Questions like how many grad schools should I apply to? and “when should I get started?” tend to plague prospective graduate students. Don’t worry – we’ll give you our take on the matter! However, your applying-to-grad-school plan is also personal, and may depend on your goals, timeline, resources, and any advice you may have received from trusted advisors.
How Many Grad Schools Should I Apply To?General wisdom suggests you should choose 3 to 8 schools to apply to. Many students wonder if this number changes depending on what field you plan to study. But whether you’re applying to graduate programs in engineering, math, speech pathology, physics, psychology, or something else, there’s no hard and fast rule about how many schools to send applications to. Applying to somewhere between 3 and 8, and making sure you are sending applications to a nice mix of “reach,” “competitive,” and “safe” schools, is fairly typical advice. To get the answers to more burning grad school FAQs, scroll down to the bottom of the page. Or, check out our list of partner grad schools you may be able to apply to ASAP – potentially perfect if you want to beef up the number of schools you’re considering.
written by Shannon Fandler
7 Grad Schools You May Be Able to Apply to ASAPLooking to add to your list of prospective graduate schools? Thinking of applying immediately now that you know the answer to ‘how many grad schools should I apply to’? These institutions have some programs with rolling admissions or more than one deadline per year, so you may be able to get started applying (and find out whether or not you’re accepted) sooner rather than later.
Rochester Institute of Technology is a technological institution based in Rochester, New York. They offer over 100 master’s, doctoral, and advanced certificate programs, from an M.S. in Accounting program to an MFA in Visual Communication Design program. R.I.T. is also home to cross-disciplinary Ph.D. programs, and a variety of online master’s programs that may offer flexibility to students who need it. The institute prides itself on diversity, sustainability, and resources designed to help grad students achieve their goals. About Admissions Deadlines: Many graduate programs at R.I.T. have rolling admissions, meaning applications are accepted and reviewed year-round. And, many programs (particularly part-time programs) have multiple start dates throughout the year, so accepted students don’t necessarily have to wait until Fall to enroll.
How to Research Graduate ProgramsThe task of starting your research can be daunting, especially if you aren’t sure what schools are out there, or what graduate schools have the program you’re interested in studying. You can start right here at GradSchools.com, by filling out our form or searching the site for programs that interest you. Then, make a list of schools you’d like to learn more about. Some experts suggest starting with at least 15 to 20 schools, and narrowing that list down to the graduate programs you’ll ultimately apply to. Compare and contrast these schools by whatever factors are most important to you – for example, cost, reputation, location, or whether or not the program is offered in an online format. You’ll likely be able to cross at least a few schools off your list right away. You may also want to consider factors like how many applications each prospective school receives on average, and what percentage of those applicants are accepted. Rather than applying exclusively to highly-competitive schools, it’s often wise to diversify the types of institutions you send applications to.
When Do You Apply for Grad School?This isn’t quite as simple a question as it sounds on first ask! If you’re wondering when graduate applications are due, that depends on the deadline imposed by your prospective school. Often, grad schools start accepting applications a little less than a year before a given class’s Fall start date, though the exact deadline may vary widely by school or program. However, some grad schools or programs may accept applications on a rolling basis, meaning there is no hard deadline. If you are asking when you should get started applying to grad school, that’s an entirely different story. Choosing several prospective schools that might be the perfect fit for you requires some research and preparation. If the schools you plan to apply to require standardized test scores like the GRE or GMAT, you’ll have to allow time to take the test (and retake it, if you aren’t happy with your scores). And, you’ll need some time to gather the many aspects of your applications, such as personal statements, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. U.S. News and World Report suggests getting started two years out (in a perfect world!), or at least one year out from the application deadline. Students who don’t leave enough time risk making mistakes, forgetting key aspects of the application, or really feeling the pressure of getting their submissions in by the deadline.
Make a List of Graduate Schools to Apply to!Needless to say, the first step of applying to graduate school is researching schools that interest you. So, browse our sponsored listings and request information from higher education partners that look like an awesome fit. Best of luck finding a graduate school that’s perfect for you!
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