Ten Tips to Succeed in Grad School

Graduate school is an adventure. In grad school, you learn and grow, discover new skills and make long lasting connections. Whether you’re a new or returning student, check out our list of top tips to make sure you make the best of your graduate education. 

Schedule and organize

You will be busy – to stay on top of everything and not overwhelm yourself, it’s best to stay organized. Figure out a system that works the best for you and follow it. 

Find time to go outside 

Classes, studying and working on your research will take a lot of time and keep you inside. Make sure to give yourself some time to go outside, enjoy nature and get some exercise. Looking for inspiration on where to go? Check out our 5 Best Outdoorsy Locations Near SJSU.

Take advantage of the school resources  

Everybody needs a bit of support sometimes – don’t hesitate to ask for help! SJSU is on your side no matter what and has many resources available to help you succeed. 

Find your favorite study spots

There are so many on campus locations to choose from. Do you prefer a quiet nook in the library or a busy cafe? This author’s favorite spot is the top floor of a Library – quiet and comfy, while offering amazing views of the campus.

Make copies 

Some students prefer to read class assignments on a paper copy vs on screen. If that’s you, make copies of important documents in your first couple weeks of school to have them ready.  

Have a good work setup at home 

Make sure you have a good setup – a comfortable workspace, ideally with limited distractions. 

Refresh your writing skills

Graduate school requires a lot of writing. If you feel nervous about this, refresh your writing skills by visiting the Writing Center and attend a tutoring session or one of their writing workshops. 

Build connections 

A big part of graduate education is networking – building connections in your professional and private life. You will meet so many amazing people at SJSU! Not sure where to start? Check out the student organizations. 

Take care of your mental health

Mental Health is a key to success. Take care of it and don’t let the stress get to you. Need some help? SJSU CAPS has got you covered. 

Last, have fun!

Enjoy your time at graduate school! All you need to do is take care of yourself and stay on top of your tasks – and you will have a great time. 

5 Best Outdoorsy Locations Near SJSU!

Hi! I am Aleksandra and I am a graduate student at San José State University. Whenever I have free time, I love to spend time surrounded by nature. It is such a great way to relax and “recharge batteries.” Sometimes, the best ideas come to my mind when I am hiking because I let my mind drift freely, without stress and rushing anything. In the past I worked professionally in the outdoor recreation field and I still have the passion for sharing my experience with others. Now, I would like to share it with you and recommend you the best hiking locations in our area. Trust me, they are great. If you are looking to unwind this summer, check out these locations. 

The Bay Area is well known for its amazing hiking locations – many of them are in close proximity from the SJSU campus. Life as a graduate student can be busy and stressful, so spending time outdoors is a great way to relax and unwind.  While studying at SJSU you should really take advantage of all the locations that are so close from campus, that allows you to get away from the city hustle!


Almaden Quicksilver County Park 

My personal favorite park that I can never get bored of. Miles of trails – from easy  3-mile loops to strenuous all-day “ultras.” Fabulous views of the Almaden Valley, Downtown SJ, and Sierra Azul Mountains.

Enjoy the remains of the mines, mining towns, mysteries, and thrilling legends! If you want more, on your way stop by the historic town of New Almaden – no joking, every resident there has a story they love to share. 

My favorite loop: 13 miles starting from the Hacienda entrance (New Almaden), going through English Camp, Mine Hill, and Guadalupe Reservoir, and back around through Mockingbird. You will get warmed up at the first 2 miles of a climb and then enjoy the moderately flat hike for the rest of the loop. 

Quicksilver is accessible from 5 entrances – it doesn’t matter where in South Bay you are located, you will be able to reach an entrance within a 25-minute drive. Each entrance gives you a slightly different approach to the park and a unique story behind it. 

Uvas Canyon County Park

Uvas Canyon is a real hidden gem. Located a bit remotely is often overlooked by hikers. What a shame! This wonderful park will welcome you with the peace and quiet of a secluded canyon and the soothing sound of water flowing in creeks. As soon as you fall in love with that calmness, you’ll face a new thrill – a series of beautiful waterfalls.

Uvas Canyon is a perfect location for summer hikes – mostly shaded, with trails following along the streams. It provides a lovely refuge from the heat and racket of the city. 

Best hike to do there? Go for it all – start with the waterfall loopand don’t hesitate to add a 3-mile-long, out-and-back trail for a Nibbs Knob. That part is not easy, but absolutely worth it. Views of the Santa Cruz Mountains and majestic Loma Prieta compensate for every drop of sweat, I promise!

Accessible from the private location – a lovely and welcoming Swedish community. The number of parking spots is limited, so make sure to plan your visit ahead and make a reservation.

Calero County Park

Calero is a great park, especially for beginners, or if you want to get outside but not get too tired (strenuous options available too if you only feel like it). Big open spaces, fabulous views of the lake, and various trail options to choose from – what else do you need?

This park is my favorite for mountain biking – if you are a beginner like me, you will find it perfect. Leave your car at the San Vincente entrance and warm up by riding on McKean road to the Main Entrance. Take the Oak Cove Trail all around the lake – enjoy the wonderful views, empty trail, and tricky (though not too difficult) turns. After the big crossroads, you will follow the Lisa Killough Trail all the way back to your car. The trail ends with a fun downhill cruise – beware though, there is a closed gate at the end of the descent, so make sure to stop on time (trust me, I learned my lesson the hard way). 

Calero is a great location for everybody – hikers, runners, bikers, and equestrians. It is a  “Choose your own adventure” kind of park. Great location for winter and spring hikes, it gets a bit hot in the summer as most of the trails are in the open sun. Bring sunscreen and plenty of water!


Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve

Small, but an incredibly fun park. Quite literally hidden on the southern border of San Jose, Coyote Open Space is a great location for beginners, families, and hikers who need a quick but intense stroll. 

Coyote is a 4-mile-long, one-way loop. Usually it’s not too busy, and you will surely come across some animals – from cows to coyotes, chipmunks to birds. The trail goes across multiple wooden bridges, which surely adds a bit of charm to your hike. 

I like this park early in the morning, especially on weekdays. Usually, you won’t meet too many people there. Instead, you’ll see coyotes on their way home from nightly hunts. Personal advice – don’t put your headset in, enjoy the sounds of nature. 

Wonderful location for beginner trail runners – you will get good practice, but not overdo it. A loop splits equally between 2 miles of gradual uphill and 2 miles of downhill. Check the website before visiting – this location tends to close quite a bit due to seasonal fire hazards. 

Henry Coe State Park 

Last but not least – majestic Henry Coe State Park. Probably the most remote of the 5 parks I mentioned, but surely worth a bit of a drive. Speaking of driving – there are some spectacular views to enjoy on the way there, keep your eyes on the road. 

Henry Coe Park provides miles and miles of hiking and biking trails – from small, family-friendly loops, to 30+ mile backpacking trails. Great location to start your backpacking adventure or test the gear before hitting the bigger mileage. 

If you have time, take a longer route and go all the way to the China Hole – it’s hard but worth the effort. This 10-mile loop with a perfect mid-hike lunch location by the water is just dreamy. Not too many people hike there, so you will surely enjoy the peace and quiet every time of the year. Watch out for Poison Oak around the China Hole! 

The Ranger station at the main trailhead has the most helpful staff – they will always share their advice about the best trail, or interesting facts about the park’s nature. Worth stopping by for a little chat before hiking. 


Ready for hiking? 

Have you visited all the locations, or did I mention some you’ve never tried before? Go check them out now and let me know what you think.

Before you start hiking make sure to check each of the park’s websites for all the detailed information or check your favorite hiking app. 

10 Top Reasons to Choose SJSU for Grad School

Deciding to continue your graduate education is a big step to take. Once you decide that you do, you have an even bigger question to answer – which school should I choose? The choice can be easier than you think – join our spartan community at San José State University. 

SJSU is right in the heart of the most interesting and vibrant professional area in the world – Silicon Valley. Being involved in research and innovation here means being involved in changing the world. We are in the heart and soul of change. There is no better place to make a difference, make connections and grow. You won’t find  another public college in the center of the action – and actively involved in it. 

SJSU offers students transformational opportunities both personal and professional. Take a look at our top 10 reasons why Grad School at SJSU is just the right choice for you and an excellent opportunity to advance your knowledge and succeed professionally

2022 College of Health and Human Sciences Commencement.

1. Over 120 programs to choose from 

SJSU has so much to offer. We have over 120 graduate programs. You will find the program just right for you – no matter the area of your interest. 

Learn more about all the Graduate Programs offered by SJSU: Graduate Programs 

2. SJSU – #1 Most Transformative University  

Let us brag a little. San Jose State University was named the #1 Most Transformative University by Money Magazine. For years now, SJSU has been placing on the top positions in many national rankings. 

Check out more about our achievements: Accomplishments 

3. Research Opportunities

Graduate education is a door to research.

SJSU offers all necessary resources, funding and mentorship. If interested, students have an opportunity to enter their research in multiple competitions – like an annual Grad Slam.

This year SJSU celebrated an inaugural “Research Week” – a week dedicated to exhibit and bring attention to faculty-, and student-led research projects. Great way to show off your dedication, connect with other scholars and get inspired.  

Learn more about research at SJSU: Research 

4. Location 

If the fact of attending a good, widely recognized school is not enough, consider our location. 

Let’s not forget about the other aspect of the location – Bay Area is simply the place to be. You will never be bored.. Explore beautiful San Francisco, visit historical sites, go to the beach, go hiking or camping, enjoy national parks within a couple hours away. Possibilities are endless. 

5. Events 

San Jose State hosts hundreds of events. You will have a chance to take part in professional events closely related to your area of study, general events supporting research in all the departments, job fairs, meeting with alumni, networking events with local employers, and finally many fun social meetings to connect with your peers. We know how important networking is, so we will make sure to give you time and space to do so.

Learn more about the events: Events

6. Funding opportunities 

San José State University offers many ways to support financing your education – scholarships, awards, fellowships. Additionally, Office of Research and Innovation has many opportunities to support you in your research endeavors. 

Read more about your financing options: Funding Opportunities

7. Vibrant community 

San José State is a diverse and vibrant community. Saying that SJSU is a one big Spartan Family is not an over exaggeration. We really are like a family here. Our campus is always alive and in action. You will have many opportunities to connect with people, take a break from studying and have some fun. 

Learn more about community: Campus Life

8. Campus resources

San José State University provides students with all the resources they need to succeed in their academic journey. An amazing library that really is “more than just a library,” Writing Center, Tutoring, Advising, Career Center–these are just a few of many. 

San José State University makes sure you are taken care of and feel good – physically and mentally. You can seek advice from a counselor at our Wellness Center, work out at the Recreation Center, get financial or housing assistance, and much more. Feeling a bit lonely – connect with people. 

Learn more: Resources

9. Student organizations 

Want to connect with people who like the same thing you do? Do you have a hobby but nobody to share it with? Maybe you just need a bit of peer support in your academic journey? You will find all these people in dozens of student-run clubs and organizations. 

If somehow you can’t find an organization focused around your area of interest – start a new one and meet people just like you. 

10. Partnerships with local companies 

We already mentioned that San José State University is in the very center of what’s going on in Silicon Valley. We work closely with some of the most important local companies and promising startups to make sure that after graduation your door to a successful career is open. 

Learn more about some of our: Partnerships

Need more? 

If you are not convinced yet, come and see San Jose State in person! Meet our students, alumni and faculty; and listen to their success story. You will really have no doubts San Jose State University is just the right place for you to proceed with your Graduate Education. 

We can’t wait to see you on campus!