How Do I Apply For Graduate School
Once you’ve decided you want to go to graduate school, make sure you start preparing to submit your application several months before the grad school’s deadline. Online colleges and universities with grad school programs like Walden University have a free online application process and experienced Enrollment Specialists to answer your questions and assist you in completing your application. Although different graduate schools may require different types of documentation for your application, the basic process normally includes these seven steps:
- Research several graduate schools.
Even if the graduate programs all look the same at first glance, dig deeper and you will notice the important differences. For instance, one master’s degree program might offer a specialization in an area which aligns closely with your career goals, while another graduate school might only offer a general program. Be sure to make note of all of the nuances and compare them with your wish list.
- Complete an online profile and open your online application.
Once you have decided where to apply, look to see if you can apply online. Most graduate schools ask that you create a login in order to apply. This also allows you to return to your application if you can’t complete it all at once.
- Gather supportive documents for your application.
Be sure to also have these resources at hand:
- List of academic institutions you attended.
- Employment history.
- Most current résumé.
- List of transfer credits from other online colleges or universities (or exam scores, if needed). As a working professional, you may be able to receive additional college credits toward your online graduate degree for life, military, and work experience. Learn more at Center for Degree Acceleration.
- Goal statement—If you’re asked to write a goal statement, make sure it’s clean, clear, and free of grammatical errors. You need to communicate the goal that the graduate degree will help you attain. Walden University, for example, encourages graduates and undergrads to be “agents of change” and use their new knowledge and skills to make a positive contribution to their academic and professional communities.
- Provide official transcripts.
Request that official copies of your transcript are sent directly to the universities you are considering.
- Include applicable test scores.
You could be asked for a transcript of your GRE (Graduate Record Examination) or other exams relevant to your area of graduate study. Be sure to include them along with your application.
- Once you are accepted…
After you receive and accept an offer of admission into grad school, you’ll be considered a student and will receive further instructions on how to apply for financial aid, set up your student account, and enroll in courses.
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