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Your Ultimate Guide to Applying For A Master’s Degree

If you have decided to pursue your master’s degree to advance your career, congratulations!

With the various practical and intangible benefits, from better employability to building key leadership skills, it is a decision that will pay dividends over the years to come  - but only if you manage to successfully apply for your master’s course!

Unlike pursuing an undergraduate degree, there is more on the line such as putting a temporary halt to your career as well as sacrificing a financial investment upfront, both are costly. In addition, your application for your master’s degree will involve more hoops and steps that you will need to go through to be accepted.

In this article, we will be covering the 10 steps you will have to take to successfully apply for a master’s degree that is relevant to your end goal.

How To Apply For A Master’s Degree Program - A Step-By-Step Guide


Step 1) Review Your Current Position & End Goal For Your Career

Start with evaluating your current role in your organisation and where you would like to be 5-10 years from now.

Are you looking to be a specialist in your field and have the chance to explore different opportunities in various companies? Having a master’s in your chosen subject (eg. Engineering or Finance) is a relevant choice.

Maybe you are more interested in becoming a manager in your current company? An MBA would be the way to go.

Having an end goal in mind is necessary to gain clarity on the right master’s degree to select.


Step 2) Research On Your Study Destination, University & Course Selection

There are 3 things you need to understand before you make any concrete decision to apply.

Firstly, you will have to check the global rankings of your chosen university to check if it is credible and recognised.

Secondly, understand if your master’s degree is heavy in coursework or if it is more research-focused  Pick the one that you prefer and is more aligned to your strengths.

Thirdly, calculate the cost of living such as your accommodation and food as well as understanding the culture of your study destination. 

You will also want to research into the post-graduate work visa requirements and conditions of your host country if you seek to explore opportunities to work overseas.


Step 3) Understand The Required Graduate School Tests To Take & Pass Them

Depending on your institution, course and study destination, there might be additional tests you will need to take - such as the IELTS language test in order to study in countries such as the UK and Canada.

One example is the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) which is required by many MBA programs across various countries for enrollment.


Step 4) Refresh Your CV & Collect Testimonials From Your Boss & Colleagues

Unlike an undergraduate application, you will need to prepare your CV (or resume) and thoughtfully present your career history, accomplishments and responsibilities in a way that will support your case for admission into your master’s degree course.

Obtaining good letters of recommendation and testimonials can also improve your chances of entering the course you desire. Approach your potential recommenders early and assist them in crafting the recommendation for you - it is worth it!


Step 5) Write out your grad school essay topics and personal statement 

Depending on how stringent your selected university and course is, you might be required to craft a personal statement and write an essay on a topic provided by the school.

Carve out a few days to a week to sit down and consolidate all the necessary information needed as well as reserving time to writing the best essay needed - always put your best foot forward!


Step 6) Submit Your Application

Now that you have everything in order, remember to check the dates and submit your application on time with all the relevant supporting documents!


Step 7) Research On Any Available Grants Or Scholarships

Grad school is expensive and unless your company is sponsoring you, the smart step is to research is there are any grants or scholarships that you can tap on.

They can be corporate grants, scholarships from the school itself or even from special national programs.


Step 8) Prepare For Your Master’s Degree Interview

One great way to do it is to list down both your professional goals, your achievements thus far as well as your passions and desires.

Don’t be afraid of standing out and highlighting what you love. Confidence is key.


Step 9) Apply For A Student Visa To Your Study Destination

Once you get your master’s degree offer letter, it’s time to apply for your student visa to travel to the country where you will be learning at!

Ensure you do this early   and with enough buffer time before your school term starts.


Step 10) Get Your Accommodation & Finances Sorted Out

Last but not least, you will have to arrange accommodation and sort out your living expenses and financial logistics such as opening a foreign bank account.

Studying overseas isn’t cheap but with proper planning, it is definitely possible and highly rewarding.

But if all these steps seem too complicated and tedious, at IDP, we can handle the entire process for you.


Apply With Confidence To Your Master’s Degree With IDP

At IDP, we handle every step of the application and guide you along all the way through the process uniquely tailored just for your needs.

From selecting the perfect Master’s course in your dream study destination to handling your accommodation needs, our education counselors will be glad to help make your application a breeze.

Book a meeting with our consultant today and take the next step towards your future with confidence!



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