If you want a master's degree or a doctorate, then grad school is exactly what you need. There are many reasons people decide to get something more than an undergraduate degree. Sometimes their career requires the degree for advancement, or the student may want to pursue a career in education within the field or they may just want as much knowledge as they can fit into their brain.What does it take to get into grad school?


It doesn't matter how much money you have or how bad you whine to the school's admissions department; if you don't have the grades, chances are you won't be going to grad school. Graduate degree programs are extremely difficult and time consuming and the people who make the decisions need to know that you are going to apply yourself. There are a few things you can do to better your chances of getting into grad school.

Take classes related to your field. You will want to take the most challenging classes offered in your undergraduate program that relate to your field of study. This shows a commitment to learning that grad schools will be looking for.

Do your homework. You do not want to be known as the student who is always late turning in their assignments. Grad schools want to see a good work ethic. If there is extra credit offered in a class, do that as well.

Make class every day and on time. The classes you take in grad school will be much more intense and you will not want to miss anything. Get in the habit of making classes now so you won't have unlearn bad habits later on.

Study hard for your tests. Test scores are taken into consideration when applying for grad school. You will want to study hard for every test and absorb the knowledge.

Hang out with other students who are as serious as you are. Everyone has friends who don't seem to care about anything. They seem to just be sliding by through school, life; whatever comes their way. If your friends are going out and you need to study, stay home and study.


You have to meet a lot of requirements if you want to get into grad school, so you will need to plan your undergraduate studies carefully.

Meet with your advisor to set up a plan of attack. Your college advisor will know exactly what classes you need to take in order to get into a good grad school. Listen to their advice and more importantly, FOLLOW IT!

Choose a field of study you enjoy. Sticking with an undergraduate program, not to mention a graduate program, will be much easier if you actually enjoy what you are learning about. Pick a field that will hold your interest over the long haul.

Get your gen-ed classes out of the way early. All undergraduate programs require a few general education classes that all students must take. Get these classes done first so you can spend the rest of your undergraduate study taking the classes you need for your major.

Don't be afraid to ask for help. Once you've chosen your undergraduate program you are sure to come up with questions from time to time. Ask your advisor if you are having difficulty figuring out the next step you need to take.


The GRE is the standard test that all applicants must take and pass to be eligible for enrollment in a graduate school in any English-speaking country. The GRE is a computer based test that is made up of a fixed number of questions. The GRE uses questions of varying difficulty to figure out the test-takers ability. There are two types of GRE tests.

GRE General Test tests the general educational knowledge of all grad school applicants. The GRE General Test is required no matter which graduate program you enter.

GRE Subject Test tests the applicant's knowledge in a specific field that is related to the program they wish to enter. GRE Subject Tests are not available for all graduate programs.


Cell and Molecular Biology



Computer Science

Literature in English




If a GRE Subject Test is offered that relates to a field of study, the Subject Test scores will take precedence over the scores received on the General Test.

Not all schools require students to take the GRE Subject Test for enrollment. Some Schools have found the tests to be outdated and therefore not a good tool in predicting a graduate student's success.

There are a number of books and websites available to help an applicant prepare for the GRE. Make sure the sources you choose for assistance are accredited so you know the information is accurate.


Getting into a good grad school is almost as difficult as the classes you'll be required to take. The enrollment process is long and there is a lot of competition for the few spots each school offers. To ensure you get accepted you will want to submit multiple applications.

Decide on your top choices and apply to several of them. Your top choices should be schools that are known to have top-notch graduate programs in the field you have chosen. These schools are also going to have the highest requirements and be the most difficult to get into.

Apply to a number of schools that are very good matches for you academically. These are schools that you feel you would fit in well with and offer very good graduate programs. You will want to submit a majority of your applications to schools that fall into this category. Your advisor will help you pick schools that match these criteria.

Be sure to apply to a couple less competitive schools that you know have solid graduate programs. You don't want to apply to schools that are known to be sub-par. However, there are plenty of schools that do not have as strict requirements for admission and still have solid graduate programs.

When deciding on the schools you want to apply to there are a few things you need to look at, both at the school and with yourself.

Grad School

Quality of classes Does the school offer classes that will help you grow in your education?

Quality of instructors Do the instructors have the credentials to be good at their job?

Financial assistance Is there financial assistance available from the grad school if you need help?


Work ethic Are you willing to commit most of your time to the degree program?

When you decide which schools you want to apply to you will should submit your applications as early as possible.


The final step when you are trying to get into grad school is the interview. If you've made it this far that means you were impressiveat least on paper. Now, it's time to put up or shut up. And the worst thing you can do in a graduate school interview is shut up.

Dress to impress when you go in for the interview. You will want to wear a nice suit or a dress during the interview.

Before you go in for your interview you will want to familiarize yourself with the department faculty of the school. Having an understanding of what each professor specializes in and is known for will help you look like this is the school you've always wanted to attend; even if it was fifth on your list.

You will also want to know any major names relating to your field of study. Have a general overview of the different areas in your field and the key players. Don't overload yourself with information or you'll risk mixing things up and looking unprepared.

Stick to the positive aspects of your educational background during the interview. If a low point is addressed by the interviewers you do not want to apologize. Address the question and explain how you've improved since that time. Basically, be prepared to address questions about mistakes, but don't offer them up for the conversation.


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