Preparing for Graduate School? Here is how to do it Properly

What's the Best Time to Start Preparing for Graduate School?

Graduate school can be an exciting endeavor and a great way to expand your knowledge and build your resume, in Preparing for Graduate School, it’s important to get started on the right foot by making sure you’re prepared in advance so that you don’t run into any roadblocks along the way.

Preparation, after all, is key to success, so what better time to start preparing than now?

With that in mind, here are some tips and tricks on how to start preparing for graduate school and ensure that you have a smooth transition from college to graduate school so that you can focus on the learning instead of the logistics.

While it may seem like graduate school is years away, in many cases you’ll need a good amount of time to prepare.

If you plan on applying early in your career, consider starting early.

Taking a few years off after graduating and getting some work experience can be a great way to build up your resume and give yourself some time to decide what kind of program you want to apply for or research you want to conduct. 


Regardless of when you start preparing, here are some tips that will help you get ready In terms of planning out which classes to take, consider how these classes could translate into an eventual graduate degree.

Also, look at things from a cost perspective. Are there certain classes that will count towards multiple degrees?

Are there courses you could take online for free or at a local community college?

You don’t have to map out everything right now, but just having an idea of where you’re headed will make applying easier down the road.

READ ALSO: Harvard Online MBA: Program Overview and Admissions Requirements

  • How long should you prepare in advance?

Although deadlines vary, most programs require you to apply at least six months in advance.

If you plan on applying for a business program or starting work on your MBA immediately after graduating from college, it’s a good idea to start preparing as soon as possible.

After all, graduate school is competitive and spots are limited; if you want an excellent chance of getting in, start early and show your commitment with high scores and strong letters of recommendation. 

In fact, some schools have rolling admissions processes that don’t even begin accepting applications until January.

For these types of programs, even submitting an application by December can give you a leg up when it comes to selection committees’ decisions.

When applying to PhD programs, however, make sure you’re not rushing through your applications, your career could depend on them!

PhD admissions usually occur much later than those for master’s degrees because many doctoral candidates are still completing their undergraduate degrees at that time.

In fact, PhD applicants typically apply two years before they hope to enter their chosen program so they have ample time to complete their research project (also known as thesis) and submit top-notch letters of recommendation from faculty members who know them well.

  • Is there a minimum GPA required to apply for graduate school?

What’s the minimum GPA required to apply for graduate school?

Some schools set a cutoff of 2.5 or 3.0; others have no cutoffs at all.

Most experts, though, suggest that you make sure your overall undergraduate GPA is at least a 3.0.

If you hope to be considered at competitive grad schools like those that focus on public health and education (sometimes known as ed grad schools).

If you’re applying to a more specialized program, such as one focused on art history or computer science, then it may not matter quite so much what your undergrad GPA was though many programs will still want to see that you had good grades in whatever classes are relevant to their field.

If you don’t know what your major might be yet, check out our guide to choosing an undergraduate major .

  • How much does graduate school cost?

The price of a graduate degree varies greatly from one school to another, even if two schools are at similar levels.

For example, a master’s degree in biology could cost between $25,000 and $80,000 depending on whether you attend a public or private university and what kind of research your program requires.


The same is true for an MBA public universities charge up to $23,000 per year while private ones can charge over $50,000 per year.

It is important that students do not focus exclusively on price when they are considering their options; they also need to consider location and program quality in order to make informed decisions about where they will pursue their advanced degrees.

  • Can I apply to graduate school before graduating?

The best time to apply for graduate school is usually in late summer or early fall of your senior year of college. This gives you plenty of time to write a great application and cover letter, complete multiple applications, and participate in interviews.

But if you’re still trying to decide what degree and subject you want (or don’t know if you’ll get into your top choices), it might be best to wait until after spring semester.

That way, if your grades are low that semester or schools don’t accept you, it won’t hurt as much! If grades are strong and there are programs that sound like a good fit, go ahead and start applying. You can always defer admission until later on if need be. 

The Importance of Graduating Magna Cum Laude: While graduating magna cum laude may not mean much when applying for jobs, it does indicate that you were able to excel at a high level academically while maintaining a good GPA.

And being able to do both at once is definitely an accomplishment! Graduating magna cum laude will also look great on your resume and help set you apart from other candidates during job interviews.

  • How to Prepare for Graduate School

You may be able to get into medical school after only two years of college and a summer of studying, but if you want your education to be useful, you need a bachelor’s degree.

The general rule of thumb is that most graduate programs expect applicants to have at least one year more than their target graduate program, so you should start preparing early.

How early? Ideally, by your junior year in college, but some programs won’t let you apply until after graduation or even until after a year of work experience.

Other programs are more flexible with deadlines and require applications only every few years, meaning they don’t turn away qualified applicants simply because they didn’t apply at exactly the right time, but it can still be helpful to know what those deadlines are.

Graduate school application tips

Applying to graduate school can seem like a daunting task. However, if you’re thinking about attending graduate school and have not yet applied, consider these tips as a starting point. 

You should plan on applying at least one year in advance of your desired start date. 

During that time, complete an undergraduate degree and take courses that apply toward your program of interest, so you’ll be better prepared when it comes time to apply. 

In addition, work with a pre-professional advisor who can help you determine which programs are right for you. Also, make sure to check out our top 10 list of things to do before applying to graduate school!

Working with a pre-professional advisor:

Pre-professional advisors are experts who help students prepare for their future careers by guiding them through course selection and application processes.

They also provide career counseling throughout your college years. So don’t wait until you need their help.

Work with an advisor from day one, not only will they help guide your academic path but they will also keep tabs on upcoming deadlines and requirements for programs in which you may be interested.

Are scholarships available for international students looking to study abroad in business schools outside their home country?

While international students can be accepted into business schools in their home country, they may still be able to study abroad in business schools outside their home country.


To make sure you have all your bases covered, it’s a good idea to start applying for scholarships at least one year before you plan on going abroad.

This will give you plenty of time to research and apply for as many scholarships as possible.

Some scholarship applications even allow you up to a year after applying with them before they start judging your application.

It’s important that you apply early because scholarship money can be limited, so don’t wait until later in your senior year or during summer vacation when some deadlines are already passed. 

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About Nzosiama David 190 Articles
David is a professional blogger, SEO expert, a digital marketer and the editor-in-chief at CampNews Media. I delight in using unique contents to proffer solutions to many educational and sales problems. I have records of proven results and believe that I can achieve anything I set my mind to.

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