Grad School Prep Week

Online Graduate School Preparation Week
Saturday, October 3rd-Friday, October 9th, 2020


Saturday, October 3rd 
Online Grad School Prep Intensive with Dr. Donald Asher

Monday, October 5th – Thursday, October 8th 
Online Grad Prep Week Sessions

Friday, October 9th 
Virtual Grad School and Summer Research Fair*

Grad Prep Week 2020 will be held online October 3rd - 9th

UCF Grad Prep Week provides undergraduate students interested in pursuing a graduate degree with an in-depth graduate school and summer research preparation experience.

Students who participate in the Grad School Prep Week events will be provided with information and resources about the graduate school application process through interactive speakers and a virtual grad fair.

Grad Prep Week will start off with Graduate School Preparation Intensive (GSPI) on Saturday, October 3rd with Dr. Donald Asher, follow with graduate school prep workshops from various graduate school staff and faculty throughout the week, and end with a virtual grad school and summer research fair. 

*Students must attend at least 4 events to gain access to the virtual grad  school and summer research fair. 

Quotes from past participants:

Grad Prep Week Schedule

Saturday, October 3rd

10 AM - 5 PM EST

Graduate School Preparation Intensive

Topics covered include:

  • Selecting the right graduate program
  • Understanding the graduate school application process
  • Writing strong personal statements
  • Requesting letters of recommendation
  • Networking with graduate school staff and faculty

Monday, October 5th

10 AM - 11:30 AM

Preparing for a Grad School and Summer Research – Student Panel

As the kick-off event for Grad Prep Week, join us for the first undergraduate student panel. How do summer research programs help your application for graduate school? Come listen to and ask questions of students who participated in summer research programs on and off-campus this past summer. Follow @aapatucf or follow the conversation with #ucfgradprep
2 PM - 3 PM

What is Summer Research and How to Apply?

Damon Williams,
Northwestern University
For Grad Prep Week, join Dr. Damon Williams from Northwestern University as he presents on what a summer research program is and how it can help you prepare for graduate school. If you are thinking about getting involved in undergraduate research, this workshop is a great place to start!  You will get a broad overview of the research opportunities available to undergraduates on campus, as well as advice on how to find and work with a faculty mentor and/or get into a lab.

Tuesday, October 6th

10 AM - 11 AM

Keys to Networking both in Person and Online

Dr. Amanda Marie James,
Emory University
Building a solid network in a professional environment is vital. The duplicity, of needing both an in-person and online network, makes developing networking skills even more essential to your success. Growing your networks requires a concerted effort to be open to various methods of connecting and fostering relationships. In this practical and interactive workshop, we will explore the ins and outs of networking both in-person and online while also building professional relationships. 
Follow the presenter on Twitter at @DrAmandaMarie or follow @LaneyEDGE to learn more about the program. Also, follow @aapatucf and use #ucfgradprep to join in the conversation.
2 PM - 3 PM

What to Consider When Considering Graduate School

Carolina Bañuelos,
Colorado State University
Dr. Natalia Leal Toro,
University of Central Florida (AAP)
Do you remember why you chose to attend your current institution? What did you consider at the time? What was important to you and your future goals? Your graduate school choice is just as important, if not more. In this session, you will be reminded of important considerations for higher education decisions and will learn of additional pieces to contemplate when applying to and accepting an offer from a graduate school program. 
Follow @aapatucf and use #ucfgradprep to join in the conversation.

Wednesday, October 7th

11 AM - 12:30 PM

Graduate Student Panel – LatinX Heritage Month

Co-Hosted by UCF Career Services

Michelle Aiello, Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at Georgia State University
Lianne Brito, Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering & Geomechanics at University of Colorado, Boulder
Edgar Carrasco Acosta, M.P.A. in Public Administration at University of Central Florida
Alexis Rodriguez, M.S. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology at University of Central Florida
Alejandra Ascanio Lizaire, M.B.A. in Marketing and Organizational Behavior at Boston University
Have you ever wondered how students manage to successfully apply to and thrive in graduate school while handling other responsibilities? This Academic Advancement Programs (AAP) workshop allows you to get that information directly from the source. Ask questions and listen to a panel of graduate students discuss their experiences. 
Follow @aapatucf and use #ucfgradprep to join in the conversation.
2 PM - 3 PM

The Graduate School Application Process

Leben Goldman, UCF Graduate Studies
Michael Aldarondo-Jeffries, University of Central Florida (AAP)
For students who are 1-2 semesters from applying, get the details from Academic Advancement Programs (AAP) on the application process for graduate school. You’ll be able to fully prepare for the application process after this session. 
This presentation is also a Welcome Wednesday (UCF Campus Visit). The UCF Graduate Studies Application Process will be detailed in this presentation. 
Follow @aapatucf and use #ucfgradprep to join in the conversation.

Thursday, October 8th

10 AM - 11 AM

Developing Your Statement of Purpose 

Dr. Don Brunson
Vanderbilt University 
Have you ever wondered what graduate schools look for in a statement of purpose? Come to this Grad Prep Week session and learn how to shape your statement of purpose into a competitive statement. The presentation will be presented by Dr. Don Brunson from Vanderbilt University. 
Follow @aapatucf and use #ucfgradprep to join in the conversation.
2 PM - 3 PM

Getting Great Letters of Recommendation

Dr. Kristine Sikora,
University of Colorado, Denver
Anschutz Medical Campus
The program to which you’re applying requires you to submit letters of recommendation as part of your application. Panic sets in as questions flood your mind: who should I ask? how do I ask? when do I ask? do they even remember me? Most applicants don’t appreciate how much weight their letters of recommendation carry when it comes to an acceptance or rejection. Join Dr. Kristine Sikora, Assistant Dean of Graduate School at CU Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus as she lays out a strategy for attacking this vital section of your application and provides tools and tips for success. Topics covered: who to ask, how to ask, when to ask, and how to ensure you get a positive letter that highlights your strengths and accomplishments.
Follow the presenter on Twitter @MrsMommyPhD and @aapatucf and use #ucfgradprep to join in the conversation.

Friday, October 9th

1 PM - 5 PM EST
Virtual Fair - Grad School & Summer Research

Meet with Graduate Schools from across the country “face-to-face” at UCF’s Virtual Graduate School and Summer Research Fair. 

If UCF Students need captioning access or other accommodation in order to participate in any AAP virtual event, please contact (Colleen Smith at At least 48 hours’ notice best assures that we can coordinate necessary access.