Grad School Prep Week

Graduate School Preparation Week
Monday, October 16th-Saturday, October 21st, 2023 


Monday, October 16th – Wednesday, October 18th 
Virtual Grad Prep Week Sessions

Thursday, October 19th
Campus-Wide Graduate & Professional School Fair

Saturday, October 21st
Grad School Prep Intensive with Dr. Donald Asher

Grad Prep Week 2023 will be held October 16th- 21st

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

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 grad fair.

Grad Prep Week will start with a fantastic graduate student panel, followed by graduate school prep virtual information sessions from various graduate school staff and faculty, an in-person grad fair on Thursday, October 19th in the Pegasus Ballroom, and end with Graduate School Preparation Intensive (GSPI) in-person on Saturday, October 21st with Dr. Donald Asher. 

Quotes from past participants:

Grad Prep Week Schedule

Monday, October 16th

11 AM - 12 PM

Graduate Student Panel: Applying & Succeeding in Graduate School

Arlette Perez
M.Ed. in Student Personnel in Higher  Education at University of Florida
Bryan Medina
Ph.D. in Brain and Cognitive Science at MIT
Eileen Sanchez 
M.A. in Counselor Education at University of Central Florida
Priscilla Louis 
Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Princeton University 
Stephanie Schreiner 
Ph.D. in Immunology at University of Pennsylvania 
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

The Graduate School Application Process

Leben Goldman,
Join us for an informative workshop designed to guide you through the graduate school application process. During this session, you will learn about the most important aspects of the graduate school application, the difference types of graduate programs, exploring for funding options, and gain insight into the various documents and materials necessary for applying to graduate programs, such as transcripts, test scores, and resumes. This workshop is perfect for those who are considering applying to graduate school or in the early stages of their applications. Come explore the graduate school application process and learn how to put your best foot forward!

Tuesday, October 17th

10 AM - 11 AM

What to Consider when Considering Grad School 

Ciearra Smith & Dr. Araceli Frias
Johns Hopkins 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.
3 PM - 4 PM

Getting Great Letters of Recommendation

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

Wednesday, October 18th

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 Johns Hopkins University.
Follow @aapatucf and use #ucfgradprep to join in the conversation.
3 PM - 4PM

Summer Off-Campus Research Panel
(Hybrid Panel)

Co-Sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research
Maria Gonzalez, Psychology 
2023 Summer Research at University of Michigan
Renato Diaz, Computer Science       
2023 Summer Research at Cornell University
Saoulkie Bertin, Interdisciplinary Studies  
2023 Summer Research at Johns Hopkins University
Stephanie Washburn, Psychology              
2023 Summer Research at UC San Diego
Tiffanie Crumble, Computer Science                   2023 Summer Research at UC Los Angeles
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. This session will be held in person in Trevor Colbourn Hall Room 201 and over Zoom. 

Thursday, October 19th

1 PM - 4 PM EST
Pegasus Ballroom

Graduate & Professional School Fair

Are you considering pursuing a graduate degree to advance your career or delve deeper into your field of study? Join us for a Graduate & Professional School Fair, where you will have the opportunity to meet with Graduate Schools from across the country.

The Graduate & Professional School Fair will bring together representatives from a variety of graduate programs, giving you access to explore multiple schools and programs. You’ll have the chance to meet with graduate school representatives to learn about the application process, funding opportunities, and the unique features of each program.
Whether you’re interested in pursuing a master’s degree, doctoral degree, or professional certificate, this is a great opportunity to gain insight about different programs, and to ask the experts any questions you have in mind.

Participating graduate and professional schools:

Saturday, October 21st

10 AM - 4 PM EST
In-Person Live Oak Event Center 4115 Pyxis Lane, Orlando, FL

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

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