17 Steps to Make Your MS Admission Dream Come True

If you have just narrowed down your plans of pursuing your higher studies abroad, chances are you would be wondering when to start your preparation and applications process. As the spring intake is closer, let’s talk about your ideal plan of action to avoid any last minute confusion.
You might think: What is the big deal in filling up a few applications for a bunch of universities?
Why should I plan it in advance?

Well, there are several steps to applying for your graduate studies abroad:

  • Starting from taking your GRE and TOEFL/IELTS tests
  • Getting your documents and essays ready and
  • Finally, filing your online applications successfully

Each step plays a prominent role in your final admission decision and hence needs to be completed in a timely manner with utmost care.

Working professionals should balance better
If you are a working professional, things can get a bit difficult if you don’t plan early, as you may have to visit your university professors, among others, in completing the application formalities. You will have to do a lot of balancing and prioritizing in the months to come!

17 steps for MS admission process
It is wise to chalk out a plan for all you need to do in fulfilling the application formalities and completing them.

  • Usually, the spring intake (i.e., the timeframe in which universities accept students for their spring term) starts around mid-Jun and goes on till Oct end.
  • Very few universities have their deadlines in Nov or Dec; but this is rare.
  • As it is advisable to apply before the deadline, plan to be completely ready when the season commences. The various steps that you need to include in this plan are:
steps for MS admission process

Steps for MS admission process

How to manage your time effectively for Spring 2020 admissions? 
You can divide your time into two periods: JanApr and MayJul.

First Period
Use the first period to complete all the background work. This includes:

    • Narrowing down your course and degree of choice
    • Preparing for your GRE and English language exams
    • Coming up with a tentative list of universities you wish to apply to
    • Taking your exams (if possible), finalizing the list of universities
    • Finding out their application requirements

Based on the finalized list of options, you can do financial planning and work on arranging the financial documents, as prescribed by the universities you are looking at.
Cheat note: If you want to find the application requirements for your university, try to create an account in the university website and visit the department links too.

Second Period
Now, when you step into the second period of your plan (May–Jun), you would be equipped with all the necessary information to plan further. You can use this time to:

  • Apply for your transcripts
  • Arrange other important documents
  • Start working on your SoPs (Alert: this could take a good month or two, if you are going through the whole process on your own)
  • Finalize your letters of recommendation
  • Work on the online forms, and report your scores and other documents

If you think Jun–Jul is too early for you to get all set, don’t worry. With proper guidance and support, you can still make it in time for MS admission in various universities. However, do try to submit your applications at least one or two weeks before the deadlines.

Of course, the timeline will vary depending on where you start from. For instance, if you are planning for the spring intake and are yet to arrange your passport, it may take you longer to get ready with the background work. Similarly, if you are not familiar with documents like transcripts and how to get them, you might want to add that to your background work. Keep the second period to work on your actual applications; you may find some surprises you didn’t expect in there, so give them good amount of time.

If you are planning for spring, it’s time to get cracking! Happy admissions to you!


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