Making Your Master’s Degree a Reality: 50 Must-Have Online Resources

From getting accepted to acing your exams, staying healthy, and finding post-grad employment, make earning your master’s degree possible with valuable resources that every grad student can benefit from.

student resources

Whether you’re entering a master’s program straight from your undergrad or coming from the professional world, graduate school can be challenging—in fact, it’s supposed to be. Not only do you have to be academically and financially prepared, but you’ll also need more advanced study skills, new self-care routines, and solid plans for how to put your master’s degree to use once you graduate. So how do you figure it all out?

Luckily, there’s no shortage of resources out there designed to help students get ready for graduate-level studies, make the most out of their enrollment, and ultimately walk away with that coveted master’s degree. Discover how you can go from grad-school hopeful, to master’s student, to graduate with the valuable online resources below.

#1

Academic Preparation

Not all master’s programs require the GRE or GMAT. But if you do need to take one of these exams, finding the best resources and giving yourself enough time to study will be absolutely key. Once you clear that hurdle, you’ll undoubtedly be looking for other academic preparation sources out there to help ready you for graduate-level studies, whether you’re planning to attend in-person or online. Here are some great resources to help you transition to grad school life.

  • Graduate School Lifestyle Changes

    Your life during your master’s program is going to be different from your undergraduate experience. Idealist.org provides actionable advice on how to handle time management, budgeting, finding work, and more.

  • Graduate School for Working Professionals

    Headed back to school for a master’s degree but keeping your day job? The University of Washington offers ten tips for working professionals to manage their studies while keeping up with their careers.

  • How to Choose the Right Graduate School

    Duke University provides tips on what to look for in a graduate program, a checklist of essential characteristics of good master’s programs, advice on submitting a strong application, insights on how applications are evaluated, and an admissions FAQ section.

  • How to Get a Master's Degree

    Franklin University offers eight tips for successfully completing your master’s degree. Learn how to avoid common pitfalls, take advantage of your campus resources, and mentally prepare for your program, even before it starts.

  • How to Study for the GRE Exam

    Created by Augsburg University, this overview provides valuable information about preparing for the GRE. Depending on how much time you have, the guide includes suggestions for a two-month, one-month, and two-week study plan.

  • Mastering the GMAT

    Studying for the GMAT can be a big part of preparing for a master’s program. Learn the strategies you need to tackle the GMAT and gather valuable resources to help you along the way.

  • Prepare for Graduate School

    MIT’s Career Advising & Professional Development Center offers a list of important points to consider as you prepare for graduate school. Use these resources to explore your academic interests and choose the right degree.

  • Preparing for the Graduate School Admissions Interview

    While not a requirement for all master’s programs, admissions interviews are a common step before you enroll. Idealist.org provides some excellent tips for prospective master’s students looking to make a positive impression.

  • Yale University Open Courses

    Need to get your academic juices flowing again? Warm up your brain with recorded lectures for entire classes at Yale. Taught by distinguished teachers and scholars, classes are available in video, audio, and text transcript formats.

#2

Making the Most of Your Master’s

Most master’s degrees require a significant amount of academic research and writing. You’ll need to develop advanced studying and note-taking skills along with ability to digest and understand extensive readings. From research tools and organizational smartphone apps to self-care practices and writing labs, here are some of the best resources to help you get the most out of your master’s program.

  • 15 Strategies for Self-Care in Graduate School

    It might seem obvious, but practicing self-care is essential to your success in grad school and beyond. Provided by the University of Texas San Antonio, this article provides some quick yet valuable tips and links to other sources for more useful information.

  • Best Phone Apps for Graduate Students

    As a master’s student, technology should be one of your best friends. Offered by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, this list of student-centered phone apps can help you save time and energy as you strive to meet the demands of grad school life.

  • Google Scholar

    Regular Google is a valuable tool, but Google Scholar will help you find more credible information from scholarly sources. Instead of sifting through ads, blogs, and sites of questionable credibility, Google Scholar helps you locate accurate information for your best master’s-level papers.

  • Introduction to Self-Care

    Want to take a closer look at self-care practices and how your academic and personal life can benefit? The University of Buffalo’s introductory guide features detailed explanations and links to valuable related resources.

  • Is Earning a Master’s Degree Worth It?

    Find out if earning a master’s degree will be a worthwhile investment in your profession and discover the fields where a master’s degree makes the biggest impact.

  • LGBTQIA+ Student Resources

    This thorough guide offers information on finding campus resources, healthcare providers, scholarships, student organizations, and more for those who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community.

  • Purdue University Writing Lab

    Purdue’s award-winning writing lab isn’t just for Purdue students. Anyone with an Internet connection can access these writing resources and instructional materials. Get help with research, citations, ESL challenges, and more.

  • Resources for Homeless Students

    If you’re a master’s student who is struggling with housing or food insecurity, here’s a list of great resources to help you keep progressing toward graduation despite those challenges. There’s also information here on scholarships and financial aid for unhoused learners.

  • Tips for Taking Online Classes

    Provided by Northeastern University, these eight strategies will help you meet the unique challenges of remote learning.

3

Paying for School

Pursuing a master’s degree is a significant financial investment for just about anyone. It’s important that you consider all of the funding and financial aid options available, including work-study programs, grants, scholarships, fellowships, federal and private loans, and more. The ultimate goal is to make sound financial decisions and avoid taking on too much debt (if any). The resources below can help you earn your degree without breaking the bank.

  • American Indian Graduate Center Scholarships

    Students with Native American heritage can apply for scholarships and fellowships through the center. Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited degree program and provide the necessary documentation of their tribal affiliation.

  • Cappex Scholarship Search

    Cappex’s site offers easy-to-use tools to locate sources of funding at nearly every academic institution in the U.S. The site includes special search criteria for specific demographics, including first-generation students, non-U.S. citizens, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and more.

  • Chegg

    Chegg provides an excellent list of resources, including how to save money on textbooks by renting, where to find internships and tutors, and a subscription service for writing assistance. You can even use their online plagiarism scanner to make sure you’re citing sources correctly in your papers.

  • Federal Work-Study Programs

    These part-time jobs, which are typically on campus, help students in financial need pay for school. Check with your school’s financial aid office to see if they participate in this program.

  • Financial Pressures for Graduate Students

    Dr. Teresa A. Sullivan, president of the University of Virginia, provides concrete suggestions on how to manage graduate school expenses, financial aid, and a budget while in your master’s program.

  • How to Pay for Grad School: 8 Ways to Save

    From fellowships and tax credits to employer tuition assistance and assistantships, this guide helps you consider the best avenues for paying for and saving money during your master’s program.

  • How to Prepare Your Personal Finances Before Graduate School

    In addition to paying your tuition bills and expenses for school supplies, you’ll have rent, utilities, food, insurance, and more. This guide will help you make the best financial preparations before you enter school so you can be ready for anything that life or school throws at you.

  • Meaningful Graduate School Connections and Mentorship

    Provided by GradResources.org, this tool allows you to connect with a current or former graduate student for advice on financial aid, navigating the academic field, study tips, and more. You may also be able to access local community resources to help you.

  • Out to Innovate Scholarships

    Out to Innovate provides scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community. These awards are for students in a STEM field.

  • Paying for Grad School: Where and How to Start

    Northeastern University’s guide lays out the essential steps to locate and secure financial aid for graduate school. This list will help you cover all your bases and not overlook valuable opportunities.

  • Tips for Landing a Graduate Assistantship

    A graduate assistantship, which is typically offered through your department or graduate school, is one of the best ways to fund your education. Assistantships usually require 10-20 hours of work per week in exchange for covering your tuition costs. In some cases, assistantships also come with a small stipend to help you pay for living expenses. These tips can help make it happen.

  • Top Minority Student Scholarships in 2021

    This list from Scholarships360.org includes funding opportunities for minority students, including many that focus on providing money for students in particular areas of study.

  • U.S. Federal Loans

    One popular way for graduate students to fund their education is through federal loans. While loans need to be repaid with interest, you’ll get a better interest rate than with private loans.

4

Finding Employment

After finishing your master’s degree, hitting the job market might seem a bit daunting. But with the right resources, it doesn’t have to be a stressful ordeal. Job search tools are out there to help you save time and energy and ensure you’re applying for the right jobs based on your needs, wants, and skills. The resources below can help you jumpstart your job search upon completing your master’s program.

  • The Balance Careers

    Use The Balance Careers’ resume writing, cover letter, and interviewing guides will help you make sure your application materials are in top shape. You’ll also find help on work-life balance, obtaining leadership and management experience, and more.

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics Industries at a Glance

    Not sure which industry you’d like to work in? Looking for a job in a particular location? BLS’s industries at a glance can help you zero in on a rewarding career that fits your skills and desired location.

  • CareerOnestop

    Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, CareerOnestop is an excellent search engine and exploratory tool. Whether you’re looking to find an in-demand career in a particular area, find jobs that meet your salary requirements, or locate a new field for a career change, CareerOnestop can help.

  • Careers for Veterans

    If you’re a veteran of the U.S. armed forces, dedicated job search tools are out there for you. Military.com features an easy-to-use search engine, links to upcoming job fairs, a military skills translator, and free employment master classes.

  • Handshake

    From full-time positions to summer internships, Handshake is a great platform for undergraduate and graduate students to locate employment opportunities. This site is highly favored by campus career services offices across the U.S.; all you need is a “.edu” email address to open an account.

  • How to Market Your Master's Degree to Employers

    Northeastern University’s suggestions will help you highlight your soft and hard skills and specialized knowledge. You’ll also learn how to make the most of your hands-on experiences and transferable skills so you’ll get noticed by hiring managers.

  • Indeed Career Guide

    Besides having one of the most active and diverse job boards on the web, Indeed.com offers “The New Graduate’s Guide to Job Search” for first-time job seekers. You’ll get tips on researching companies, salary trends, and how to make the most of the time you spend looking for employment.

  • LinkedIn Career Explorer

    In late 2020, the career-focused online network LinkedIn released a new feature to help graduates and professionals find new jobs.

  • Tips for Researching Industries and Companies

    MIT provides a list of resources to help you learn more about industries and major employers in those areas. You’ll find information on creating and maximizing your network, securing internships, and bolstering your job application materials.

  • Top 20 Job Search Tips

    Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Career and Professional Development Center provides an excellent list of ways to get ahead in competitive job markets.

  • Wittenberg University Career Services

    Narrow your job search with this valuable career services page. Wittenberg offers a list of resources by industry so you can locate great opportunities quickly.