3 Tips to Help Prepare for a Successful Transition to Grad School

Pursuing your graduate degree immediately after earning your undergraduate degree has several benefits. For example, you’re already in the student mindset. You’re used to deadlines, group assignments, research papers and staying up late to study for tests so you won’t have to re-acclimate to academic life. If you’re planning on going to grad school right after earning your bachelor’s, here are three tips to help better prepare you.

Meet with your advisor to discuss your plans for after graduation.

One of the key advantages of planning for grad school while earning your bachelor’s degree is convenient access to your institution’s faculty and resources. It’s much easier to ask for recommendations from professors and advisors when you see them on a regular basis, whereas waiting a few years will make them harder to track them down. Your advisor can also work with you to plan out your last semesters in a way that will help you transition into the grad program of your choice. Your advisor might also know certain programs such as CUNY’s Pipeline Program, a six-week program that provides educational and financial support to underrepresented undergraduate students who plan to pursue a Ph.D.

Get involved in extracurriculars at your school.

Not only do grad schools love to see your involvement in extracurricular programs, participating can help you gain the skills you need to thrive under pressure and better manage your time. Make sure the clubs you join are an equal balance between social and academic to show potential schools that you have diverse interests and networks. Getting an internship is also a great way to prepare for your master’s degree program, especially for fields like business where it’s important to add professional experience to your resume early. Getting involved outside of your immediate academic schedule as an undergrad is an essential part of preparing yourself for grad school.

Get your grad school applications in early.

Qualifying for early admissions will help you know sooner where you’ve been accepted. Also, it shows that you are truly interested in the program you’re applying to and taking initiative as a student. Furthermore, applying early removes some of the pressure and allows you to enjoy your last semester as an undergrad!

Making the jump from undergrad to grad school will be a much smoother and more enjoyable experience when you plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to complete your applications. Beginning the process early will enable you to take full advantage of your institution’s personnel and resources, and give you a head start on preparing for your first semester as a graduate student.