You know you want to do a Master’s in the U.S., Canada or the UK, but you don’t know exactly which subject or how to go about it. You’re also worried about funding. There are two things you need to figure out: what you want to do, and where to apply. The rest will fall into place. Here are the tips that will lead to success.
First, decide what it is that interests you, or which field of study will lead to a career that offers you the lifestyle you want. What courses and subjects did you groove on in your previous studies? Once you have decided – more or less – what to study, find out which universities are the authorities on these subjects. There are a number of ways to do this:
- Check out rankings.
- Look up a subject you’re interested in on Google Scholar, then see which authors come up again and again. It’s likely those authors come from the universities that would be best suited to your needs. Often, you will want to study with a particular person rather than at a particular place. A key part of the application process is to establish personal contact with the professor with whom you would like to work. But make sure when you establish contact you say the right things in the right way. We can help with that.
- Match a great academic mentor to a great school and a great city. You will often have to make a tradeoff. You may decide to go to a number 12 university in a great city rather than a number 8 in a quiet little town. You may decide to go to a lesser ranked school because a scholar you admire works there. A school’s reputation will pave your career path, and you may decide to go to an Ivy League versus the university where your top-choice mentor works.
- Make sure you shoot for universities that are commensurate with your grades, English scores, and CV. If David graduates with an 80%, his CV is okay, and his English is good but not excellent, he should apply to universities that are conceivably in line with his credentials. This means that David should apply to 2 universities that might be considered ‘ambitious choices’, and perhaps 3 universities in the middle to middle-upper tier. Of course, with our help and a good story, David might be able to secure much better results than otherwise would have been possible.
- Financial aid: If you expect to be within the top applicants of a given university and you make a compelling written case for financial aid, there is a good possibility you may secure some funding. That said, you must have money saved and not be wholly dependent on funding, particularly if your objective is an MA, MBA, or LLM. One little-known secret for academic applications is that you are far more likely to obtain funding if you apply to a Ph.D than to an M.A. There are several reasons for this, but it mainly comes down to the idea that universities compete to produce the best professors, and therefore offer money to good students; and also that Ph.D students can teach undergraduate classes for little pay, which helps to offset university costs and provides more reason to provide Ph.D students with financial aid.