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Attending graduate school entails a large commitment. This is not like a bachelor’s program where you might be looking to get a holistic degree that requires you to take a number of electives to keep you well-rounded. Grad school tends to be tightly focused on development toward a specific career path. The intensity of the classes and the academic environment speaks to this idea. 

With that in mind, before you decide on the program you want to enroll in, there are a number of questions you will want to ask yourself: 

Do You Really Need a Graduate Degree?

Do you really need a graduate degree to be successful in your chosen profession? Before embarking on a program that will likely be taxing (financially and the amount of your time it consumes), it’s crucial to truly assess this question. 

  • Do you have a clear career path? Again, grad school is for those who are focused on a specific vision of their professional future. If you are still trying to decide your next move, you may need to do more research and self-assessment before going to grad school.
  • Can you achieve the same level of education with certificate programs? If your goal is purely instructional and you do not require a further degree or any of the other opportunities that graduate school affords you, it is time to look into certificates or professional development courses.

Is This The Right Time? 

There are a number of factors to weigh, both personally and professionally to make sure that you are in the right place for graduate school. Some things to assess include: 

  • Family obligations: Make sure to realistically discuss with a spouse, partner, and other family members what the commitment will be like. There are very likely aspects of your life that will change drastically, and you will need others to help you pick up the slack. Do you have childcare in place where you need it? Will you be financially solvent? Are elderly relatives being taken care of? If the timing is just not right for your life, you will want to wait until you can responsibly attend grad school.
  • Professional obligations: Is it possible to take the necessary time from your work (or your career path) right now to attend school? For example, if you are a nurse who wants further your education, research whether a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) would be most appropriate. If you are thinking of going into a program that allows you to assist your current company in some way you may want to speak with your boss about your thoughts on grad school. Some workplaces are very encouraging about added education and will subsidize grad school or at least make time allowances for employees so that they can retain their position while attending school. 
  • The right academic timing: Do some research to see when most of your peers received a grad degree. If they waited five or six years before getting a degree, there may be a good reason why. Some of the elite business programs, for example, may have this as a tacit requirement for admission. For example, the average age of an applicant to Harvard Business School is 27 with 54 months of professional experience. If you want to get into this level of a program, you’ll want to weigh your chances against those with at least that much experience. 

Have You Researched Different Programs?

The prospect of graduate school can be exciting and make people want to apply right away, but the process of searching for the best degree program should be a long and measured one. 

Some ways to think about the grad school research process include: 

  • When to start: You will want to have enough time to really engage with the programs that you are considering. This usually means a timeline of at least 9 months before application. A year would be even better. This allows you the chance to fully prepare and to find your best program. 
  • Types of colleges: Are you able to get your degree online rather than in an in-person format? Is an online academic environment one in which you will thrive? Some people are more self motivated than others and if you are not someone who has the best time management skills, then an online college may not be the best choice for you. 
  • Courses available: Are you going to school to be a doctor? Or are you going to school to be a lawyer? Your career goals will play a large role in what degree program you choose. Make sure the program you are interested in has the courses you need to succeed in your professional career. 
  • Look for practical hands-on training: Another enormously important aspect of graduate school is access to professional-level opportunities. Most grad programs offer practical training in the professional world that includes shadowing, interning, or participating in low-level field placements in return for the education that can only come experience. Look into the relationships that particular schools have with companies or organizations that you would like to work with and try to exploit those partnerships toward leveraging a career after graduation.  
  • Do your research: Some of the most crucial parts of the grad school experience include making connections with faculty that can help you progress professionally and gaining practical experience while still in an academic program. You will want to research which programs have relationships with professional development programs that appeal to you and which have professors that can help you advance your career. 
  • Networking: Another one of the most important aspects of grad school is the peer and alumni network. These are the people that will be your collaborators, champions, and friends. Before choosing a school, check out the current network and what graduates have accomplished to see if these look like a group you would want to join. 
  • Visit campus: If you choose an in-person program, you will want to visit as many campuses as possible. Take tours, talk to relevant faculty as well as current students to assess if this place is right for you. 

Taking all this into account will help you get precise and systematic about how you choose the best grad school path (if you choose to go). Looking for an easy way to visualize this information? Check out this flow-chart that paints an excellent picture of how to consider your grad school readiness.

how to choose a grad school

MS in US. This is definitely a dream for millions of students (and their parents) around the world. If you’re an international student who just finished college, you must have definitely thought about going to grad school. And more importantly, about pursuing a Masters degree abroad. 

Getting an undergraduate degree is definitely a major life achievement. However, it is often accompanied by the constant gnawing of the ‘What Next?’ question. As if the continuing anxiety of college wasn’t enough, this constant forward-looking question is something that must be haunting you. They always say that college opens up a lot of doors but no one ever warned us that choosing which door to open is going to be super stressful and virtually impossible.

What Next?🤔

It is, of course, a difficult choice to make, if not one of the most difficult choices you’ll ever make in your life. This is true, given that this is probably the first time you’ll leave your family and your home country to live and study in a foreign nation. And while we cannot make that difficult yet rewarding decision for you, we are at your service to help you make an informed decision.

The two most obvious choices after undergrad are employment and grad school. While working right after college is not a bad option, undergrad degrees often do not prepare you with advanced technical skills. Skills that are required to land a high paying job. A masters degree is not only an advantage but also a requirement in order to settle into a professional environment. And then to successfully maneuver the ever-growing competition in the business world. 

So you agree that you need a Masters degree. And you’ve made a wonderful choice! 

But then comes the next question. Where should you pursue it? 🤔

Fall or Spring?

Which of the two intakes should you aim for, while applying to universities?

Does applying for the Fall season really have any advantages? Or is it just a myth?

What are the pros and cons of applying for either of these intakes?

These are some of the quintessential questions that every budding Master’s degree aspirant asks. The fall vs spring discussion has of late been a topic of contention for many a test taker.

It has been a subject of doubt and discussion among many students all over the world, and it is a question that a ton of students have already asked us. It probably is on your mind too.

Which is why we decided to get to the bottom of this. We wanted to give you an unbiased answer to this much sought after question. And much like every other post of ours, this answer goes in depth, and gives you an answer supported by extensive research and expert opinion.

Thinking about attending Business School?

Sounds like a great idea!

But which test are you going to take?

A few years ago, GMAT was the most obvious and resounding answer one would hear from all applicants. Of course, GMAT was the only option back then

But, for better or for worse, it is no more the only option.

The GRE has now become a popular choice among a minor section of business school applicants, and the trend is growing by the year. Although close to 1200 universities across the world accept the GRE, the GMAT still remains the most valued exam by business schools.

According to the GMAC, around 5900 business programs across over 2100 universities and institutions around the world, accept the GMAT.

But, does that mean you should follow the herd and go with the GMAT?

Or, can you afford to go against the grain and take the GRE instead?

We’ll let you figure that out, but we’ll give you an unbiased review of the two most sought after tests in the graduate school world, so you’ll have solid data to decide which way you would want to go.

These are among the top 100 in the US. To get an admission call from these universities, you’ll need an average GRE score along with decent grades/GPA. Your overall profile has to be good, and there is an ever so slight chance of getting a scholarship or assistantship if your overall profile is significantly better than the average class profile of the university.

These are among the top 50 in the US. To get an admission call from these universities, you’ll need a good GRE score along with good grades/GPA. Your overall profile has to be really good, and there is an ever so slight chance of getting a scholarship or assistantship if your overall profile is significantly better than the average class profile of the university.

Before You Read On:

The list has been provided only for reference. The GRE score is only one part of the entire application process, and hence it should be understood that one cannot apply to a university based on just the GRE score. Often times, the GRE score doesn’t decide where you study, but your overall profile does.

These are among the top 50 in the US. To get an admission call from these universities, you’ll need a good GRE score along with good grades/GPA. Your overall profile has to be really good, and there is an ever so slight chance of getting a scholarship or assistantship if your overall profile is significantly better than the average class profile of the university.

Before You Read On:

The list has been provided only for reference. The GRE score is only one part of the entire application process, and hence it should be understood that one cannot apply to a university based on just the GRE score. Often times, the GRE score doesn’t decide where you study, but your overall profile does.

Mike’s GRE is finally over. After several weeks of hard work, he has finally done it and received his official scores too. He got a good score, and he celebrated the moment with his friends and family. But then, he suddenly realized that the hard part is yet to come. Choosing the universities of his choice based on his GRE score; it wasn’t as easy as it seemed before. On the one hand, his friends and family coax him into applying to some famous colleges, and on the other hand, he tries seeking help online. But at the end of the day, he is as clueless as he was before. What should he do now? How does he know which schools would take him in and which ones are a waste of application fee?

Maybe you didn’t have enough time to study. Maybe you weren’t feeling your best on test day and that lead to poor performance. Maybe you were always weak in Math. Maybe you got a few questions wrong early, and it hit your confidence hard, and you went downhill from there. For whatever the reason it was, you couldn’t get a score you wanted.

But don’t worry. You are not alone. This is perhaps a question that is on the minds of thousands of students every year. Getting a GRE score 10-15 points lower than your target can be disheartening. But that is not the end of the world. There are still ways to get into a decent university, if you can send in a well-rounded, and impressive application.

The Statement of Purpose is probably one of the most misunderstood aspects of graduate applications. Most students pass it off like it is just another essay about themselves, and naturally, write monotonous stuff that doesn’t stand out. That is why, the university admissions committee puts a hefty weight on statement of purposes and their structure – they want to see whether you take the interest in letting them know how much you want to study at their university.

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