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Tips for Applying to A Master’s Program

Are you ready for real life? Now is the time undergraduate university students are deciding whether they want to enter the working world or continue with their studies. That means applications, stress, and decision time is upon them. Now, I’m not saying I’m a master at applying to Master’s programs (pun intended), but after working on a few different applications you start to get the hang of it. If you’re lost and looking for some guidance, here are some tips for applying to a Master’s program.

1. References

First and foremost, make connections with your professors in second and third year. Note that you will probably see these professors in future classes and they can help you as most programs require academic references. To make good connections, I suggest participating in class, sitting near the front so the professor knows you, and attending office hours to show your interest in the course.

2. Research, Research, Research!

I will repeat: research. Research the program and all of its requirements. You don’t want to reach the end of the application and realize you can’t apply because you don’t have a certain GPA. Most graduate websites are very easy to navigate and dedicate an entire section to application requirements.

3. Start the Application Process Early

All applications have a deadline—aim to hand in an application at least two weeks prior to then. This is to ensure all supplementary documents, references and transcripts can be properly submitted on time.

4. Set Realistic Goals

Each application costs a certain amount of money. Narrow down your options to programs that are realistic to your future goals. Is this program something you actually want to pursue? I would also make sure your grades and supplementary documents match with the program so you don’t waste your time or money.

5. Rate Your Options Ahead of Time

If you have three or four options to choose from, make a pros and cons list to rank your potential programs. This can help in the long run if you get accepted into more than one. You’ll have a ranked order of which program you’d prefer so the decision is already made for you.

I’m not saying these tips will necessarily make or break your way into the program, but they will definitely help make the application process a little more manageable. Don’t forget to get your references, research, start early, set realistic goals and rate your options. You can do it!

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Jess is a current student at The University of Western Ontario in her third year majoring in media information and technoculture. She is an aspiring writer who loves to travel and loves her dog Teddy.
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