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Planning for Graduate School and Your Career

Planning for Graduate School

Choosing to apply to graduate programs is a big decision. Graduate school can be significant stepping stone towards your careers goals. It is also a significant investment of time, money, and energy. Therefore, students should seek academic and career counseling to discuss graduate school.

    • The UCLA Career Center provides comprehensive information and resources on planning for graduate or professional school online.
    • If you are a UCLA student pursuing a career in a health profession, visit Pre-Health at UCLA for information, services and resources geared toward the health field.
    • Students should meet with the academic advisors for neuroscience to plan their coursework. Students are expected to research admission criteria for graduate programs and ask their counselor questions about classes that fulfill the requirements.
    • The Academic Advancement Program (AAP) provides a wealth of resources for students who are interested in applying to graduate school, including application resources, fee waivers, testing materials, a resource library, and so on. During the summer, they also offer a Grad Prep Course that offers weekly workshops and information on topics such as selecting a program, preparing your application materials, asking for letters of recommendation, preparing for admissions exams, networking, and adjusting to graduate/professional school.

Planning for Your Career 

Career opportunities are plentiful and diverse for Neuroscience majors. Contrary to popular belief, academic major does not equal career. In other words, the combination of your UCLA education and out-of-class experiences provide transferable knowledge and skills to many career paths.

How do I choose a career? 

Your career development is an ongoing process. It requires considerable reflection, research, talking to professionals, goal-setting and decision-making. When asking yourself, “What do I want to do?”, consider the following:

Assessing Self – Identifying skills, interests, personality, and values.

Exploring Options – Researching career information online and in UCLA’s Career Center library, conducting informational interviews with professionals in different fields, and exploring academic areas of interest.

Gaining Experience – Obtaining internships, part-time jobs, volunteering, research, joining clubs or organizations.

Setting Goals – Assessing options, making decisions, taking steps to reach goals, improving resumes and applications, and enhancing interview skills.

 Enhancing Career – Re-evaluating your situation, assessing organizational culture, seeking professional development, continuing education, and feedback.

Adapted from the UCLA Career Center’s “Career Development Process” Handout

Career Counseling at UCLA

Career Counselors are available in UCLA’s Career Center to guide you in your career development. The Career Center provides individualized career counseling and assessments, informative workshops, internships/job search support, resume/cover letter support, interview practice, letters of recommendation services, on-campus recruiting, and career fairs. 

Same-day appointments and walk-in hours available. Log on to Handshake for availability. 

501 Westwood Plaza (at Strathmore) Floors Two and Three

Los Angeles, CA 90095-1573

Campus Mail Code 157308

(310) 206-1915

In addition to the Career Center, you should supplement your career counseling by meeting with a Neuroscience Academic Advisor. Your advisor can help you explore careers, set goals, and advise on relevant coursework.

Exploring Careers: 

There are many more options out there! Utilize the Career Center to explore!

Neuroscience Exit Survey

Every year, graduating seniors are asked what career field they are pursuing after life at UCLA. To get an idea of where neuroscience students are headed, please view the exit survey from the Class of 2023 here.