A master’s degree is a big step toward career advancement in almost any field. It enables business people to move into management, teachers to advance to leadership or education roles and scientists and engineers to become world-leading experts. However, many prospective students are intimidated by the prospect of filing a graduate admissions application, particularly at some of today’s top universities.
The first step in the process is to identify a program that aligns with your long-term professional goals and interests. Then, find a school that is committed to excellence in teaching and research in your chosen field of study.
Many programs require applicants to submit standardized test scores. If this is a requirement, choose the appropriate exam and take it well in advance of the date when you will need to file your applications. Some specialized fields, such as medical or law schools, might have exams offered only a few times a year.
master’s admissions – How to apply for a Master’s Degree Program
In addition to submitting test results, most master’s admissions programs will ask for letters of recommendation. These should come from people who know you and your work well, and can attest to your academic and professional credentials. Typically, a minimum of two referees are required. It is usual to pick university tutors, but some programmes also ask for references from employers or other professionals.
Some programmes may also require an interview, particularly if they are highly competitive or are looking for candidates who can contribute to the academic and cultural life of the university. This is common for MBA courses but can be less common for other degrees.
Before submitting your application, carefully review the full set of requirements for each programme to make sure you have everything in order. This will help you to avoid common errors that can delay the processing of your application, such as failing to provide complete and accurate transcripts or missing deadlines for submitting test results and letter of recommendation.
Finally, pay attention to the funding requirements of each programme, including any application fees. If you are not sure how to fund your studies, speak to a guidance adviser at your undergraduate college or contact the university directly for advice.
Once you have submitted your application, wait to hear back from the university. It can sometimes take months, and even up to a year, for your application to be processed. If you are accepted to your chosen master’s degree program, be sure you have the financial resources to pay the remaining tuition and fees before you begin your studies. Otherwise, you may find yourself unable to finish your degree, which will be a waste of time and money. If you are unsure about how to finance your studies, consider applying for student loans. Almost all graduate students need to apply for these in order to get the most out of their postgraduate experience. The FAFSA is a great place to start. There are also a number of scholarships for students with a wide range of profiles and backgrounds available to you.