My Decision to Apply for Graduate School

When you’re in fourth year, everyone wants to know what your plans are, what’s the next step? Up until the end of third year -- I had no idea what my next step was going to be. I always figured that maybe I just didn’t have my niche when it came to research or maybe I wasn’t capable of doing it. I figured I would graduate, and hopefully find a job in my field and just start working.

However, in the past summer term I had the opportunity to take a course that covered a topic that really peaked my interest, and it's something I want to keep learning about, and with the encouragement of my professors I started to actually consider applying for my masters, and did some research.

Researching Master's Programs

Webpage: FindAMasters.Com, homepage with details on upcoming events
Example website: Find a Masters.Com to help the first step to researching your graduate programs

Once I started considering my masters, I had to some research on the different programs around the world that may peak my interest or covers the topic I am interested in. One website I found useful was You could search for the field and countries you may be interested in looking at and then visit the program websites for more information.

Researching Requirements and Structures

Once I decided "Hey! This sounds like I could really like being in this program" I went on to list 10 programs I may consider and then narrowed them down my their admission requirements and their program structures.

You may be interested in a professional master's like an MPP (Masters of Public Policy), or you may want to stay in academia and pursue a Masters of Arts or Sciences perhaps. What really helped me was looking at the various topics of research the universities specialize in. I want to do a thesis-based masters so that's what I was looking for in the "program requirements" sections. Like the example below from U of T's School of Graduate Studies.

Program Overview of the Masters of Arts and PhD programs for Political Science at UofT.
Example of Program Requirements Page from the UofT School of Graduate Studies

Thinking - Can I Do This?

After narrowing down the programs, I thought that maybe, I could actually do this?! So I had to sit down and hype myself up - because the self-doubt is insane. Even though I'm currently in the process of applying, it's still there. HOWEVER! My research topic is something that I am passionate about, and I am so excited continuing my studies.

My decision to apply to graduate school was one that had to be carefully thought out, and I think it's the right decision for me.

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