Being a senior in college is bittersweet. I feel like I was just arriving to campus for my first day of orientation, excited to move in to the, formerly named, Rose Hall to make memories to last a lifetime. Now I’m a heap of emotions watching prospective students tour IU and I can’t help but realize it’s almost over. The real world is almost here. Luckily, I have figured out how to avoid being an adult for a little longer and live out a dream at the same time–going to graduate school. I am applying for a Masters in Public Health and I couldn’t be more excited or nervous for it.
Applying for graduate school can seem like a daunting task. It’s a lot of work, but preparation is key!! Since I have already been through the process, here are a few tips to hopefully make it a little easier on you.
There is nothing wrong with collecting more information than you need. University websites are very informative and usually easy to navigate. For the schools I am interested in, I was able to find all sorts of information online. And if I had any additional questions, I always found contact information online.
#2 Get a team behind you
I have been so lucky to have a group of people supporting me through out my application process. Not only do I find great support in my family and friends, the faculty at IU have been nothing but amazing. I highly recommend utilizing the Office of Career Services. I have received help with my resume, personal statement, and even a letter of recommendation. It is so easy to make an appointment! Just visit http://careers.publichealth.iu.edu/.
#3 What makes a program the best fit for you?
Something that is easy to forget about during the process is yourself. What dreams and aspirations do you have? Look at all aspects of the school. The first thing to consider is the academics of the school. Do you like the structure and organization of the program? Are there enough university support systems and financial aid to support you throughout your program? Secondly, think about the population and geographical location of the school. What kind of campus environment and diversity do you want? This may seem like a lot to consider, but wherever you pick will be your home for the next few years!
#4 Review application platforms–and apply early!
Check the university websites to find out what all you have to do to apply to their programs and by when. For public health schools and programs, there is a portal called SOPHAS that is extremely easy to use. All of the sections of the application are in one place. From the portal, the application can be sent to all of the schools you are interested in. If you are using SOPHAS, keep in mind that it needs a few weeks to process your application and send it to your schools. One of the best things I have done in this process is submit all of my applications early. Not only does applying early increase your odds of being admitted, there is less stress on you during hectic times at school. Applying early never hurts, and may the odds be ever in your favor!
I hope this list helps to relieve some stress. We are halfway through the semester, so take a deep breath and enjoy those beautiful fall leaves!
Just a girl trying to get through her senior year, one cup of coffee at a time.