When Should You Start Planning for Grad School?

If your future plans include grad school, you should start the research process sooner rather than later. Preparation is key here. The decision to go to graduate school is a serious one, and the more prepared you are prior to applying, the more satisfied you’ll be with your journey and experience.

Is it an option or a need?

For many people, graduate school is something to ponder. You need to weigh the pros and cons. However, depending on your career, grad school may be not an option, but a necessary and required step to maintain or advance your position.

Careers such as psychology, education, medical/sciences or business place a strong emphasis on employees earning a graduate degree. Some employers may even pay for all or some of an employee’s advanced education.

Follow a timeline

Starting your research early helps you make the most informed decision for your personal and professional life. This is why it’s important to follow a precise timeline before and during the application process.

Know the requirements

The requirements for grad school applications vary as much as the programs themselves. One constant requirement will be your undergrad transcripts. Make sure your GPA is within the program’s standards. If the program you’re interested in requires a history of research and you have not completed any, this would be the time to find a research project to work on.

Boost your test scores

Which programs require a standardized test score? If you’re planning to apply to a program that requires a particular test and score, it would benefit you to sign up for test prep class to increase your odds of success the first time you take it. Many of the test websites offer free test prep resources.

Consider your CV

Search for programs that interest you and meet your “life balance” requirements and then determine what, if anything, you need to build up on your CV. This may increase your odds of acceptance and make the application process less stressful.