Much like undergraduate programs, your chances of getting into a master’s degree program vary widely from one university or college to the next, or even from one degree program to the next. One graduate degree program could have a near 100 percent acceptance rate, while the next could allow 5 percent or less of its applicants.
Whether the programs that you’re applying for welcomes lots of students each semester or only a few, it never hurts to give your application a boost with a few smart strategies. Keep reading to learn a few that can help your application stand out from the others.
1. Know What Materials You’ll Need to Provide
Filling out a graduate school application is more complicated than filling out a job application. Besides your personal information, you’ll likely also need to provide a variety of other materials. This includes your Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores, letters of recommendation, transcripts and more.
Some of these materials take time to acquire. For instance, you’ll need to schedule your GRE test in advance, allow yourself time to study before the test and wait for your test results afterward. If you are required to provide letters of recommendation, you should give those you request letters from at least a couple of weeks to complete them, as well as time for them to be mailed and received by the school that you’re applying to. Even receiving official copies of your undergraduate transcripts takes some time.
By checking these requirements far in advance of applying, you’ll be prepared with everything you need when the time comes to submit your application.
2. Look for Relevant Work Experiences
Getting accepted into a master’s degree program is often about more than just having the necessary education. Most programs will also want to see that you’ve proven a real interest in the field that you’re pursuing. On your application, this means listing any relevant work experience that you might have.
If you’re still earning your bachelor’s degree, you can look for internships, mentorships or even volunteer opportunities in a related field. For those who have already earned their bachelor’s degree and are looking to further their education, an entry-level job in a relevant field can be a great boost to your application.
3. Understand the Industry
Besides expressing an interest in the field, you should also have a deep understanding of the industry that you’d like to work in. For instance, if you’re applying to an MBA program, you’ll want to understand the various positions you’ll qualify for, what they entail and even details like the average salary of MBA graduates. Knowing this information will help you prove that you have a true interest in pursuing a career within it, which can help you get ahead when it comes to the interview stage of the application process.
Applying to Your Master’s Program of Choice
Pursuing a master’s degree is a great way to expand your career options, improve your skills or move up the ladder at your current company. But first, you’ll need to be accepted into a graduate program. Putting these strategies to use can help you to improve your application and give it the best chance of standing out from other applicants and helping you earn a spot in the program of your choice.