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Pre-Professional Advising

Business Programs

The Career Development Center offers services to students planning to apply to an MBA program after graduation.

Earning an MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree can prepare graduates for a variety of careers from business to the non-profit sector. An MBA can open up many new career options for a candidate as well as to strengthen and balance their undergraduate degree. Courses taken in an MBA program typically involve finance, accounting, marketing, consulting, and management. An MBA program will typically last around two years.

  • Application requirements - An undergraduate degree related to business is typically not necessary for admission. Candidate qualifications are typically measured by GPA and GMAT scores. It is highly desirable to have some work experience, extra-curricular activities and volunteer work. In addition, some quantitative background, including statistics and calculus is highly desirable.

  • Taking the GMAT - The GMAT can be taken year round. Scores last for five years, and your most recent three scores are submitted to schools when you apply. A majority of schools average out the three scores.

  • Questions to ask as you research an MBA Program
  1. How is the university/program ranked?
  2. How suited is the program to your eventual goals? What types of internships and jobs do graduates hold?
  3. How early in the program are you required to pick a concentration and electives?
  4. What type of format is used in the curriculum?
  • Case Method - Many schools use historical examples. Students analyze past decisions and predict future development.

  • Skills Based Method - Often based on quantitative skills as they apply to business models.
    Standard Lecture Method - Some schools still utilize the traditional lecture method of education.

Note that many programs prefer applicants who develop their careers for 4-5 years after graduating with an undergraduate degree. It is highly recommended that you develop a strong application before applying for the first time

Take a look at these additional resources!

Law Programs

The Career Development Center offers advising services to students interested in applying for law school after graduation. There is no pre-law option at Caltech. Applicants to law school come from a wide variety of backgrounds from social sciences to physical sciences.

  • Applying to law school is typically facilitated by the Law School Credential Assembly Service (LSAC). Almost all law schools in the United States work with the service. The LSAC standardizes coursework and transcripts, and sends the information to all schools to which you apply along with your LSAT scores and writing sample, and personal essays. Visit the website at for more information.

  • Taking the LSAT - The best time to take the LSAT is June or September/October. It is possible to take the test multiple times, but schools will see all scores. Some average the scores out, while a few will look only at the most recent score.

  • Questions to ask when choosing a law school
  1. Do my grades and LSAT scores match the school's requirements? A useful site to compare this information can be found at
  2. What is the school's reputation in the law community?
  3. Is the school a good match for your skills and interests?
  4. Is the school in a geographical location where you would eventually like to settle for a career (much of the networking process is built during the law school years)?
  • Writing the Personal Statement - The personal essay is a chance for you to stand out from other applicants. Plan to focus on experiences that set you apart and which have led you to apply for a degree in the law field. Plan to write several drafts, and to have multiple people review the essay for you before final submission.

  • Letters of recommendation - Every school has individual requirements about how many and what type of letters they will accept as part of the application. Most schools require between two to four. The best choices are academic letters from professors who know your work very well.

  • Deadlines - While the official LSAC deadline is February 15, it is wise to submit your application as early as possible. Most schools admit students on a rolling basis.


Check out these articles about applying to graduate school