Do your personal goals and career goals align with going to grad school in an ivy league program? Are you considering pursuing a master’s degree? Pursuing graduate studies at a reputable university can be an exciting step in your educational journey, but also rather stressful and challenging.
While the MBA admissions process is quite similar from program to program, and while the admissions process for PhD programs, medical schools, and law school is often very explicit, the admissions process for master’s degrees can vary greatly. But don’t worry – if you want to make the most of the application process to master’s programs this masters consultant has great tips for you.
As an expert masters consultant with extensive experience in graduate admissions, I have all the inside scoop on the graduate school admissions process for master’s degrees. I also know what admissions committees are looking for in prospective students, and how to get admitted into top graduate programs at a top university.
Keep reading to get all the admissions advice and expert higher education guidance you need to get admitted into your chosen program and find the best-fit programs for you. Be inspired as you learn how to get ahead in grad school!
It takes more than a strong GPA and a solid GRE score to get admitted into a top school. The first golden rule to getting admitted into a top master’s program at a great university is to give yourself plenty of time to properly research programs and gather all the required admissions information. Applying to a competitive program takes a lot more time and planning than one would think, so make sure that you give yourself a few months before admissions deadlines to get everything together. This type of planning is particularly useful if you are currently in school or working full-time.
(If you are wondering about what to look for when selecting graduate schools, watch this quick video where I break it down for you.)
Since the application process can be quite time-consuming, it can be extremely helpful to make a timeline and checklist to keep track of everything you need to do to meet all your university deadlines. This timeline should include the dates you need to submit your application for each school, the time you need to allot to gather your letters of recommendation and any other materials required by the admissions office. This will help you stay organized and on track throughout the admissions process.
Start Researching Programs
However, with the proper research and planning, you can find the program that best meets your needs. The first step is to come up with a preliminary list of 20-30 programs and gather information about these schools. Research the curriculum, extracurricular activities, faculty, cost of attendance, and financial aid and student affairs opportunities available for each program. Based on the information collected, narrow down your research to 10-12 programs.
Your Program Research Should be In-Depth
Time is again of the essence here, so pay attention to admissions prerequisites and application requirements for each program, as well as the deadlines for completing the admissions process. Additionally, look for information on alumni and job placement success of graduates to make sure that your choices align with your career goals. Doing your due diligence when researching graduate programs can help you find the one that is right for you. Simultaneously, you also need to find out about the exams needed for admission and gain a clear idea of theadditional time you will need to ace them.
Don’t Hesitate to Contact the Admissions Team of Your Target Programs
Many schools post their application guidelines on their website, which can provide helpful information. When graduate students are unable to find answers online, they can call or email the school directly. In addition, you should take advantage of any informational sessions offered by the school and program. This is a great way for you to show the admissions committee that you are serious about enrolling in their program. A very little-known fact: attending informational sessions often has a substantial impact on admissions decisions.
Get Your Admissions Documentation in Order
It is essential to make arrangements to obtain your transcripts at least 8 weeks before the application deadline. You may need to contact your former university and request they be sent directly to the institution you are applying to, or you may have to arrange for physical copies of your transcript to be delivered.
Be sure that all of your official transcripts arrive at your target school before the application deadline to have your application considered. If you are submitting transcripts from international institutions, be sure to allow extra time for processing as they may take longer to arrive.
Additionally, double-check that all of the contact information is correct and up-to-date before submitting your request. Taking these steps will help ensure that you can submit a complete and accurate application to the admissions office.
Get Your Test Results in Order
It is important to allow enough time for your entrance exam scores to be sent to the school of your choice. You should make arrangements to have your test scores sent at least 8 weeks before the application deadline so that they can be properly processed by the school and considered promptly.
Start Working on a Letter of Recommendation Strategy
When applying to grad school, strong letters of recommendation can make a big difference. Therefore, it is important to reach out to potential recommenders at least 4-6 weeks before the application deadline. This will allow them enough time to accurately reflect on your achievements and provide meaningful insight into why you are an ideal candidate for the school.
Additionally, contacting recommenders early allows them to submit their letters of recommendation ahead of the deadline if needed. To ensure that your letter of recommendation is as strong as possible, make sure to give your recommender plenty of information about yourself and the university you’re applying for.
Polish Your Statement of Purpose
The statement of purpose is one of the most important parts of any master’s application. For the admissions committee, it serves as a window into who you are and what makes you unique. It should be carefully crafted to highlight your strengths, showcase your accomplishments, and emphasize why pursuing a master’s degree at this specific school will help you reach your goals.
Make sure that it reflects your passion and enthusiasm for the school and that it is free of any typos or grammatical errors. Take the time to properly refine your statement of purpose and make sure it is a true reflection of who you are as an individual. Doing so will go a long way in helping you achieve success in the grad school application process.
Additionally, make sure that the tone of your writing is appropriate for a professional document. Make sure to review what you have written against the prompt or guidelines provided by the school you’re applying to. With careful attention to detail, your final statement of purpose will be a strong addition to your application materials.
Ask for help when needed
It is always better to be well-informed and make sure that you are taking all the necessary steps to have a successful graduate school application process. Consider talking to other applicants, finding mentors, or connecting with masters admissions consultants that can provide you with an assessment of your profile and confirm if your profile matches the school’s requirements. You don’t have to do this alone. An extra pair of eyes can make a huge difference in getting you admitted.
You can also reach out to professionals in your field if you are looking to gain expertise in a particular area; they may be able to provide valuable insight into the admissions process for a specific school. With that in mind, don’t forget that you can always use online resources and forums to get more information about the application requirements.
No matter what method you choose, it is important to make sure that you are thorough when applying for a master’s program so that you can maximize your chances of success.
How Graduate School Admissions Consulting Can Increase Your Chances of Getting Admitted Into Competitive Programs
What Is Graduate School Admissions Counseling?
A masters consultant prepares prospective graduate students for the ultra-competitive graduate admissions process, whether you’re applying to business schools, medical school, MBA programs, or any other graduate school program.
How intense is the competition for grad school admissions and do I need help from a masters consultant?
Graduate programs tend to be intensely competitive with select acceptance rates — making it difficult for many students to gain entrance on their first attempt! To improve their chances of success, students often hire graduate school admissions consultants or advisors who are well-versed in navigating this complex landscape.
To gain a better understanding of the cutthroat competition when applying to graduate programs, let’s take a closer look at acceptance rates for high-profile universities in both the United States and Canada. Despite fluctuation depending on the discipline you are entering, this insight will help put into perspective just how rigorous admission requirements can be.
Roughly, Harvard has a dismal grad school acceptance rate of only 7%, while MIT accepts just over 8% of applicants. Yale went up slightly with their 9% offer acceptance rate to graduate students and Dartmouth followed closely behind at 12%. When the admissions numbers for all these prestigious universities are so low, it’s clear that securing a spot in one is no easy feat.
While the acceptance rate numbers presented may be generalized, they still offer some insight into the competitiveness of graduate school admissions. As previously mentioned, these figures vary and are dependent on many things such as which field you’re applying to, how exclusive or esteemed the program is, etc.
What Does a Masters Consultant Do?
The same way that some graduate admissions consultants can be helpful to students seeking a graduate degree from a medical school, law school, or MBA program, masters admission consultants can be immensely beneficial in your graduate school application process, bringing with them a unique insight into the graduate admissions procedure for business school, the arts, the humanities, or the social sciences. A masters consultant can help you craft an impeccable and authentic statement of who you are, one that will truly make you shine among other applicants! In short: they provide comprehensive guidance and unparalleled assistance every step of the way.
If you’re looking to increase your odds of being accepted into a master’s program, it’s best to start preparing a few months in advance. Consider what programs are the best fit for you and research how to make your application stand out. Also, don’t hesitate to ask for help from a masters consultant. Oftentimes, having that extra expert guidance can make all the difference. I offer affordable and comprehensive services that can take the guesswork and stress out of applying to master’s programs.
My higher education and admissions committee experience, as well as my experience as a masters consultant, allow me to provide guidance at all stages of the application process and gain admittance to target schools. From interview prep for admissions interviews to comprehensive support, I help graduate school applicants by giving personalized feedback on admissions essays, mock interviews, and other application materials. Click here to learn more about my services and see if they’re right for you. Got questions? Sign up for a consultation. It’s FREE!
With a Master’s from McGill University and a Ph.D. from New York University, Dr. Philippe Barr is the founder of The Admit Lab. As a tenure-track professor, Dr. Barr spent a decade teaching and serving on several graduate admission committees at UNC-Chapel Hill before turning to full-time consulting. With more than seven years of experience as a graduate school admissions consultant, Dr. Barr has stewarded the candidate journey across multiple master’s and Ph.D. programs and helped hundreds of students get admitted to top-tier graduate programs all over the world.