How to Prepare for Graduate School

Did you know that earning a graduate’s degree can earn you up to 87 percent more than somebody with a bachelor’s degree? This makes the extra education appealing for many people.


But, do not go into it thinking that you found Easy Street. Graduate school requires preparation and dedication.

Keep reading to learn how to prepare for starting school as a graduate student to set yourself up for success!

Plan Your Living Situation

When you decide on going to school to further your education, plan your living situation ahead of time. You need something stable so your focus can stay on your coursework.

You may need to cut your work hours so that you can keep up with coursework. Take this into consideration when deciding on a place to live.

Will your parents allow you to live at home while you are going to school? This often saves students money and can provide support in other areas so school remains the main focus.

If that is not a viable option, consider looking for a roommate to share the cost. If possible, choose another graduate student who will also need quiet study time and sleep.

Secure Your Financial Situation

How will you pay your bills while pursuing higher education? Working forty hours a week to survive would be overwhelming if not impossible.

Scholarships for graduate students can help keep student loan debt under control. It can sometimes even help with materials and living expenses.

Joining the Honor Society during your undergrad puts you in a good position for graduate school. This opens you up to bigger and better scholarship opportunities.

If you must still work, look for a job on campus. Taking away the commute gives you more time to study and the right on-campus job may further prepare you for your field of study.

Prepare For Research And Testing

Research preparation should begin as soon as you begin college. Pay attention in your classes and take extra opportunities to learn.

Look for volunteer opportunities and shadow work in your field of study. This exposure expands your understanding and may give you ideas on what you would live to focus your research on.

Familiarize yourself with the school databases. Knowing how to navigate them will make your research run smoother.

Prepare ahead of time for the testing must pass. Get the study materials and make time to continuously study them so that you do not suddenly cram when the time comes to take your tests.

Seek Out Advisors

Grad school will sometimes feel overwhelming. You may find it difficult to keep up with all of your requirements, research, and career planning.

For this reason, you will need advisors that you like and trust. Before beginning your master’s program, decide on important qualities you want for an advisor and start identifying potentials.

Reach out to potential advisors through email. Write to them clearly and concisely about what you want and why you chose them.

Meet with the advisors who are willing to accept the position. Make sure you see eye to eye and make a good pair.

Prepare Yourself For Starting School

Going into grad school unprepared can lead to disaster. Setting yourself up with a solid foundation for starting school will help you remain focused and on track with this challenging feat.

Just as you need to prepare for the master’s program, you should also ready yourself for the future work world. Find helpful tips on our educational and career page!

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