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Graduate School Counseling

Applying successfully to programs to earn an advanced degree requires careful planning, including taking the right coursework in college and working as an intern, fellow or employee in related areas.

We can adjust the level and type of services offered based on where you are in the admissions process.  A team of expert consultants are available to support specific content needs in engineering, health care, mathematics, the humanities and the sciences.

Graduate School Counseling Services in Lafayette, Moraga, and Orinda California and NationwideDoing College and Beyond offers the full range of graduate admission counseling services to college students planning to apply directly to programs as well as to individuals entering from the workforce.

1.  Provide Overview: Provide a general overview of the graduate school admissions process, an associated timeline and standardized testing.

2.  Identify Education Opportunities: Identify a range of higher education opportunities that relate to academic areas of interest, talents, majors, prior degrees and career paths.

3.  Achieve Consensus Regarding Desired Program Features: Work together to define parameters for a program search or evaluate and refine an existing list of programs.

4.  Develop A Balanced Application List: Ensure the final list is balanced by probability of admission. 

5. Present the Strongest Possible Application: Provide specific recommendations about how to present a strong, cohesive application to each program; explore each programs specific requirements and how each part of the application is weighted in the admission decision.

Get Expert Graduate School Counseling Services in Lafayette, Moraga, and Orinda California with Doing College6.  Assist with Application Material Development: Assist with the development and editing of personal statements, supplemental essays, short responses and any communications with program staff.

7.  Provide Individualized Services: Provide personalized services such as resume development, designing regional visits to programs of choice, enhancing interview preparation, and reviewing portfolios.

8.  Customized Solutions until End of Application Process: Provide expert consultation regarding wait lists, acceptances, financial awards and making the final decision.

"Graduate school applications differ greatly from undergraduate applications and without the guidance of Elizabeth LaScala, I know my admission probability would have been much lower. After meeting Elizabeth, we worked closely to develop a preliminary list of well ranked DPT programs and then further refined the list based on geographic location and a match to my learning style.

"Elizabeth understood and taught me how to research programs and reach out directly to school administrators to determine how various components of the application are weighted at each program. She provided me with a systematic way to research each school of interest, and create a final, well balanced list of graduate schools.  At this point in the process, Elizabeth worked with me to categorize in terms of common threads all the essays and prompts that needed to be written to submit a strong application.  The questions all looked about the same to me, but the differences were critical to understand and address.  Elizabeth provided full commentary and editing for several drafts of each essay. 

"Elizabeth cares a great deal about her clients and it is demonstrated in her meticulous work and strong sense of integrity."

Alexandra Franceschi
Candidate, Doctor of Physical Therapy
Samuel Merritt University
Class of 2017

Contact Doing College for more information. We offer educational consulting services to students and their parents in Lafayette, Moraga, and Orinda California as well as nationally and internationally.


"Elizabeth was an invaluable resource to me while applying to Physician Assistant graduate programs. I met Elizabeth while she was working with my younger sister who was in high school at the time and I was in still college. Elizabeth encouraged me to work in a health care setting before applying to graduate programs. I took that advice and worked in an oral surgeon’s office. When I decided to apply to graduate programs to further pursue my passion for healthcare, I contacted Elizabeth again. In the early stages of the process, Elizabeth helped me formulate my career path options and then develop a thoroughly-researched and balanced list of schools to apply to. During the application process itself, she helped me develop cohesive primary and secondary applications that would allow me to shine at each school. 

"Elizabeth is experienced and thorough in all of her feedback and communications. She is easily accessible and always responds to my questions promptly, whether I sent her a quick e-mail or requested a lengthier in-person meeting. Financially, Elizabeth was generous and flexible when working with me, which I truly appreciated.

"Overall, I don’t know what I would have done without Elizabeth’s knowledgeable and diligent guidance. She is optimistic, yet honest, and works with you to put together the strongest application possible. I would not hesitate to work with her again and I highly recommend her to anyone seriously looking to further their education."

Serena Sam
Duke University
Class of 2017

"Elizabeth’s advice and support strengthened my graduate school applications considerably.  She helped me identify key weaknesses in my personal statement and statement of purpose.  I thought of my background as a Native American from a non-traditional background (military veteran) was a weakness, but she helped me realize that it was really my strength.  

"Her advice was key to being admitted to several fine universities, including Tufts and University of Massachusetts Amherst.  I ultimately decided to attend UC Santa Cruz with a $24,000 fellowship, which allows me to focus exclusively on my studies.  Elizabeth helped me make this important decision as well." 


Shawn Tsosie
University of California Santa Cruz
Doctoral Candidate
Department of Mathematics

Class of 2017