Graduate School Resources

students at graduation

Applying to Graduate School

Many George Fox graduates go on to earn an advanced degree. The IDEA Center is here to help you with steps in the process – from exploring options, to connecting you to resources, to advising you on your application materials.

Your faculty adviser is always a good person with whom to have an initial discussion about your graduate school plans, no matter what the discipline. The faculty in your department are most likely to know which programs are a good fit for your interests.

Our career coach is available for advising appointments. You can schedule through the IDEA Center by contacting us at

Check out this resource, Graduate School: Creating a successful application, to get you started.

General Resources

Selecting a Graduate School

The Peterson’s Guides list all accredited programs of study in the U.S. They are available online. Once you have put together a list of potential programs of interest, use these guides to help sift through the specific details. is another recommended online resource.

Click here for information about graduate programs offered at George Fox.

Personal Statements

Personal statements – also called “application essays” or “statements of purpose” – are essays that explain why you are seeking to attend graduate school. There is no formula to follow in shaping your response, only choices for you to make, such as whether you should write an essay that is more autobiographically focused or one that is more professional focused. The following sites can help guide you:

After getting guidance from these resources, if you would like someone to proof your personal statement, you can make an appointment at the Academic Resource Center (ARC) at George Fox University.

Letters of Recommendation

Recommendations: Knowing how to request letters outlines all of the etiquette around letters of recommendation. Remember: give your references four to five weeks’ notice when requesting a letter!

Curriculum Vitae Vs. Resume

Three major differences between CVs and resumes are the length, the purpose and the layout. A resume is a brief summary of your skills and experience over one or two pages; a CV is more detailed and can stretch well beyond two pages.

A CV has a clear chronological order listing the whole career of the individual, whereas a resume’s information can be shuffled around to best suit the applicant. The main difference between a resume and a CV is that a CV is intended to be a full record of your career history and a resume is a brief, targeted list of skills and achievements.

Most students do not have enough experience, publications or presentations to justify creating a CV. So if given the choice, submit a resume.

CV: A CV (Curriculum Vitæ, which means "course of life" in Latin) is an in-depth document that can be laid out over two or more pages. It contains a high level of detail about your achievements, a great deal more than just a career biography. The CV covers your education as well as any other accomplishments, like publications, awards, honors. etc. The document tends to be organized chronologically and should make it easy to get an overview of an individual’s full working career. A CV is static and doesn’t change for different positions; the difference would be in the cover letter.

Resume: A resume, or résumé, is a concise document typically not longer than one page, as the intended reader will not dwell on your document for very long. The goal of a resume is to make an individual stand out from the competition.

Test Prep Services

Graduate schools often require students to submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

In addition to the general test, subject tests are offered in biochemistry, cell and molecular biology; biology; chemistry; literature in English; mathematics; physics; and psychology. If you are likely to need to take one of these, please note that subject tests are offered on a limited schedule and can only be taken in September, October and April. Plan accordingly!

The Murdock Library at George Fox University has resources for preparing for exams on the reserve shelf behind the circulation desk, or you can go to the following links:

You can take free practice tests at Kaplan Test Prep or The Princeton Review.