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When Should You Apply to Grad School?

Congratulations! You’ve decided to go for an advanced degree. Are you wondering when to apply and how to get started? Here are some things that will help you determine your readiness to apply:

1. You have a specific goal that needs a graduate degree.

If you want to become a lawyer, doctor, or researcher, then grad school is a must. If you’re going into consulting or finance, you may realize you need an MBA in order to accomplish your career goals. Having your goal in mind is an absolute condition for applying for grad school. You need a clear vision of what you want to do when you finish your education.

2. You feel like you’re not getting anywhere in your current job.

If you’ve hit a wall at your current job and feel that you are ready for more – more responsibilities, more challenges, more changes, more money – and that you just can’t imagine staying put any longer, then it’s time to consider grad school.

3. You’re excited about the prospect of spending two or more years studying to reach your professional goal.

Attending grad school is a long-term commitment. Be sure you’re enthusiastic about putting in the time and effort necessary to successfully get your degree.

4. Your experience is at the level looked for by the grad programs you’re targeting.

You have the training necessary to start a grad program in your field. If your training is lacking, you may need to shore up your skills in certain areas before applying.

5. You’re qualified.

Your undergrad grades and test scores are high enough to get into the grad school you want.

6. You can pay for your education.

You have determined if you will be able to work while in school or have the financial wherewithal to pay for grad school. You’ve researched scholarships and other forms of financial aid.

Reasons 2-6 aren’t enough on their own, but combined with #1 are good guides that now is the right time to apply.

Reasons NOT to Apply to Grad School (At Least Not Now)

There are also reasons not to go to grad school, at least not at this time, and they are as follows:

  • You hate your job.
  • You don’t want to start working, and love student life.
  • Your parents think you should go to grad school and will pay for it.
  • Everyone you know is in grad school.
  • You always anticipated continuing your education and have no other plan.
  • You’re afraid that if you don’t go now, you never will.

If any of these reasons resonate with you, you’ll be applying for the wrong reason and should put off your application.

Do you need help evaluating your reasons, profile, skills, and experience to decide if and when you should apply to grad school? Download Accepted’s free guide Get Your Game On: Prepping for Your Grad School Application for guidance on how to navigate the road to graduate school admissions success!

By the way, students who use Magoosh GRE improve their scores by an average of 8 points on the new scale (150 points on the old scale.) Click here to learn more.

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