Plan It 4-Ward - WMU Graduate Students

Plan for Success. Following are many resources that can help you succeed in four critically important aspects of your graduate school experience.

This image is the logo for the W M U Graduate Plan It Forward initiative. The initiative arranges helpful content into the four following areas: Financial, Academic, Career, and Engagement. The image is divided up into four equal quadrants with different background colors. The upper left is Financial with a red background, the upper right is Academic with a blue background, the lower left is Career with a purple background, and the lower right is Engagement with a green background. In the middle is a large gold W for W M U

FinancialAcademic | Career | Engagement

Plan for Success. There are many ways graduate students can plan for a successful and fruitful career. One is through the development of an Individual Development Plan (IDP). Click here to access WMU’s Plan It 4-Ward IDP tool Following are many resources that can help you succeed in four critically important aspects of your graduate school experience.



Where can I get help making my graduate career financially feasible and possibly more affordable?


  • Graduate student financial aid resources - Information to help you navigate your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application and other resources 
  • Student Financial Aid Office - WMU office that supports the recruitment, retention and degree completion of a dynamic and culturally diverse student body, in preparation for a lifetime of personal and professional success 
  • Student Financial Aid Office counselors - WMU financial aid professionals are available to help you 
  • Bronco Express - Assist students with transactions and questions related to financial aid, making payments, student accounts and general registration information 
  • Financial aid checklist - Lists all the necessary steps needed to help prepare financially for graduate school 
  • Educational loans information - Resources to help you determine if you need loans and, if so, how best to seek them 
  • - Resources to help you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • WMU Graduate College fellowships and grants - WMU financial resources for graduate students 
  • Check with your department/program for graduate assistantship opportunities
  • Office of the Vice President for Research - WMU office that supports research efforts and lists internal and external funding opportunities for students
  • GradSense - This website from the Council of Graduate Schools offers financial information for students in an online education platform



Where can I get help with my studies and research?


  • Graduate College Events and Workshops - A calendar of events and workshops focused on a variety helpful topics
  • Library Services for Graduate Students - A customized page of links, resources and detailed information for WMU graduate students
  • Academic Resource Center - Coordinates a free campus-wide tutoring service that has been developed to guide the work of students as they make their way through certain courses of study that have been identified as having particularly challenging coursework (All sessions are free and do not require advance registration)
  • College Success Seminars - The College Success Seminars offered through the Academic Resource Center provide a forum to allow students the opportunity to develop new or refine current skills that they may find useful in their academic and professional careers (All seminars are free and do not require advance registration)
  • Responsible Conduct of Research requirement for all graduate students
  • Writing Center - In addition to writing support offered through the Graduate College, WMU has a Writing Center that offers a free consultation service dedicated to helping individuals better understand, apply and develop various writing related skills through one-on-one, client and text specific workshops
  • Study Abroad - WMU offers several opportunities for graduate students to participate in educational programs in other countries
  • Fulbright U.S. Student Program - Offers fellowships for graduating college seniors, graduate students, young professionals and artists from the United States to study, conduct research or to serve as an English teaching assistant abroad for one academic year
  • Disability Services for Students - Advocates for students to be provided with the appropriate tools and academic accommodations or adjustments they need to make education accessible



Where can I find help in preparing for my career after graduate school?


  • Career Counseling - Career Counseling - Entering or re-entering the world of work can be a stressful time for graduate students. Speak with a career counselor about your career path, trajectory and/or any concerns you may have. Take the IMPACTeX Navigator to identify the key factors that you can personally look for on your career journey to achieve career satisfaction.
  • Career and Student Employment Services - Individual advising in person by phone or by Skype; Find Career Development Specialists; Get help with your resume, CV, job search planning with goal setting and other topics
  • Career Zone in Ellsworth Hall - Get help preparing your resume, CV or cover letter, Drop in hours: M-F, 12-5pm
  • Activate your Handshake profile to post your resume or CV and search for positions 
  • Register with Versatile PhD. Job postings for people who have earned a PhD. Specializes in non-academic career paths.  To access Versatile Ph.D. visit GoWMU > My Self Service > Versatile Ph.D. subscription service login
  • Big Interview - Computer-based job interview practice
  • Career and Student Employment Services Events - Calendar of job fairs, job fair preparation events, practice interviews, employer information sessions and more.
  • Job Fair preparation support - Learn what to do before, during, and after a job fair or other career events
  • WMU Career Development Guide - Provides information, samples, and worksheets to help you with your own career adventure



Where can I learn about opportunities to enrich my graduate experience outside the classroom/lab/clinic?


  • Graduate Student Association (GSA) - Its mission is to improve and advance graduate education through partnership, advocacy, leadership, networking, and facilitating the academic success of all Western graduate students.
  • Student Life at WMU - Links to many non-academic student resources and services on campus
  • Student Activities and Leadership Programs - Engages campus, empowers students and develops leaders
  • Registered Student Organizations - Focus on a variety of interest areas from academics to service to sports
  • Office of Student Engagement and Success - A learner-centered, relationship-based support program designed to help students reach their full academic potential
  • Bronco Bash - WMU’s annual welcome back festival that assists students in transitioning back to campus life each fall! An estimated 20,000 students and community members attend annually. Over 450 booths participate to share information, market services, and sign-up volunteers.
  • WMU Signature ProgramWMU Signature is a student engagement program for students to reflect on their  out-of-class learning experiences, to explore and identify a passion,  that will be reflected on their WMU diploma
  • ExperienceWMU - An online portal for discovering unique opportunities at Western Michigan University
  • Three-Minute Thesis Competition - The Graduate Student Association and the Graduate College collaborate to organize fall and spring 3MT competitions. In this event, graduate students have 3 minutes and one slide to describe their research. This challenging task is judged on comprehension and content as well as engagement. The students with the highest judges’ scores and the people’s choice winner are awarded prizes.
  • Research and Creative Activities Poster and Performance Day - The Faculty Senate, Graduate College, Graduate Student Association, and the Office of the Vice President for Research collaborate each year to sponsor this celebration of the scholarly accomplishments of WMU graduate students from across the university through poster presentations and performances. Faculty judges evaluate the presentations and performances, and students with the highest scores are awarded prizes. Poster examples can be found here 
  • Global Engagement opportunities - Resources to help students engage their global community
  • Graduate Student Teaching Intensive - The Office of Faculty Development and Graduate College partner each summer to offer a five-day professional development program emphasizing teaching practices and communications skills. 

This is the university Plan it forward logo, it looks like a horizontal yellow and brown award ribbon, the right side is the ribbon section that is gold with the words Plan It 4 - Ward in brown text on it. To the left is the medalion side which is a pointy brown ring made up of small brown triangles that form a pointy circular shape with the points facing outward. In the center of the medalion there is a large gold W for W M U, and the words Western Michigan University in small text below the W