Things to look out for when applying to graduate school

Improper background research is a common mistake that students fall into while applying to graduate school! Given the high cost and financial investment of most graduate degrees, you owe it to yourself to make an informed and well-considered decision when selecting a course and putting together your application.

Here are 6 things to research on before making a decision.

1. Career Prospects

For many, a Master’s degree is also a chance to acquire the knowledge and connections needed to jump-start a career, progress to the next level, or enter a new discipline. You will save time in the long run if you take the time to evaluate all of your options.

Some questions you should ask yourself before embarking on this journey

What is most important to you?

Income? Flexibility? Job security?

What are your hobbies? What would be your dream job? What would your dream job opportunities and earning potential look like? And which graduate degree will help you get there.

2. Location

To tackle all of the hurdles that academics throws at you, you must be in the correct state of mind. Choosing the ideal city for your graduate degree – one that is conducive to study, recreation, cheap and affordable cost of living, and job hunting – will go a long way toward ensuring your productivity and satisfaction! 

3. The Faculty

This cannot be overstated. Exploring the faculty and checking up some of the research conducted by prominent people in the department may help you determine whether a university is appropriate for you, as well as assist you win over admissions officials in your personal statement and application.

While colleges are expected to be truly unbiased and professional, various departments do prefer different approaches, theoretical perspectives, and views on their respective disciplines. They also have diverse areas of focus, as seen by faculty members’ expertise. When researching degree programs, be sure to select a department that is a good fit for your professional and academic goals.

4. Tuition costs and financing

Tuition costs and financing opportunities differ considerably by location. Some countries, such as Germany or Sweden, provide free tuition, whereas other study destinations, such as the United Kingdom or the United States, charge huge fees for their world-renowned programs, which are offset in some cases by tuition fees waivers, scholarships programs, grants and assistantships for a certain percentage of students.

So, before applying to graduate school, be sure you can afford it and have a solid finance strategy in place. You don’t want to be unable to complete your degree because you’ve run out of funds!

5. Facilities

Depending on your research topic and discipline, you may require access to specialized technology or library resources. Researching the facilities can help you decide whether to attend school X rather than school Y, as well as come up with a convincing statement in your application. When applying to graduate school, it is essential that you sound as detailed and precise as possible and referring to specialized facilities will help you achieve this.

6. Course format

Each university has its unique course structure and reading list, and one course structure may be more aligned with your interests than another. Review the syllabus, which is available online in the course description. To gain a better understanding of the course’s theoretical foundation and core design, send an email to the course leader or other faculty members.

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