7 Tips for Preparing for Grad School

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stack of books and graduation cap

Choosing the right grad school program is quite different from picking a university and major for your undergraduate degree. Know exactly what to expect to ensure you come to the right decision and improve your chances of being accepted to your top choice.

1. Decide on Your Goals

It’s important to have a clear reason why you want to attend grad school. It may be that you have a deep interest in a particular subject and want to advance your knowledge. Alternatively, you may want to continue studying to be able to have a particular career. Identifying your goals will help you decide on the right program for you, including whether you should pursue an academic or professional program.

2. Learn the Requirements for the Programs

To narrow down your options to just a few programs, find out the admission requirements to check if you qualify. You may need to have completed certain types of coursework or have a particular research background. In addition, most grad schools require applicants to have at least a 3.0 GPA, but you may need a higher GPA if the program is particularly competitive.

3. Make a Note of Deadlines

Create a spreadsheet where you make note of deadlines to complete particular tasks and key dates for applying to programs. This may include preparing materials like statements and letters, taking examinations, attending graduate school fairs, and applying for funding.

4. Connect with Faculty Members

It’s worth reaching out to faculty members at the university before you apply. This is a great way to learn more about the program and ensure it’s something that will interest you. If there are several possible programs, faculty members will be able to advise you about which would best meet your goals. They can also give you advice about what to include in your application to improve your chances of acceptance.

5. Find Out About Research Opportunities

If the program you want to take is not research based, you may want to search for opportunities to participate in research during your time at grad school. Find out if this is a possibility by talking to faculty members and looking for information on the university’s website.

6. Take Some Campus Tours

If you’re considering attending grad school at a different university than where you are currently, pay the campus a visit. This is worthwhile even if you visited the campus before, back when you were at high school. Not only will it refresh your memory, it will give you the chance to visit facilities specific to the grad program and find out about the resources available for grad students.

7. Talk to Students

During your campus tours, ask graduate students questions about their experiences studying at the university. Find out what life is like for graduate students and what they think about the academics, support, and research opportunities.

An important consideration for grad school is where you’ll live. You’ll likely want your own space in student housing. Edmonton students who live at 1TEN on Whyte can choose between a private bedroom in a shared suite or their own bachelor apartment. As well as being close to campus, it’s near some great spots in Edmonton, including many stores and restaurants. Apply now.

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