What You Should Consider Before Starting Grad School

Grad schools enable students to earn advanced degrees, such as master’s degrees. Applicants must possess an undergraduate degree to qualify for admission to grad school programs.

Completing graduate studies can increase your earning potential. Despite this benefit, it’s crucial to consider several factors before applying to grad school. Consider the factors outlined here to ensure you’re ready to start a grad school program.

Work with an admissions counselor to prepare your application.


You went through the college admissions process when you applied to your undergraduate program, but that was approximately four years ago. The admissions process changes over time and can vary slightly based on the program and institution. Turn to college admissions counseling services. They’ll match you with a suitable admissions counselor who can identify ways to strengthen your application. Your counselor can also help you brainstorm for your application essay, and you can submit your application for a review and use the feedback to strengthen your application before you apply.

Review the admission requirements.


Registering in an online Ohio MBA program enables you to earn your Master of Business Administration (MBA) by completing approximately 36 credit hours. You may qualify for waivers that reduce the number of credit hours required to graduate if you’ve taken prior business foundations courses or accrued experience through an internship. Exploring the program requirements and waivers available ensures you earn a graduate degree while capitalizing on your undergraduate studies and practical experience to save time and money.

Without waivers, the online MBA program from the University of Cincinnati includes 12 core courses, including financial management, strategic management, data visualization, managerial economics, and managing across cultures. You’ll also need to complete five or six elective courses to graduate.

Explore online degree options.


Students can use the internet to study remotely, which has come in handy during the COVID-19 pandemic. It isn’t just pandemics that prompt students to choose online programs, however. Many online programs have flexible scheduling, enabling students to adjust their school schedule around other scheduling demands. You may be able to work while earning your graduate degree. You can also balance your academic schedule and family demands, which may be crucial if you’re a new parent or have a family member who requires in-home care.

Review your program options.


Many individuals with graduate degrees earn higher incomes, but some don’t enjoy higher salaries. For example, a graduate degree in accounting offers a negligible salary increase, while an MBA can boost your earnings by 51 percent over those starting with a bachelor’s degree.

It’s also crucial to consider whether the graduate program’s suitable for your dream career. While earning a graduate degree can increase your career options, some career fields require applicants to have specific degrees. Earning a Master of Education in Educational Leadership is ideal for an aspiring school principal. Still, those who want to create a high school education curriculum may favor earning a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction.

Consider your financial options.

Whether you attend school in person or opt for online studies, you may be able to work while you’re studying. Working while completing graduate studies reduces your dependence on student loans, enabling you to pay off loans for your undergraduate degree without accruing additional loans for graduate studies.

Explore financial opportunities, including scholarships. There are multiple scholarships available for graduate students, including scholarships offered by postsecondary institutions and independent organizations. You may also qualify for academic grants that can lower your tuition costs. Reviewing the grant conditions to ensure you qualify can help you prepare an accurate budget for your graduate studies. Talk to a financial counselor to ensure you’re aware of all your financing options and you have the funds needed to attend grad school.

Completing graduate studies can increase your earnings and job prospects. Working with an admissions counselor and researching program options can ensure you qualify for a program suitable for your career goals.

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