Get Your Future Started: SJSU iSchool Application Process

Published: Thursday, March 02, 2017 by Allison Randall Gatt

Congratulations—you’ve decided to go to graduate school! This is the first step in an adventure that will change your life. While there are a few more steps to go in the application process, none of them are as significant as the decision to apply. If you’re applying to the SJSU School of Information, then no doubt you have tootled around the website and explored the MLIS or MARA programs or the Post-master’s, Digital Assets and Big Data certificate pages, depending on what your graduate school focus is. Perhaps you’ve met some of the faculty through their profile pages and spent some serious time on the Prospective Students page. If not, I encourage you to do that now!

If you’re subscribed to this blog, you’ve made another great decision—albeit a fairly easy one—and if you’re not, then you should be. We’ve got all kinds of helpful articles about iSchool events, curriculum, student activities and opportunities, and lots of ways to find the information profession of your dreams. Not to mention that it’s all so cleverly and charmingly written, by a current iSchool student. You’re well on your way to becoming an iSchool student, too!

Putting Together Your iSchool Application
The SJSU School of Information has a great tutorial to help you navigate the California State University (CSU) application process. Make sure you’ve got all your requirements lined up for the iSchool’s MLIS or MARA program, or the appropriate certificate program. The iSchool’s Big Data Certificate has very specific prerequisites and requirements.  Then be sure to review what is entailed in the application process. From there, you can begin your application with the CSU system. It’s helpful here to open two browser windows side by side so that you can go through filling out the application while following along with the iSchool tutorial. You’ll need to go through all the business-type information like your name and address, what degree you’re applying for (other Master’s) and your undergraduate school information. Be sure to scroll all the way down to see the screenshot examples. It’s not such a bad idea to read through the whole tutorial before filling out the application. Since you’ve made such a big decision to attend graduate school, take the time to fill out the application correctly and thoroughly.

The tutorial will take you through the whole application process, and if you don’t have the time to fill it all out in one sitting, then you can always save the application before submitting it and come back to spend more time filling it out. The application will also save you a lot of stress because it requires neither a GRE nor a Statement of Purpose. But you’re not off the hook entirely—graduate school is about writing papers, and a lot of them. Be sure to polish up your writing skills and be prepared to write (and rewrite) in your first few classes at the SJSU School of Information. The good news is that there are plenty of writing resources and links on the iSchool website and you are more than welcome to take a look at them even before you’re admitted.

In tandem with your iSchool application, you should also consider filling out your financial aid applications. It can take several months for the application to be processed and financial awards distributed, so start this process right away to make sure the money is available when tuition fees are due. This iStudent Blog post can help you with that process.

After Your Application is Submitted
Be sure to have your previous educational institutions send transcripts to the SJSU Graduate Admissions office and be extra sure to give them more than adequate time to receive your request and process it. When you’ve taken care of business with your transcript request(s) and filled out the CSU Mentor application and submitted them according to the tutorial’s directions, the waiting period begins.

You could twiddle your thumbs, but chances are that if you’re applying to graduate school you’ve got better things to do and you’re tech savvy and proactive. It can take six to eight weeks for SJSU to evaluate your application. You can however, track the progress of your application and be able to take the next steps accordingly. Everywhere in the process—on the iSchool website, the tutorial and the CSU application—it stresses the need to give correct contact information. Please do; they cannot give you good news if they cannot find you. All students—prospective, admitted and continuing students—should check their MySJSU accounts to stay on top of finances, important due dates, messages and status updates. Make sure that your email address is able to accept all messages from all @sjsu.edu addresses, because when they contact you, you’ll need to be able to read the message, too.

After being accepted, you’ve got to enroll in the semester designated on the application in order to continue the process of attending the graduate program. Deferment is not an option at the SJSU School of Information; prospective students will need to reapply. While you’re waiting to for the semester to begin, why not take a class and get a jump on your grad school course work. The iSchool offers a variety of elective courses through their Open Classes that can be taken by admitted students who have not yet started their first semester.

The deadline to apply for the SJSU School of Information’s Fall 2017 semester is May 1, 2017 which is the date the application needs to be received, not any particular postmark date. The online process helps solve this time lag. If you have any questions about your application or the iSchool program, contact the SJSU Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluation (GAPE) office help desk at admissions@sjsu.edu and be sure to have your nine-digit student ID number or application number handy. Best of luck and we look forward to seeing you in classes soon!

For related articles, be sure to read:
Wanna Be a DAM Librarian? Career Blog

Career Environments-- The Wide World of Possibilities for Your Master's Degree

Resources for Success for New iSchool Students

image courtesy of jscreationzs

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