Are you interested in taking a gap year between earning your bachelor’s degree and going to grad school? Perhaps you can’t afford graduate school at the moment, need more experience to have a competitive application, or are just burned out and need a break. A gap year can be beneficial to you when applying to graduate programs; you just need to use the gap year well.
It is important to use your gap year to further your experience and knowledge of the field that you want to enter. When thinking about what to do during your gap year, consider some of these options:
- Find a research internship
- Become a research assistant
- Become a lab manager for a professor
- Clinically-related work such as becoming a social service specialist or a behavioral/psychiatric technician
- Join an organization such as the Peace Corps
- Find a teaching fellowship
- Take more classes that are related to your chosen field
- Learn a skill that will help you in the graduate program such as R-programming
- Improve your GRE score
- Connect with faculty to enhance your recommendations
- Ask career services about options that are available to you
The most important thing to do is be active in something related to the program you want to apply for after the gap year. An unrelated career or organization will not help your application and can hurt your chances of acceptance.