Graduate school is usually pursued by those wanting to teach at the college level. Graduate school provides specialized knowledge and training that opens up a broad range of professional possibilities in fields such as international business, economics, missiology, social work, international studies, foreign or domestic relations, translation and interpretation, law, teaching English as a second language, linguistics, and literature. Others attend graduate school because they desire greater fluency and insight into the language, literature, and culture they have come to love.
The following graduate programs have been recommended by the faculty of the Department of Modern Languages at Grove City College . This list is not meant to be exhaustive but rather a starting place for exploration of graduate opportunities. See also the MLA Guide to Doctoral Programs in English and Other Modern Languages.
Keep in mind these application components that influence a graduate school's decision:
Grades: Generally speaking, a GPA below 3.0 will hurt your chance for admission while one above 3.5 will increase your chances for acceptance into better schools.
Coursework: Be sure to round out your studies and take as many language courses as possible while you're still at Grove City College! Take additional literature courses and electives in your language. Increase your study of literature, history, religion, philosophy, psychology, and other fields that relate to your particular graduate interests. Consider taking a second foreign language, since many grad schools require reading competency in one or two foreign languages (not including the language of your major).
While not every school requires standardized test scores for admission, the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) remains the most common measuring stick for comparing applicants. Use a GRE preparation manual.
Most graduate schools require three letters of recommendation from people who can speak to the quality of your work. Of these three references, at least two should be from professors in your major field of study. Ask professors who know you and your academic work well and who are able to write a positive letter on your behalf.
Always provide the recommendation writers with the necessary forms and contact information, a copy of your unofficial transcript (mark the courses that you took with each writer), your résumé, a copy of your application essay and/or statement of purpose, addressed and stamped envelope (unless the recommendation will be submitted online), and a list of papers/presentations/project titles that you completed for each of the professor's courses and the grades earned. Let your recommendation writers know whether to send your letter separately or give it to you in a signed envelope.
Provide your writers adequate time to compose and send off the recommendation letters. Give them a target date, and let them know when you have sent in your part of the application. Remind your recommendation writers as the target date approaches. It is your responsibility to follow up to ensure that the letters have been sent out on time. Check with your writers at least one week before the deadline.
Most applications require a formal essay, and some request an audio recording of your reading a text in the foreign language. Give the entire application process the proper care, time, patience, and reflection. All your communication with the graduate program should demonstrate the professionalism and respect expected of an outstanding applicant.
Graduate schools strictly adhere to deadlines. Most applications, especially those for which financial aid is a factor, are due quite early. For September enrollment, expect deadlines in mid-January, the beginning of February, or earlier.
Have realistic expectations. You must have top grades and GRE scores as well as a striking application to get into a top Ph.D. program. Keep in mind that it may be possible to advance from a good master’s program to a prestigious doctorate program.
Also, you may be able to get a teaching assistantship (full tuition scholarship for teaching, plus a modest cost-of-living stipend) from a second or third tier school that you can often use to move up a tier between the master's and doctorate programs.