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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.