UTRGV Graduate Fair provides guidance on graduate application process

BY Vicky Brito

BROWNSVILLE –The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley held the first Graduate Fair this semester, where participants were able to learn more about the UTRGV Graduate College.

Interested individuals gathered at El Gran Salón on Thursday, March 3, where dozens of representatives from UTRGV academic departments that offer graduate degrees were on hand to answer questions and provide helpful information.

UTRGV graduate recruiter Stephanie Larralde said the university currently has 49 master’s programs, four doctoral, two co-operative doctoral and 23 certificate programs.

“The purpose of this fair is to promote our existing graduate programs,” she said. “This is a chance for our community, and for our undergraduate students who are thinking about graduate school, to come in and get information. This is their one-stop shop event to talk to all of our program directors.”

Additionally, students were also able to utilize a computer lab to begin submitting their online applications.

Nelda Rocha, a 1991 graduate of UTRGV legacy institution UT Brownsville, is looking into getting a master’s degree. She previously had begun a master’s program, but instead took a hiatus.

“Life intervened and I had four children, so I stopped,” Rocha said. “But, the thought of going back has been gnawing at me.”

Rocha, a middle school reading teacher, said she attended the informational fair to explore her options.

“I love what I do, so I am thinking of going back and expanding my knowledge in reading, or maybe get into something different,” she said.

Rocha attended an information session presented by Interim Dean of the Graduate College Dr. Dave Jackson, who provided tips on how to develop a competitive application that will stand out in the selection process.

To apply for graduate school, the main components of an application include the online application, a personal statement, letters of recommendation, official transcripts, official test scores (GRE or GMAT), résumé or curriculum vitae, a portfolio (necessary for some arts programs) and, in some cases, an interview with the college.

Jackson recommended that anyone requesting a letter of recommendation provide personal statements and a résumé.

“There may be some things they might not necessarily know about you that you want to highlight,” Jackson said.

The next UTRGV Graduate Fair will be from 4-7 p.m. March 10 at the Fieldhouse on the Edinburg Campus.