Graduate School is an opportunity to prepare for a new profession, advance in your current field, or explore advanced learning for self-enhancement. In addition to advanced courses, graduate students can expect to participate in guided and independent research experiences, internships and assessment exams. It requires a careful balance of independent critical thinking and the ability to meet the many requirements that vary according to your background, abilities, and interests. Graduate school is a serious commitment of time and hard work, and requires some planning. Graduate study is more focused and challenging than undergraduate work, and expects its applicants to have strengths in the field they plan to study. If you plan to study a graduate program that differs from your undergraduate field, it is likely that you will need to meet additional prerequisites. Certain programs will also require students to take a standardized test, such as the GRE or GMAT. For these reasons and more, applicants will want to plan ahead and allow themselves enough time to comfortably check application requirements, complete necessary testing or prerequisites, acquire letters of recommendation and secure funding.