2019 Spring Commencement
Thinking about graduate school?

There are several factors to consider when you begin looking at graduate programs. You should know about the programs offered, class delivery method, admission requirements, geographic location, program reputation, accreditation, faculty, curriculum, and program cost. While you're evaluating programs, you want to get as much information as possible. Remember that it's important you like the school, program, and faculty and feel that it's a good fit for you. 

Graduate (M.A., M.S., MBA, MFA, etc.) and Doctoral (DN, Ph.D., J.D., M.D., DDS, Ed.D., Pharma.D., etc.)

Why Grad School?

There are a number of reasons pursuing a graduate degree is a good move for many individuals:

  • It is something that can set you apart from those who have earned a baccalaureate degree.
  • It may make you more marketable and more skilled at what you do.
  • It may provide you with a sense of control in your career.
  • It may give you the chance to advance in your career.
  • It may enable you to earn a higher income.
  • It may be required for your career path.

However, graduate school is not for everyone.  Review Peterson's article, A Guide for Potential Grad Students: Should You Go to Graduate School?, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to identify some considerations about whether and when you should pursue graduate education.   

Career counseling may be helpful in this decision-making process. To schedule an appointment for career counseling, use Handshake. Go to Career Center on the top right -> Appointments -> Schedule a New Appointment. You may also email careers@viterbo.edu. 

Selecting a Graduate School

There are several factors to weigh when selecting a graduate program. 

Some factors are scholarly. Does the course of study meet your academic and vocational needs? Does it have a positive reputation? Does it offer research options that interest you? Is it accredited by key organizations in your field? 

Other considerations are more pragmatic-- the location of the program, online options, cost of completion, or scheduling of classes. You may also consider whether or not the institution offers graduate assistantships (GA) including teaching (TA), research (RA), or program (PA) assistantships. A graduate assistantship is a salaried student employment opportunity for graduate students. Each assistantship has its own unique tasks, and duties are assigned by the department or faculty member who hires the position. The responsibilities can range from assisting professors with grading and teaching, teaching courses independently, conducting research with faculty, or even performing professional tasks in an on-campus office, lab, clinic, or facility. Graduate assistants work a set number of hours per week and, in return, receive a tuition waiver and, oftentimes, a monthly living stipend. You can look for information on GAs on an institution's program site, financial aid site, or employment page. 

In any case, important first steps in selecting a graduate school are clarifying your goals and gathering information about available programs. This resources may be helpful during the selection process:

Viterbo University Undergraduate to Graduate Programs

4+2 Bachelor's to Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling

Exceptional undergraduate students seeking a bachelor's degree in psychology or social work can apply to Viterbo's Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling (MSMHC) program for provisional admittance. Students who complete the 4+2 option can complete their B.A. or B.S. in Psychology in four years, and their Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling in two years. Students must meet the following requirements:

  • 2nd semester junior year at Viterbo
  • GPA of 3.25
  • Prerequisites of PSYC 171, 340 and a research methods course

Students must also complete all admission requirements for the MSMHC program with the exception of the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) and submission of their final undergraduate transcript; these will be required upon completion of the bachelor degree program. Provisionally admitted students can enroll in a maximum of nine graduate credits (provided availability of seats) to count towards their graduate degree. 

4+1 Bachelor's to Master of Business Administration

Whether your major is in business, science, arts, or any other field, the Dahl School of Business offers you the opportunity to increase your employability and accelerate your career while finishing a graduate degree in only one year. An MBA provides the breadth and depth of organizational knowledge that serves anyone working in organizations and focuses on the common good of the business, not just the bottom line. Furthermore, the 4+1 MBA program allows current students to enjoy an incredible value in cost and time spent on the degree.

Students in the 4+1 program must complete:

  • 128 undergraduate credits meeting all general elective requirements, business core requirements, and business major requirements. This course work is completed in the first four years of the program, so the student receives the BBA degree after four years.
  • 34 graduate credits. The first nine graduate credits may be taken during the student’s fourth undergraduate year. In one additional year, the student graduates with an MBA.

Requirements for admission to the 4+1 program include:

  • Online application
  • Interview with MBA program administrators
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Essay describing the student's desire to pursue an MBA and anticipated contribution to the learning environment of the program

Students are advised to apply for admission to the MBA program during their sophomore, junior, or senior year and are admitted on a provisional basis. Provisional admittance will become full graduate admission if the student has maintained a B average, received no grade lower than BC on all graduate work completed, and received the undergraduate degree.

Transfer students can complete the program, but the number of semesters required will depend on the number and type of undergraduate credits transferred to Viterbo.

Interested in either program? Complete the

 Graduate Studies Application


Viterbo University Pre-Health Articulation Agreements

Pre-Health Articulation Agreements

The Viterbo University School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering offers a variety of pre-health articulation agreements. These agreements provide students with opportunities to pursue careers in medicine, physician assistant, pharmacy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic, and dentistry. Depending upon the program, students may be able to obtain guaranteed acceptance and early entrance based on their undergraduate academic portfolio. These opportunities include a variety of 3+ programs where students can matriculate after completing three years of undergraduate studies at Viterbo University. Finally, we can tailor specific articulation agreements with a variety of professional programs allowing Viterbo University students to earn their bachelor’s degree while completing their first year of professional school. Below is a list of current official articulation agreement programs. For additional information regarding these agreements please contact Michael Alfieri (msalfieri@viterbo.edu, 608-796-3465).

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM)

An Early Acceptance Program (EAP) was developed between LECOM and Viterbo that grants qualified students a provisional early acceptance to LECOM’s School of Pharmacy, School of Dental Medicine, or College of Osteopathic Medicine. In some cases, these programs will permit the student to start the professional program prior to receiving a bachelor's degree from the undergraduate institution (i.e., 3+ programs).

Application to the EAP is separate from the application to Viterbo University. A student may apply for EAP consideration as a high school senior. While current Viterbo students may apply, they should contact Viterbo Pre-Health Committee to see if they qualify.  This program is not available to anyone with a bachelor' or higher degree.

School of Health Professions and School of Pharmacy at Concordia University, WI

Medical College of Wisconsin

Logan College of Chiropractic

Palmer College of Chiropractic

Preparing to Apply to Graduate School
Graduate School Timetable

We recommend starting the application process at least one year before you plan to start graduate school. All times indicated below are approximate and cater to a fall start. For programs that have a spring or summer start, adjust the timeline accordingly. Be sure to check application deadlines for specific programs since they may vary significantly. 


  • Write a draft of your statement of purpose. This is the most important part of your application and can be the deciding factor in the admissions decision. 
  • Start browsing through guidelines to graduate programs, websites, and college catalogs. You may find it helpful to create a spreadsheet with school names, websites, degree, cost, deadlines, and fees. 
  • If you plan to apply to multiple out-of-state schools, start saving money now so you can afford to visit schools (if desired) before accepting a spot. 


  • Meet with faculty members to discuss your statement of purpose and ask for letters of recommendation. 
  • Sign up for standardized tests (if needed) and begin studying. 
  • Request fellowship information and applications from graduate programs. 
  • Begin to develop your personal timeline for the application process. 


  • Take standardized tests (if applicable). 
  • Determine which schools you plan to apply to. 
  • Finish your timeline based on each institution's deadline and financial aid deadlines. 
  • Complete your personal statement, adjusting it to meet each application's specific needs. Many students find setting up an appointment with the Writing Center to be beneficial. 
  • Order transcripts from all post-secondary institutions. 


  • Complete and send applications.
  • Give your recommenders all the information they will need to write a leach for you for each of your applications. 
  • Continue to save money for out-of-state travel (if applicable).
  • Determine what you'll wear to interviews and ask for clothing or gift cards for upcoming holiday presents. 


  • Schedule a mock interview with Advising and Career Development so you are ready when interview offers come! 
  • Contact programs about visiting or attend program interviews. 


  • Review offers and accept or decline schools as they arise. 
  • If no offers come, meet with Advising and Career Development staff to determine your next move. 
  • File a copy of your federal income tax return if you are applying to a need-based program. 

May and Beyond

  • If you're moving, look for housing, a part-time job, and other necessary features in your graduate school town. 
  • Find out if your program has a social media page with other cohort members so you can start to meet your classmates. 
  • All Tests
  • GRE*** - Graduate Records Examination
  • MAT ***- Miller Analogies
  • GMAT* - Business
  • LSAT ***- Law
  • MCAT *** - Medical
  • DAT ** -  Dental
  • VCAT - Veterinary
  • OAT - Optometry
  • PCAT ** - Pharmacy
  • CPA ** - Public Accountant
  • AHPAT - Allied Health Professionals
  • TOEFL - English as a Foreign Language
    * The Academic Resource Center (Murphy 332) has study guides available for checkout.
    ** The Todd Wehr Memorial Library has study guides available for checkout.   
Personal statements and essays
Research statements
Recommendation letters
Additional Information Sources:


Admission Interview

On visit day, you are interviewing the faculty and program as much as they are interviewing you. It's important to be prepared to talk about what you'll bring to the program, your post-graduation plans, and what you want to learn or study during your degree. You should also find out how the interview will be conducted (group, one-on-one, panel) and if you'll have the opportunity to talk with any current students. 

 Be Prepared to Answer:
  • Why do you want to go here, instead of other schools?
  • What are your research interests?
  • How will you contribute to our program?
  • What are your short-term and long-term career goals?
  • What do you see as the major trends in your field of study?
  • Tell me about how you achieved a significant accomplishment?
  • List some of your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Tell me about your study and time management skills
  • Where else have you applied?

How to answer these questions. You may also find it helpful to schedule a mock interview with the Advising and Career Development office;  schedule in Handshake. Go to Career Center on the top right -> Appointments -> Schedule a New Appointment. You can also email careers@viterbo.edu. 

Be Prepared to Ask:
  • What specific characteristics of this program distinguish it from its competitors?
  • Where are recent alumni employed? What do most students do after graduation?
  • Are there any scholarships, fellowships, teaching assistantships, or graduate assistantships available? How do I apply?
  • What applied experiences are included in the program (internship, practicum, publishing, research, paper presentation)?
  • What is the importance of admission test scores, undergraduate grades, recommendation letters, admission essays, relevant experience, and other requirements?
  • Does the program prefer applicants immediately out of undergrad, or do they prefer applicants with work experience? If work experiences, what kind of experience are they looking for?
  • How are mentors or advising relationships established?
  • What can you tell me about the school culture, and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion? 
  • How long do most students take to graduate, and how long do most students take to complete their final project?
  • Is the dissertation process structured? 
  • How closely do students work with faculty? Is it common for students and faculty to publish together?
  • What's it like to live in this area as a graduate student? 
    Taken from ThoughtCo.
After you Apply
  • Send a thank you letter within 24 hours of the interview. You may email or mail, the method depends on the school's timeline, decision tomorrow then email, decision after next week, then mail.   
  • Complete any written applications and forms requested.  Do any follow-up requested during the interview.  
  • Write down key points from the interview. You may refer to these in your thank you letter, and the information you learned may be helpful during a second interview.
  • Reflect about the program and the individuals you met. Evaluate whether the program and school would be a good fit for you and your career plans. 
  • Check out our resources on housing, part-time jobs, scholarships, fellowships, teaching assistantships, or graduate assistantships.