Tips For Applying To Graduate School

Applying to graduate school at any time can be a stressful experience. During a time of virtual everything, the process of finding and applying to graduate programs can be even more daunting. But there are ways to manage the process and still produce your best applications.

It Takes Longer Than You Think

Graduate school applications require a pretty substantial amount of time and effort. Something I learned while completing my applications was that however long I thought it would take to complete an application, it always took way longer. Try to start working on applications (and taking any exams required for programs!) as early as you can. This will also make the process a lot less stressful because you’ll have more time to really fine-tune things and not rush.

Asking For Help Is Your Best Friend!

Graduate program applications are hard! I ran into a handful of learning curves with my applications, and hands-down, the most beneficial thing was asking people for help. Seek out help from professors, advisors, writing centers, and any other resources available to you. Having as many eyes as possible on your application helps catch any gaps in your work. I also found reaching out to friends also applying to graduate programs to be extremely helpful. We were able to ask each other questions, bounce ideas off of each other, and provide much needed moral support.

Seek Out Resources

There are a lot of free resources out there for studying for entrance exams, as well as fee waiver possibilities for application fees and exams. Start looking for these resources and waivers early on as they sometimes have deadlines.

Motivate Yourself

This can be a very overwhelming process and it’s important to keep yourself motivated and positive as much as possible. Remind yourself often of your capabilities and value as an applicant. The process can be very stressful at times but you can do it!



Class of 2021
Hey y’all, I’m a History and Gender and Women Studies double major and a French minor from Chicago! I concentrate in all things Black and Black women studies and love long-distance running.


  • Hi!
    I’m Emmanuel, an international student and a graduate of Demography and Social Statistics
    I would love to have my postgraduate studies at the university of Illinois this year
    I would appreciate if you can help with the full details on how to go about the application process as soon as possible


  • Hi Emmanuel! Thanks for reaching out. We are the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. You can learn more about how to apply to our Graduate College here: If you have any questions, you can also email them at or call them at +1 217-333-0035. We hope this helps, and good luck with your post-graduate studies!

  • Hello there, i am Mongwoiching from Bangladesh, i am a undergraduate final year student. I am thinking about apply for international student scholarship program for my graduate education. Now how will i find out the resource about this opportunities. I need your help. Thank you.

  • Thanks for reaching out, Mongwoiching! We are actually the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Since you have questions related to your graduate education, you’ll want to reach out to our Graduate College: or +1 217-333-0035.