Admission Tips for Graduate Business Programs
Applying to graduate school is a serious undertaking. My goal is to work closely with prospective students to find the best program fit and provide guidance throughout the application process. After reflecting on my experience working with applicants and students in the Professional’s MBA, Emerging Leaders MBA, and Master of Accounting programs, I would like to share some advice for those pursuing graduate degrees in business.
Reflect on Your Goals & Needs
Graduate business programs—whether full-time, part-time, or online—involve significant time and financial investment. Before committing to a program, take time to think about your academic and career goals as well as needs for program flexibility. Some key questions I encourage prospective students to think through are:
- How does the program align with your goals? Consider both professional and education goals.
- What program is the best fit for you? This includes price, format, and location as well as program values and outcomes.
- What do you want to get out of your education? Decide if you are looking to specialize, or if you would like a more general business education.
Research Thoroughly & Early
Getting started early means that you have more time to spend on putting a strong application in front of the admissions committee. Learn about the program, university, application requirements, deadlines, and award opportunities. Many programs, including those in Loyola’s Sellinger School of Business and Management, have an earlier, priority, deadline for best award consideration.
Now that you’ve done your self-reflection and research, it’s time start your application. Staying organized throughout this process is key. When getting started, it’s important to note application requirements and deadlines. Additionally, I encourage applicants to set personal target dates to submit application materials to ensure application is completed by (or before) the deadline time. To keep track of items you have submitted & when you have submitted them, I often recommend using Excel. [template?] And lastly, to help communication run smoothly, choose one email address to use for your application and any additional communication.
When you choose a graduate business program, you’re signing on for more than just classes and credits. You’re gaining a network of alumni, faculty, administrators, and peers that will support you through various parts of your academic and professional journey during your time in the program and beyond. Get connected early with those who can support you through the application and admissions process by attending an information session. These sessions are led by admissions and advising experts, and often include key faculty, alumni, and current students. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, take down contact information and keep in touch.
Madison Deegan currently serves as a Graduate Recruiter & Academic Advisor at Loyola University Maryland’s Sellinger School of Business and Management and has extensive experience in admissions, academic advisement, and career services.