How to Get Ready for Grad School

How to Get Ready for Grad School
  • Opening Intro -

    You may be nearing the end of your college years, ready to secure your bachelor's degree and move on to a career.

    Some students will, instead, spend one or two more years at a university to pursue a master's degree, a requirement for some fields or simply an edge students want to have in their careers.


Regardless of your reasons for wanting a master’s degree, you should start your graduate pursuit early on in your senior year of college.

1. Explore your options. When you were in high school you may have had a general idea of what you wanted to study in college. In pursuing a master’s degree, you need to specify your interest before applying to a university. Know what course of study and program you’re interested in and begin researching your options. Look for grad schools offering the program you want to pursue.

2. Make contact with prospective grad schools. Now that you know what program you want to complete, contact several grad schools to learn about their requirements. This can be as easy as visiting the school’s website and reading up on those requirements. Likely, you’ll need to meet a certain grade point average minimum and have completed a grad school entrance exam such as the GMAT. Plan to meet these requirements before applying.

3. Meet with your academic advisor. Your academic advisor at your college can help you make the transition to a university’s grad school program. This advisor can ensure that you are on the path to graduation and that you have the requirements a school needs for you to make application. Your advisor may also be able to make recommendations of programs for you to consider. Meet with your advisor early on in the first semester of your senior year or the last semester of your junior year.

4. Apply to grad school. Once you identify one or more programs of interest to you, complete and forward your application. You may need to include recommendations from professors, an essay and copies of your current transcripts. Make application well before the school’s deadline as decisions for the fall academic year are usually made by the spring.

5. Review your financial options. As your applications for grad school are being reviewed, explore your financing options. Unlike your undergraduate education, grad school funding is much less generous with fewer grants are available. Federal student loans are a possibility and private student loans are also available. You may also qualify for an assistantship or a research grant, competitive options other students will be exploring as well.

Grad School

Once you have been accepted by a grad school and make a commitment to attend, you can have your college forward final transcripts. Expect to fill out additional paperwork and follow up with related forms or research samples that may be required. Finally, apply for available college scholarships to reduce your financial burden post graduate school.

College Financing reference:

finding money for college guide

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