Going to grad school can open up new opportunities in your field and increase your earning potential. Depending on the program you want to take, there may be heavy competition — meaning a strong application is crucial. To improve your chances, there are a few things in particular you need to do.
1. Volunteer in a Relevant Field
Many people gain work experience before they apply to grad school. If you want to attend immediately after university, you may lack experience to mention in your application. One way to gain the skills you need is through volunteering. Search for opportunities relevant to what you want to study. For instance, many programs expect you to have teaching experience, which you can gain by mentoring at a local school or through ESL teaching.
2. Find Work as a Research Assistant
Another great way to gain experience is to work as a research assistant. While you’re still at university, it’s easy to find opportunities: just ask your professors. Ensure the professors you ask are working on projects related to your field of interest.
3. Develop Stronger Relationships with Faculty Members
Part of your application will be references from staff members at your university. Make sure they know more about you and will be able to sing your praises. Working on a research project can help with this, as can taking advantage of office hours.
4. Choose the Right Classes
Rather than just meeting the requirements for your major, choose classes that show you have the skills and knowledge necessary for grad school. This may mean opting for more challenging electives.
5. Pick the Right Program
Grad school differs in many ways from your undergraduate degree. For one thing, you’ll focus on a specific topic and take no general education classes. For this reason, it’s crucial to choose a program that’s closely aligned with your interests to ensure you stay engaged. You should also consider if there are any particular faculty members you’d like to work with, where in the country you’d like to attend school, and whether you’d be more interested in classroom learning or conducting your own research. Before you decide to apply, make absolutely sure a program is right for you.
6. Make a Spreadsheet of Key Dates
There are many stages to applying for grad school and dates may differ for each program. Make sure you don’t miss anything by creating a spreadsheet with due dates.
7. Take the GRE
Many schools require you to take the GRE. Create a study schedule to prepare that includes taking plenty of practice exams.
The admissions team will look at more than just your GRE score, references, and personal statement when deciding whether to accept you into the program: another major consideration will be your grades. To improve your GPA, you need to study hard, which means having somewhere quiet you can go to focus. It’s much easier to find this when you live off campus. For apartments near UOttawa, there’s THEO. In addition to using the desk in your bedroom, you can take advantage of our study station, which is ideal for individual and group study. Book an onsite visit to meet THEO.