Applying to Grad School Stress Free

It’s that time of the year: graduate school admissions. If you are a college senior or even a junior and planning on getting a master’s degree, it’s crunch time. I know the process can seem daunting and super stressful and at times, it is. But I am writing this article for that girl out there who is wondering where to start and how to manage grad school applications like a pro.

 

Know What You Want

Before you even start working on a statement of purpose and collecting recommendation letters, you need to know what exactly you are going for. What is you desired program? Do you want to do full time, part time, or online? There is no right way to go about this. It just takes some time and internal searching to figure out which program will benefit you the most. Online grad programs are becoming more popular because let’s be honest, that sh*t is expensive. So, take a deep breath and talk with your advisor, friends, or family on what type of grad school works best for you financially and personally. 

 

Be Proactive

If you think you are starting too early, you aren’t. It is always better to get ahead so you don’t have to rush last minute. Ask for your letters of recommendation as soon as you know who you are asking. Usually, most programs require at least one academic and one professional, so establish your people and ask them before they get swamped with requests. This also applies to any standardized tests you might have to take. While some programs are getting rid of the GRE, a lot still require it. GRE testing centers fill up pretty fast so make sure you are staying on top of time slots. GRE scores can take a little while to process, so make sure you are taking the test with plenty of time to retake it if necessary. 

 

Ask for Help

Most grad programs require you to submit a CV or resume and a statement of purpose. In some cases, these two documents could be the determining factor of your admission. So, it is perfectly okay and recommended you ask someone you trust to go over your writing samples before you submit them. Furman has a ton of great resources like the Malone Career Center and the Writing and Media Lab.

Statements of purpose can be tricky, it is hard to write about yourself and especially your future self, so it is a good idea to have someone who knows you well to go over it and provide feedback. Get your resume edited, and then get it edited again. Make sure all the fonts are the same, look for punctuation errors, and another quick tip: always send it out in PDF format. 

 

Grad school is stressful, it is like applying to college all over again. But being proactive and willing to ask your resources for help is key. You have made it this far, and that says a lot considering Furman’s rigorous nature. Stay on top of things and don’t forget to be your genuine self throughout the admissions process.