Road Map for Graduate Study

BY Claire McNamara

Staff Reporter

Dr. Don Martin, CEO and founder of Grad School Road Map, is coming to Sacred Heart University on Oct.1 to talk about applying to graduate school. Martin is the author of “Road Map for Graduate Study” and will be sharing advice for prospective graduate students.

“Dr. Don Martin has been a dean or director of graduate school admissions at several prestigious universities: Columbia, Northwestern, the University of Chicago, and Washington University in St. Louis,” said Brian Stiltner, a professor at Sacred Heart. “He’s brought that experience together in books, lectures, and a website to help students successfully apply to graduate school, get admitted, and be successful when they are there.”

With an extensive background in graduate studies, Martin will offer a beneficial outlook on the application process.

“It’s a holistic process that starts with thinking about what your educational goals are,” said Stiltner. “Whether a SHU student is just beginning to think about researching graduate school options or is in the midst of making applications, they will find inspiration and helpful advice in Dr. Martin’s presentation.”

According to, there are currently about 19.9 million college students, and only three million students in graduate programs.

“It’s often worth the time and money to invest in one’s education beyond college,” said Stiltner. “Graduate school allows students to develop expertise, experience, and connections in a career path that they may or may not have encountered in college.”

Going to college has become fairly common for many individuals, making some employers look for more than just a Bachelor’s degree.

“For many professions, a graduate degree is the only path available. Since graduate school is such a big investment, it’s important to have a road map that allows you to find the perfect fit and put your best foot forward when applying. That’s why we are hosting this event,” said Stiltner.

A current graduate student at Sacred Heart, Colin McNamara said, “Before fully applying I asked myself why I wanted to. You really have to be ready professionally and understand your foundation. Graduate school is a good move if you want something that’s going to set you apart from other job applicants. Employers will be able to see that I put in time and effort to get my master’s degree.”

The process of finding schools to apply to may be overwhelming for many students.

“Now that I’m in graduate school, I know it was the right choice for me. But getting to this point on my own was tough. I had no idea what I was doing. I definitely should have asked for help at some point. I just made it harder for myself by doing it all on my own,” said McNamara.

“The graduate school admission process is understandably daunting for many. To be successful, first you’ve got to do your research,” said Martin.

Martin and his team extend their information to prospective students with admissions consulting.

“Our team is exclusively former deans or directors of graduate admissions at top tier schools. We can help you successfully navigate the research and application process. We do this primarily through one on one coaching,” said Martin.

Students often worry they are not ready for graduate school financially, because of student loan debt.

“Many prospective students believe that they just can’t afford it, that it’s too expensive. Now, we would respectfully disagree,” said Martin. “We agree that it’s expensive, but we don’t agree that it’s not affordable. We often do workshops on this whole issue of financing your graduate education. If students follow the tips we provide, in many cases they end up with thousands of dollars more of free money than they would’ve ever expected for their graduate school education.”

To hear more on what Dr. Martin has to say about graduate school, you can see him Oct. 1 in the Martire center at 6 p.m.

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