Navigating the graduate school application process is often challenging, requiring intricate knowledge of academia and graduate institutional structures. This “Hidden Curriculum of Academia” includes what different graduate degrees offer, how to connect with a faculty member of interest, and the skills needed to submit a “competitive” application. We hope to demystify a portion of this hidden curriculum by focusing on the process of applying to graduate school in research-oriented science programs. This article provides an overview of graduate school, the application process, how to prepare for it, and potential career paths to pursue following a Master's or Doctoral degree. Our work contributes to the larger literature that aims to increase the transparency of academia and create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive space.
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