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Preparation for Graduate Study

For a growing number of French, German and Spanish majors, the opportunity to study on the graduate level is an attractive option after receiving a bachelor's degree from NKU.

In addition, Kentucky public school teachers are required to obtain a master's degree within 10 years of their initial certification. 

The department offers the following recommendations to its students who plan to pursue a master's or doctoral degree after graduation:

  • A bachelor's degree in a foreign language can give a student access to a variety of post-graduate degree programs.  Most traditional graduate programs in French, German and Spanish are oriented toward literature, but there are programs in linguistics, second language acquisition or with a cultural emphasis, as well as area studies programs such as Latin American Studies for which students may qualify.  Some students choose to pursue further study in areas such as law, business, library science or information science. 

  • Students interested in graduate study should choose their required interdisciplinary course in an area that supports their plans.  Students seeking a traditional literary emphasis should also begin the study of a second foreign language while at NKU.

  • Students preparing themselves for graduate study should avail themselves of the materials on the qualifying exams available at the Testing Services.  For most programs the qualifying exam is the Graduate Record Exam or GRE (information also on-line at www.gre.org).  Students seeking admission to law or business schools will have to take the LSAT or GMAT.  There are also books available commercially to help students prepare for these exams.

  • Students interested in graduate study should speak with their advisors about ways they may strengthen their undergraduate preparation strategies for the qualifying exams and for admission to graduate programs.  Students are urged to watch for announcements of workshops on such topics as preparing to apply for graduate schools and professional schools. 

  • Finally, the department reminds students that they themselves are primarily responsible for the quality of their preparation for graduate study.  Students who aspire to graduate study should plan to read more than what is specifically required for their courses in order to achieve a more extensive grounding in the literatures and cultures of the target language.