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Glossary of Graduate School and Professional school Terms

05 Aug 2017

Some of the terms used in graduate school admissions are similar to those used in undergraduate studies, so applicants need not be stressed by grad school admissions jargon. There are, however, some words that take on a different meaning when used within the context of graduate school admissions and curriculum.

So just in case you’re not yet familiar with graduate school admissions terminologies, here are some of the commonly used terms:

  • Assistantship – refers to the financial assistance granted to a meritorious graduate student in return for services as an assistant in research, laboratory, and teaching. Applicants can inquire about the details of the school’s assistantship arrangements from the graduate school admissions staff.
  • Attestation – the process of reaffirming that a transcript or degree is genuine by having a witness or authorized person sign it. A transcript of records is an important graduate school admissions requirement, and attestation is sometimes required in certain circumstances.
  • Core requirements or core curriculum – refers to the compulsory courses or requisites in order to complete a degree.
  • Deferred admission – also known as delayed admission, this is an option that grad students have to temporarily postpone their program studies usually for work, document processing, travel, etc.
  • GMAT: raduate Management Admission Test – one of the main graduate school admissions requirements for business schools and MBA applicants.
  • GRE: Graduate Record Exam – the GRE is a common grad school admissions requirement, and can be considered as the grad school counterpart of SATs. it tests your cognitive and reasoning abilities and is composed of two elements: general and subject matter.
  • Letter of recommendation – another essential graduate school admissions requirement, and is written by a credible reference person to vouch for the applicant’s character, work progress, career goals, etc. Applicants usually ask professors to write letters of recommendation for them.
  • LSAT or Law School Admission Test – a graduate school admissions requirement for law schools, and professional and postgraduate law programs in the US.
  • MAT or (Millers Analogy Test): this exam is commonly used in the admissions process for social science and liberal arts graduate school programs. As compared to GRE, the MAT focuses more on verbal reasoning and qualitative skills.
  • MCAT: Medical College Admission Test – a graduate school admissions requirement for those applying to medical schools in the US.
  • Non-matriculated student — a student who takes courses from the institution but is not enrolled under any degree program. This is a good option to gauge whether a student can handle the workload of grad school.
  • NRMP: National Resident Matching Program offered to those applying to medical schools in the US.
  • Placement test – a test conducted to help students find the suitable courses for them according to their interests and academic ability.
  • Plan of study – details the applicant’s intended course of study and should coincide with the applicant’s stated objectives in her/his statement of purpose or personal statement. The statement of purpose is also an essential graduate school admissions requirement.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language or TOEFL: One of the graduate school admissions requirements that non-native English speakers should meet.
  • Transcript – the official record of a student’s academic performance, contains the course titles, corresponding final grades, and each course’s number of credits. All applicants are asked to submit a copy of their transcripts as a graduate school requirement.
  • TSE or Test of Spoken English – a test administered to assess English proficiency for non-native English speakers.
  • Withdrawal – refers to the process of dropping out of a class or school.

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