Applying to Grad School After Working

Students in graduation robes throwing their hats

After a few years in your field, you realize you want to pursue higher studies. If you’re now wondering “How do you go to grad school after work?”, this article offers helpful guidelines and tips for you, starting with the following:

  1. Learn how to have your official transcripts sent from your undergraduate university.
  2. Choose grad schools based on your technical skills and personal motivation.
  3. Plan and do due diligence when researching the best grad school for you.
  4. Start thinking of things to include in your personal statement or statement of purpose.
  5. Find ways to be more efficient, organized, and strategic during your application.

The truth is, applying for grad school while working or after working can be daunting. This is why finding the right support system offline and online is crucial in staying motivated and driven throughout the process. If you’re looking for additional guidance and support while you’re starting to work on your grad school application, make sure to check out our other articles on grad school admissions!

How to Apply to Grad School After Working

When applying to a grad school after working or while working, your first step is to narrow down your choices of programs and grad schools. This helps you not feel overwhelmed with the varying requirements of different programs and grad schools as well.

Once you’ve narrowed down your chosen programs and grad schools, write down the requirements needed for each of them. Here’s a helpful tip: color-code your list of requirements to show which ones are needed in all grad schools, in particular programs, and more.

If you’re applying to a grad school after working, some schools require you to supply your resume and letter of recommendation. This is why, if you’re reading this to just plan out your career timeline, it’s important to remember this fact. Aside from your work experience, here are some factors that will affect your grad school application:

  • Undergraduate performance through your transcripts and course grades
  • Grad school assessment results through tests such as the GRE and GMAT
  • Your written statement of purpose and personal statement
  • The impression made during your phone call or Zoom interview

This shows that there is no straightforward strategy for applying for grad school, but instead, it is a holistic assessment of your capability to pursue higher studies and your motivation to complete your desired program. Of course, we recommend reaching out to the right community for feedback and answers to any questions you might have.

Is 25 Too Old for Grad School?

One of the most frequently asked questions on the internet regarding grad school is “Is 25 too old for grad school?” The quick answer to that is: NO. Always remember, we all have different timelines and you are never too old to pursue higher education.

The more important questions to ask yourself are “Am I ready for the demands of grad school?” and “What are the things I should work on before starting my application?” There is no right time and no right age for you to enter grad school. Instead, focus on making sure that you have the right motivation, attitude, and grit to complete your chosen program.

Apply for grad school when you’re ready. That’s pretty much up to you!

Does GPA Matter for Grad School After Working?

The short answer to this is YES, your undergraduate GPA is one of the many important factors that the board of admissions reviews. We’ve listed the factors affecting your chances of being accepted to your chosen program above, and your undergraduate performance is one.

Your undergraduate GPA reflects how well you can perform in an academic setting. Since grad school entails a much deeper understanding of your field of interest, your chosen grad school program’s committee will definitely take a look at your GPA. Of course, it’s always important to remember that the GPA is only one of the many factors that the admissions team reviews. With your work performance, letter of recommendations, and other skill sets, you’ll make a very competitive and unique applicant.

Additional Tips For Applying for Grad School

Now that your main concerns and questions have been addressed, it’s time for us to give you additional tips for when you start applying for grad school. These pointers will help you save time, energy, and resources while working on your grad school application.

  1. When narrowing down your top grad school choices, always focus on the fit. Ensure that the program and grad school also fit with your academic goals, career path, and personal needs.
  2. Write down your timeline and ensure that you plan way ahead of time. Finding the right grad school, working out your prep time, taking the GRE or GMAT, and more, do need time. Planning ahead is essential.
  3. Prepare a “grad school application starter pack”, meaning, ensure that you have a statement of purpose and a personal statement ready and easy to tweak for the different grad schools you wish to apply to. Organize your documents and your resume.
  4. Reach out to your employer and see if they can offer a win-win option for both ends. See if they have grad school scholarship programs available to also help you with your finances.
  5. Technology is your friend. Visit forums and join virtual community groups for tips and support. Use organization apps to help you organize your timeline, documents, and everything related to grad school.

There are many more tips and tricks circulating in the grad school applicant groups, so be open to feedback and tips from your fellow future grad school students as well as your personal support system.


Now that we’ve covered all the pointers that you need to know, it’s time to begin reflecting and making sure you find the right grad school for you. Understanding your core values, motivation, and goals before applying will help you stay determined during the entire process of applying and getting into your chosen grad school.

Take note of the different factors that affect your chances of getting into your preferred grad school. Start working on these key factors and see which ones you can still improve before sending in your application. Take note of important timelines and make sure you allot enough time to each step.

At the end of it all, applying to grad school after working gives you a unique edge. You’ve handled responsibilities and have shown that you can show up and finish through. Use your past experiences, performances, and interests to help you feel empowered while going through the process of grad school application.


  • Shar Gayangos

    Shar loves helping students prepare for their upcoming aptitude exams including the SAT, ACT, GMAT, and GRE. She has also been helping students understand and appreciate math as a tutor and has also helped mathletes prepare for their upcoming competitions as a math coach in the past. She now focuses her time to help EdTech companies and educational websites with their educational content and resources and has been doing so for five years now. Through these articles, she's helped students feel confident and prepared before upcoming exams. In her free time, she enjoys creating free math graphics, participating in online communities seeking help with their math prep and lessons, and offering pro-bono assistance for students within her community. Connect with Shar through LinkedIn or read about her work on Rubik's cube.

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