10 Campus Resources That Every Grad Student Should Utilize

We all know that graduate school is A LOT of work! Research and writing requires considerable time and effort, and any resource to aid graduate students in meeting those requirements can make a huge difference!

Doctor of Philosophy, PhD concept. Graduate student holding grad cap in gown suit finish from school in commencement ceremony.

There are several aspects to consider in planning your academic path. If you decide to go for a master’s or doctorate, planning may become more complicated. This applies to the process of identifying what graduate degree program to pursue, looking for enough funds to pay for the tuition and other fees, and preparing for the graduate school journey. All of these require diligence and focus.

Most full-time graduate students go to the campus to attend face-to-face classes. They also supplement their training with internships. If you keep a full-time job and have family obligations to fulfill, you are likely to prefer the comfort and convenience of distance learning.

Either way, when in graduate study, it helps to be organized. In fact, organization is a critical skill! Similarly, setting a fixed schedule will allow you to focus. Don’t fall behind on your master’s or doctorate requirements; it can be a real struggle trying to catch up!

We’re here to help! Check out these useful graduate study tools and resources that you can access either on-campus or online-or both!

Check here for some additional helpful links, as well: Grad School Requirements: The Whats, Whens and Hows, 8 Things Only A Grad Student Would Understand & 8 Ways to Be Productive in Grad School.

Explore these campus resources and make the most of them!

Online and Campus Libraries
Online Writing Center
Health and Wellness Resources
Research Databases and Resources
Career Resources
Academic Resources
Diversity Resources
Student Safety Resources
Student Organization Resources
Information Technology/Computer Resources

Online and Campus Libraries

Both campus and online libraries are essential resources that most students fail to utilize. The library is not just used in searching for books. Libraries have begun modernization as it provides more online resources for research. There are also libraries inside the campus or the local library that offer physical spaces for graduate students to study on their own or in groups to accomplish their research.

The Library of Congress is one of the most reliable resources for graduate students, especially those who are residing in the Washington D.C. area. Most of the research resources of the library may also be accessible online.

The online database is conveniently accessible and gives researchers the alternative of either searching by category or accomplishing a keyword search. Apart from offering free access to extensive research catalogs, the Library of Congress website also allows researchers to browse through trial archives. If you research in a new area, these trial archives may provide details that you cannot find in other catalogs.

All public online libraries are free, but not everything is readily accessible. The freelibrary.com site, for instance, prioritizes more on articles compared to books, and these can be utilized for research in graduate school. Most publications may range from classic books to works written by well-known authors.

Affordable reference books and textbooks, on the other hand, can be found through the Bookfinder.com.

Online Writing Center

Graduate students, especially during their junior or senior years, mostly think of the Writing Center as a tool intended only for undergraduates. The truth is, the Writing Center is an excellent place to draft your statements of purpose and conference abstracts.

Writing experts are excellent at recognizing jargon and providing suggestions to allow any written document to be more concise and brief. If you have a lengthy written project such as a dissertation, paying a professional copy editor for his or her services is highly recommended.

The Purdue Online Writing Lab is a leading online resource that aids graduate students in proofreading dissertations and written reports.

Health and Wellness Resources

Health and wellness resources inside a university or college help meet the spiritual, social, emotional, and physical needs of the university community. These resources also offer referral services, psychiatric care, group and individual counseling, and crisis intervention for graduate students. Prevention strategies, education, and consultation are also provided for graduate students who have health and wellness concerns.

Some campuses also have support groups that handle eating disorders and alcoholism among students. Graduate students may also participate in referral and individual peer counseling within an academic year.

Health and Wellness Resources in an academic institution may involve counseling, medical and related healthcare services, along with a broad range of professional, personal, expertise, and training for a diverse student community. With a broad range of weight and cardiology equipment, fitness centers provide exercise and wellness opportunities for students on campus.

In some universities, disability-related services are offered.

Research Databases and Resources

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Education Resources Information Center (ERIC)

The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) is considered an online information and research site, which is under the U.S. Department of Education. It provides access to non-journal literature, journal articles, and educational documents. With groups including research reports, instructional materials, conference papers, and scholarly association publications, ERIC is a reliable source of online research and information for graduate school projects and dissertations.

The National Science Foundation (NSF)

Committed to promoting research, the National Science Foundation (NSF) offers fellowships, grants, and research incentives. The platform is updated periodically to include new opportunities. You can also find numerous tools and resources to help break down the requirements for grants and create good proposals. So when you think of the NSF, you might assume that it is just about the hard sciences but the website also offers a host of tools for social science students. The website also features recent research studies in various fields.

EdX

Edx is considered an excellent online resource for graduate students. By simply creating an account, you get direct access to the numerous online resources that are relevant to your area of study. EdX also grants certificates to those who complete their courses online. EdX is also regarded as a MOOC supplier, which means it offers helpful and advanced coursework from many reputable universities for graduate students.

Coursera

Online learning has never been more exciting for graduate students than in this age of easy online access! Coursera, a top-rated course-offering platform, collaborates with universities worldwide to provide graduate students with free classes and paid web-based courses. Through Coursera, graduate students enjoy flexible schedules and the opportunity for interaction with their peers. Every program includes auto-graded assignments, community discussion forums, and advanced peer-reviewed papers. Graduate students who complete the courses earn an electronic course certificate.

TED Talks

TED Talks is considered one of the most credible online platforms for highly relevant digital material. Highly ideal for graduate students, the platform presents a collection of media and videos to feature important topics or lessons. Graduate students may also search for translators, podcasts, partnership programs, projects, and audiobooks on TED Talks.

Career Resources

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Being in graduate school enables you to prepare for a distinguished career. Thus, graduate students should check the career services center. Career centers can take evaluation tests on your interests and skills. Assistance in searching for a summer job can also be obtained, resumes can be prepared, internships can be found, and networking skills can be learned through career service centers.

Through career resources, practice interviews with specialists can aid in restraining your weaknesses and developing your strength.

Usually, professional career development can be organized based on various focus areas in career service centers, namely, career preparation, planning, skill-building, and academic navigation. Career service centers may also provide career guides, which provide comprehensive information on career preparation.

Those who are taking a doctorate or post-doctorate degree may have the opportunity to test-drive certain areas of different careers through empowering and flexible opportunities. There are also instances wherein professional, and graduate students are offered a network of resources and offices both online and on-campus.

Academic Resources

Graduate School Advisors

Advisors in graduate school allow you to register, schedule, select classes, plan your course of study, follow and interpret scholastic guidelines, keep track of your academic performance, and look for other resources required for meeting your goals.

General or pre-major advisors work closely with you before you enter a graduate degree program. They are generally trained to assist you, especially in the completion of requirements.

Once you enter a master’s or doctorate program, you will be working with advisors to guide you in your major subjects. Students may major on something but may also work towards a pre-professional track to participate in a specialized graduate school that has a pre-professional advisor that can aid them in meeting specific requirements.

Every university or college has its way of assigning advisors to students. It is one thing that you need to check. Academic advisors are readily available, as well. If a graduate student falls behind his or her classes due to work schedules and family obligations, academic advisors can be of great help.

They also assist in terms of understanding difficult majors. On the other hand, peer tutors are students who have been able to complete the same class that you are struggling in and can help you focus and get back on track.

Tutoring Centers

Tutoring centers or academic centers provide numerous resources to help you understand the subjects or courses that you are struggling to complete.  Yet, tutoring centers can be used for other purposes aside from assisting those having a hard time with their classes.  

Some successful graduate students utilize tutoring centers in a proactive way to review and run through essential details from their classes. Tutoring is custom-made for the needs of everyone. Some of the features of tutoring centers include additional referrals to academic resources and instruction, personalized academic support, study skills training, educational workshops, group sessions, and one-on-one tutoring.

Diversity Resources

For graduate students belonging to other cultural minorities and ethnic groups, there are resources and information that concentrate on the rich diversity of Asian American, Asian, Latin American and Hispanic, and other cultural experiences. They also provide support in a campus community.

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There are universities and colleges wherein bias activity can be reported. There are also student organizations, program areas, and resource centers that focus on maintaining and developing the community. If there are veterans among students, staff, and faculty, resources are also readily available in some academic institutions.

Information and resources regarding the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community are also available for graduate students. Some academic institutions also have a range of graduate student organizations focusing on the reinforcement of a sense of belonging regardless of their color or race.

There are also diverse resources that focus on the recruitment of a heterogeneous staff, student body, and faculty. They promote an environment that does not only take into consideration the differences between cultures but participates with them and delivering vital opportunities for learning from such disputes.

Resources also exist for those looking for graduate students who are looking for relevant data on legal assistance, privacy, campus resources, financial aid, and admissions.

Student Safety Resources

Student safety resources are also essential for graduate students. In most universities and colleges, security is available 24/7 to ensure the safety and protection of students attending classes or residing inside the campus.

Some campuses have a mass emergency notification system utilized for notifying students when there is a dangerous situation or emergency. This may involve a health hazard or a threat to the safety of the community inside the university.

Some universities and colleges have websites providing access to advocacy, education, support, services, and reporting. Other academic institutions also have a website that updates students frequently regarding weather conditions like an ice storm or blizzard. Condition updates as that of university closings and openings, as well as road closings, are also available in this site.

Student Organization Resources

Graduate students need to be involved in student organizations as a way of attaining balance with their academics. These opportunities may place a significant role in terms of the graduate school experience. Joining organizations enhances interaction with other students, and it may result in improved engagement and learning in the graduate school setting.

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Your peer group or organization may also influence your personal and academic development. Diversity exists in student organizations, but most of them possess common characteristics.

Student organizations frequently feature diversity in terms of the range of extracurricular activities. They encourage graduate students to participate in their events and activities, provide enjoyment and entertainment, enable socialization and networking, allow you to improve and gain more skills, promote volunteerism, and help build your resume and portfolio for future job prospects.

Information Technology/Computer Resources

This resource handles the management of related services and campus technology. Information technology resources may include campus networks and servers, online course content support, campus computer laboratories, internet security and safety, training and workshops, file storage, student email, support and selection for educational software, support in terms of troubleshooting computer software and hardware issues.

Campus and online resources are ideal for making life in graduate school easier. But this is the case when such resources are utilized to the fullest. Graduate students need to bear in mind that using these resources does not mean you are not doing well in your academics. Being able to use these resources means you are doing your best to perform excellently and earn a graduate degree with all the efforts that you have.

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