Whether you’re entering a master’s program straight from earning your undergrad degree or coming from and already established career in the professional world, graduate school can be challenging. And, in fact, it’s supposed to be. Not only do you have to be academically and financially prepared, 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 help of the valuable online resources below.
Preparing for Your Degree
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 prepare 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.
Grad School Interview Questions, Answers, and Tips to Prepare
Your admissions interview with a graduate school admissions representative is an important opportunity to form a personal connection. Our expert panel of admission professionals will provide some great sample answers, and our tips and resources will leave you well-prepared to ace your admissions interview.
Graduate School Lifestyle Changes
Your life during your master’s program is going to be different from you lived during your undergraduate studies. Idealist.org provides actionable advice on how master’s students can best 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. You’ll also find 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 important campus resources, and mentally prepare for your program – even before it starts.
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.
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 any or too much debt. The resources below will help you earn your degree without breaking the bank.
Cappex Scholarship Search
Cappex’s scholarship 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 financial aid tips and 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 academic papers.
Federal Work-Study Programs
These part-time jobs, which are typically on campus, help students in financial need pay for their college educations. 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 budgeting 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 to pay for as well. This guide will help you make the best financial preparations before you enter your grad program 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 helpful local community resources.
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. Some additionally come with a small stipend to help you pay for living expenses.
Studying Like A Scholar
Most master’s degrees require a substantial 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 study tips and writing labs, here are some of the best resources available today to help you get the most out of your master’s program.
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 quickly and effectively locate accurate information for your best master’s-level papers.
Purdue University Writing Lab
Purdue’s award-winning writing lab isn’t just for Purdue students. Anyone with an internet connection can access these valuable writing resources and instructional materials. Get help with research, citations, ESL challenges, and more.
Embracing Diversity and Inclusion
Empowering Women in STEM to Pursue Master’s Degree
Women have made significant gains in science, technology, engineering, and math over the several years, but are still vastly under-represented in STEM fields. Find lots of great tips and resources to help close the gender gap during your master’s degree studies.
LGBTQIA+ Student Resources
This comprehensive guide offers information on finding campus resources, healthcare providers, scholarships, student organizations, and more for those who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Prioritizing Health & Wellness
One of the biggest challenges faced by online master’s students is finding the time for your education, career, commitments, and loved ones was you earn your degree.
Starting Your Career
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 available 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
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 offers 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, there are a number of dedicated job search tools out there for you including this one. 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 seeking employment.