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What to bring/wear for a grad school class?
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:10 AM

This is probably a stupid question. I have my first in person grad school class this fall. I've already completed 12 hours, but they were all online. I don't know if I should bring my tablet computer or just paper (and I paper and pen kind of person). I'm off on the day I have the class and I don't really want to wear my work clothes on a non-work day (slacks etc) - I will if it would be more appropriate. Though, most of my non-work wardrobe is jeans and graphic tee's or sweat pants or jeans and my more causal work shirts. (Don't worry I wouldn't wear sweatpants and graphic tee's to class).

I'm going shopping tomorrow/this weekend (it's the tax free weekend here), so any suggestions?

I'm pretty sure the class is teleconference and the teacher will be there every other week. Most people at this campus are med students so most every time I've been on campus I've seen mostly people in lab coats. However I am a library student, so that doesn't help me ;)

10 Replies to What to bring/wear for a grad school class?

re: What to bring/wear for a grad school class?
By highlanddncr Comments: 720, member since Mon Dec 22, 2003
On Thu Jul 31, 2014 04:12 PM
For my masters the classes were right after our required student teaching hours so we all just went in our work (teaching) clothes. I later did a post grad certificate program in gifted ed which was in the evening (630-930) and most people came straight from work in work clothes. Sometimes people would change after work into jeans but most people didn't have enough time. I'd go with work style clothes for the first few classes and see what others are wearing. Even if it's a teleconference, you may want a reference from this professor so I think it's better to look overdressed rather than underdressed. This probably varies regionally too- I am in the eastern US if that helps. Good luck!
re: What to bring/wear for a grad school class?
By SaraTheGrouchmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 8600, member since Thu Apr 17, 2003
On Thu Jul 31, 2014 04:59 PM
Edited by SaraTheGrouch (63195) on 2014-07-31 17:00:56
My first masters was only offered via night classes, since most people in the program were working professionals. It was a criminal justice degree, so the typical dress code really varied a ton. A handful of people were cops, so they came in a police officer uniform. A few others were in the military, so they came in their uniform. Others worked in offices and came in office clothes. I worked nights in a hospital, so if I was going to work afterwards, I'd wear my scrubs to class. If not, it honestly depended on the weather. Usually, I'd wear jeans and a top of some sort. I tried to dress semi-professionally, but since like you, I didn't really have a whole lot by way of "middle of the road" clothes, it was usually dark denim jeans and nicer top. I attempted dresses during the summer months, but the classrooms were kept at a frigid temperature and therefore that didn't work out well. My good friend wore her tennis outfit to class twice. Others wore shorts/tshirts. It really does vary on the program/school/level of comfort.

My suggestion is to wear something nicer the first day of class and scope out what everyone else is wearing and tone it up or down accordingly.

In terms of school supplies, I am very much a paper and pen type of girl myself. I have found that a 1 inch binder with dividers and a 3 hole punch work great for me. I tried the notebook thing, but I was constantly needing to file handouts and I hated putting them in a folder because they'd get out of order. I also like to lay pages side by side when I'm studying, and if I tear pages out of a notebook to do that, they aint going back in.

The only time I bring my laptop to class is when I have a professor who literally talks so fast that I cannot keep up. Occasionally a professor would ask us to look something up, but I don't have a tablet and looking things up on my phone is a pain, so it may be worth it to bring your tablet with you, even if you don't use it on a regular basis.

If your classes are the standard three hour grad classes, bring refreshments, lol. You may need a boost of energy mid-way if your professors are the type that don't like to stop and give breaks or end early.

Other than that, grad school doesn't require anything fancy. Bring something to write notes on/with (can't tell you how many times people forgot pens!), bring whatever books are required for the class, bring a sweater, and snacks. If you have business cards, bring those too. They make networking with your classmates easy.
re: What to bring/wear for a grad school class?
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Thu Jul 31, 2014 09:54 PM
Thanks for the tips! I'm excited about my first "real" class and I don't want to embarrass myself somehow ;)
re: What to bring/wear for a grad school class?
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 8949, member since Sat Jul 19, 2003
On Thu Jul 31, 2014 09:55 PM
MLIS programs are usually pretty chill in terms of what people wear. Most people wore jeans and a basic shirt/sweater. As the semester went on, most of us ended up wearing yoga pants, sweaters and uggs/tennis shoes. Whatever you would wear on a regular day is fine.

Definitely bring your computer, a pen and a pencil. I've found that I've needed my computer for every class, in order to access blackboard, take notes, look up things the instructor is talking about, etc. A lot depends on what they're teaching...what class is it?
re: What to bring/wear for a grad school class?
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:05 PM
Kekoa wrote:

MLIS programs are usually pretty chill in terms of what people wear. Most people wore jeans and a basic shirt/sweater. As the semester went on, most of us ended up wearing yoga pants, sweaters and uggs/tennis shoes. Whatever you would wear on a regular day is fine.

Definitely bring your computer, a pen and a pencil. I've found that I've needed my computer for every class, in order to access blackboard, take notes, look up things the instructor is talking about, etc. A lot depends on what they're teaching...what class is it?


Thanks :) The class is called "Organization of Information and Knowledge Resources" One of the required classes the description makes it sound like an intro to cataloging as well as cover a few other things like data retrieval.
re: What to bring/wear for a grad school class?
By GoBANANAS Comments: 363, member since Fri Jul 07, 2006
On Fri Aug 01, 2014 04:04 PM
Edited by GoBANANAS (162508) on 2014-08-01 16:07:13 Added
In my grad classes most of us wound up in business casual and dressy jeans because of work commitments. No one wore sweatpants ever, but jeans and a T-shirt were worn by everyone at one point or another. I think you'll be just fine in jeans and a graphic tee or casual top. My clothes ranged from tights and skirts to plaid button downs and jeans. I even wore a slouchy beanie a few times and kept it on for class (yeah, I know, hipster extraordinaire over here).

Definitely bring water and a snack for the break. Everyone did and sometimes we even arranged to share food, which was fun. Bring both a tablet or laptop and pen and paper. Some instructors genuinely don't like it when students are hunched behind a laptop screen while they lecture.
re: What to bring/wear for a grad school class? (karma: 1)
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 8949, member since Sat Jul 19, 2003
On Fri Aug 01, 2014 07:13 PM
That was my least favorite class...definitely bring your laptop to browse the web covertly ;)
re: What to bring/wear for a grad school class?
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:41 PM
Edited by majere (186163) on 2014-08-01 23:44:34
Well, I went shopping. I got a new pair of jeans (which are much better than all of my old jeans). A few tops that I would wear for a casual day at work* (which all that really means is work appropriate that looks good with jeans) - I figure that that is what I'll end up wearing to class. And a new pair of slacks (grey, I didn't have a grey pair before) and a top for work (which could go with slacks or jeans).

I also bought a bag for school. I have a bag I take to work that I use for my library books and lunch, but I wanted a different bag for school to make my life easier. It was cheap and will probably only last the semester but it was too cute to not get (and it matches my wallet) and it doesn't look like it was cheap. And it's big enough but not too big.

*I did really need new shirts for casual days most of mine are getting worn out and I'm getting bored of them. I'd rather not have casual days, slacks are more comfortable than jeans most of the time.
re: What to bring/wear for a grad school class?
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 8949, member since Sat Jul 19, 2003
On Sun Aug 03, 2014 08:17 PM
You'll fit right in. Night classes are such a mix. You've got people who work traditional hours and are dressed pretty nicely, all the way to the other end of being a slob. I've never had a professor care, and the classes I've been in are pretty evenly mixed. In my case, the three days I had class (at night) were my off days from work. I'd sleep in, do homework, clean the house...I wasn't about to dress up for class. Several students were in a similar situation.

Are you excited for your first in-person course? Are you planning to take most of them online or in-person? I just finished my second online course and am doing another this fall. I don't really like them very much.
re: What to bring/wear for a grad school class?
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:02 PM
Kekoa wrote:

You'll fit right in. Night classes are such a mix. You've got people who work traditional hours and are dressed pretty nicely, all the way to the other end of being a slob. I've never had a professor care, and the classes I've been in are pretty evenly mixed. In my case, the three days I had class (at night) were my off days from work. I'd sleep in, do homework, clean the house...I wasn't about to dress up for class. Several students were in a similar situation.

Are you excited for your first in-person course? Are you planning to take most of them online or in-person? I just finished my second online course and am doing another this fall. I don't really like them very much.


I'm pretty excited. I think most of them will be online, but that is just how the schedule seems to be working out. I've done four online and have done well (3 A's and 1 B). But I will actually talk to my classmates in person - those online discussions haven't been too impressive. Though, I think I might actually learn more in an in-person course... I tended to just skim through the lectures and textbook enough to write a good paper.

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