Preparing for Graduate School

A Southern Virginia University education is excellent preparation for graduate study in law, medicine, business, education and many other professions.

Graduate School

At Southern Virginia, students are prepared for post-undergraduate studies and programs from day one. Our small class sizes, strong faculty involvement and broad, liberal arts education shapes students into ideal applicants.

In order to start graduate school the fall semester following graduation from Southern Virginia, students should begin preparing the elements of their application at least one year in advance (in consultation with their faculty advisers).

A successful application to graduate or professional school requires considerable effort. While different disciplines and programs have somewhat different application requirements, most graduate or professional school applications contain:

  • An official transcript from each undergraduate college or university attended
  • An official report of scores on a standardized test (LSAT for law school, MCAT for medical school, DAT for dental school, GMAT for business school and GRE for graduate school in a discipline of the humanities, social sciences, mathematics, natural sciences, etc.)
  • Three letters of recommendation from faculty
  • A resumé
  • A statement of purpose
  • In some cases, a polished sample of writing

Most application deadlines are generally in December and January for the following fall semester.

Graduate School
Southern Virginia graduates have been admitted for graduate study at schools such as: Harvard, Cornell, Rutgers, Purdue, William and Mary, University of Virginia, UNC at Chapel Hill, George Washington, Brigham Young University and many others.

Students should kindly ask for letters of recommendation at least one month prior to any due dates and should also spend several months preparing for standardized tests after their junior year at Southern Virginia.

A student’s statement of purpose and writing sample should be revised several times in response to comments from faculty.  (For medicine and dentistry, students should begin their applications and test preparation much earlier.)

Students should research the required course prerequisites at their intended graduate schools and plan their undergraduate schedules accordingly. Faculty advisers are eager to assist in evaluating the proper next steps and students are encouraged to utilize their services.

Faculty Advisers

Professional Programs

Program Professor Phone
Business Todd Brotherson 540-261-8539
Law Steve Baldridge 540-261-8548
Health Professionals Barbara van Kuiken 540-261-8597
Education Kimberley Kearney 540-261-8542

Master’s or Doctoral Programs

Program Professor Phone
Art Doug Himes 540-261-8578
Biology Richard Gardner 540-261-8593
Computer Science Alan Whitehurst 540-261-8598
English Randall Cluff 540-261-8558
Family Studies Ariel Rodriguez 540-261-8546
History Virginia Mosser 540-261-4124
Music La Rae Carter 540-261-8582
Philosophy Jan-Erik Jones 540-261-8561
Politics Jeremiah John 540-264-8540
Spanish T.R. Porter 540-261-8563
Theatre Robert Stoddard 540-261-8579


Contact the Registrar’s Office at or 540-261-8408.