Navigating Graduate School

We’ll help you make a smooth transition into graduate school and when you leave. 

The Office of Graduate Education, in partnership with your department and advisor will  provide guidance as a George Mason University student. We encourage you to work with your department/advisor as well as to review the below resources focused on personal and professional development.

Create a Roadmap

Creating an individual professional development plan can help you be strategic about your time and co-curricular activity choices. Doing this will help you:

  • Home in on career goals
  • Seek out professional development
  • Facilitate productive conversations with your faculty advisor/program coordinator.
  • Help you stay motivated and on track.

Build a Peer Community

It can be helpful to exchange ideas with other graduate students, both in and outside of your program. Connect with others through Graduate and Professional Student Association, GradLife Events, University Library Events , and events/programs co-sponsored by the Office of Graduate Education.

Build a Mentor Network 

Successful students (and professionals) don't rely on a single person to advise and mentor them on their career plans. Instead, they have a network with several individual mentors that can advise on different aspects of their professional skills or can provide different perspectives on the same skills. For example, one may have their research advisor to serve as a research mentor, but a different faculty member or someone in industry to mentor them in job application material preparation. As a graduate student, start researching and identifying which areas you would like mentoring and networking to find mentors. 

Choose Your Committee

The advisor-student and/or student-committee relationships will affect your graduate education experience.  Choose a team that’s compatible with your preferred approaches to communication and work. Advisor-student working relationships don't always work out. Reach out to the graduate dean or graduate student coordinator in your unit to explore your options.