Things I Wish I Knew Before Applying to Graduate school

First ask yourself, why?

  • Why are you interested in *fill in the blank*
  • Do research on different programs & career paths
  • Understand types of degrees
  • Network: Talk to mentors & graduates of the program you’re interested in


Narrow your search

  • Location & what that means for you (urban or rural?)
  • Institution type, size, diversity
  • Area of focus
  • Your budget, financial aid, & scholarships
  • Opportunities for professional development & travel funding
  • GRE requirements

Consider the program’s in’s & out’s

  • Program requirements – credits to graduate and length of program?
  • Study part-time or full-time
  • Faculty-student ratio
  • Faculty background & research interests
  • Institutional and community fit
  • Pay attention to application requirements (they are different per school)

The Interview

  • Prepare by researching the institution
  • Match your strengths to their needs
  • First impressions count – it all starts with hello
  • Understand who you are & why you are a good fit for their program
  • When answering questions be complete & concise

The Wait

  • This is the hardest part of the whole process

         “All things come to him who waits – provided he knows what he is waiting for…”

           – Woodrow T. Wilson

So now what?

  • Be optimistic!
  • Remember your recommenders – follow up throughout the entire process
  • Look at the whole package – review everything before making a decision
  • Don’t be afraid to say no if the program is no longer for you
  • Know what position you want to obtain after graduate school

Source: NASPA Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education