Preparing to apply to graduate school?
APSIA has five easy steps to get started.
Professional degrees should be grounded in your professional goals. Research job opportunities that seem interesting, even if you’re not yet qualified. See what skills and competencies they require. Ask supervisors, professors, peers, family members, and others for insights.
Read websites to understand the structure and emphasis of different degree programs. Ask yourself: What will you study in one program compared to another? Are you qualified? Will this degree build the skills, competencies, and network you need to achieve your professional goals? These personal reflections will help you sift through different options and prioritize. Keep an open mind. Programs that you might not have heard of could be the right fit for you.
Connect directly with admissions counselors during an APSIA or School-sponsored event, such as an APSIA Recruitment Fair. Go beyond what you read on a website. Get personal answers to your specific questions. During your conversations, remember to: show direction, convey your interests, and express any concerns.
If you know that aspects of your application may need improvement, work on those weaknesses first. Take any required standardized tests early, so that you can retake them if necessary. If a program requires specific strengths, which are not your natural strengths (such as writing or quantitative analysis), find ways to improve them through online courses or simple practice. These efforts show Schools you are serious about being competitive for their program.
Applications for financial assistance cannot wait until you have been accepted into a graduate program. Research financial aid at the same time you research degree programs. Prepare your materials at the same time. Be conscious of financial aid deadlines, which are often distinct from application deadlines. When you speak with admissions counselors, ask about the financial assistance they provide. Build relationships with Schools in case you need to ask for extra help.
We recommend you begin the process twelve months before you wish to enroll. That way, you have plenty of time to prepare the best application you can.
For tips on the complete application process, be sure to join our monthly webinar for best practices in applying!