Grad School Prep Week

Online Graduate School Preparation Week
Saturday, October 8th-Friday, October 14th, 2022 


Saturday, October 8th
Grad School Prep Intensive with Dr. Donald Asher


Monday, October 10th – Thursday, October 13th 
Virtual Grad Prep Week Sessions


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

Grad Prep Week 2022 will be held online October 8th - 14th

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) in-person on Saturday, October 8th 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 8th

10 AM - 5 PM EST
TCH 103

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 10th

11 AM - 12 PM

Preparing for a Grad School and Summer Research – Student Panel

Eileen Sanchezo, M.A. in Counselor Education at University of Central Florida
Nicholas P. Joseph, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the Ohio State University
Stephanie Schreiner, Ph.D. in Immunology at the University of Pennsylvania
Gustavo Camero, at Carnegie Mellon University
As the kick-off event for Grad Prep Week, join us for the first graduate student panel. 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. 
2 PM - 3 PM

What is Summer Research and How to Apply?

Dr. Vanessa Gonzalez-Perez
Dr. Vanessa Gonzalez-Perez, Assistant Dean for Access, Diversity, and Inclusion in STEM, Princeton University. For Grad Prep Week, join Dr. Vanessa Gonzalez-Perez from Princeton University as she 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 11th

10 AM - 11 AM

The Graduate School Application Process 

Leben Goldman,
University of Central Florida
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.  
Follow @aapatucf and use #ucfgradprep to join in the conversation.
2 PM - 3 PM

What to Consider When Considering Graduate School

Mrs. Anitra Douglas-McCarthy
Cornell University 
Choosing the next step in your educational career is one of the most important decisions you will make. In this session we will explore the reasons for pursuing graduate program and the top factors to consider when deciding which graduate programs to apply to. You will also learn what to look for when you receive offers of admission and how to decide which to accept so you choose the best program for you. 
Follow @aapatucf and use #ucfgradprep to join in the conversation.

Wednesday, October 12th

11 AM - 12:00 PM

Keys to Networking both in Person and Online  

Dr. Amanda Marie James
Emory University 
Dr. Amanda James, Chief Diversity Officer & Associate Dean, Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement, 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. 
2 PM - 3 PM

Getting Great Letters of Recommendation

Dr. Kristine Sikora,
University of Colorado, Denver
Anschutz Medical Campus
Dr. Kristine Sikora, Assistant Dean & Director of Graduate Recruitment, Marketing & Communications, 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 & Director of Graduate Recruitment, Marketing & Communications 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.

Thursday, October 13th

11 AM - 12 PM

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

UCF Campus is Closed after 2PM on Thursday, October 13th 

Friday, October 14th

11 AM - 12 PM

Summer Off-Campus Research Panel

Co-Sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research
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. Be strategic in where you apply in order to have the best chance at being a competitive applicant for graduate school. Ask questions and listen to a panel of graduate students discuss their experiences. 
1 PM - 4 PM

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.