community? If so, a gap year may be for you; schedule an appointment with a career advisor to discuss your options. 

Concerned about future employment? The experience gained and skills developed through service will strengthen your candidacy in your job search.

Concerned about finances? Formal programs are usually paid, sometimes with a small stipend, sometimes an actual salary. Additionally, many programs offer education awards to apply toward student loan repayment or future education. If you want to branch out and do something on your own, resources are available to help you identify funding sources.

Resources