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Updated October 7th, 2022

Applying to Grad School

Applying to graduate school involves the following steps:

  • Select a graduate program (and the University that offers it)
  • Research about the programs admission requirements. These requirements differ depending on the University, faculty and the specific graduate program and whether its masters of doctorate level. The application package may contain the following documents:

  • Prepare your application
  • Review your application for accuracy
  • Submit your application

Financial Support

Graduate students can obtain funding from several sources to finance their education. This might include, but not limited to:

  • Program funding: This funding is administered by the program / faculty that the student is admitted to. In some cases, some universities will only offer admission to students who have obtained this program/department funding.
  • Self funding: When a student does not receive external funding, they are required to pay for their graduate studies using their personal funds such as savings.
  • External funding: These include scholarships, loans, bursaries that are awarded by external organizations and can be used to finance students admitted into any eligible university. These may offer partial funding or full funding.
  • Project funding: These are similar to program funding but they are attached to a specific research project. The student will already have a predefined research project so these do not offer much flexibility. They are among the most common sources of student funding but students should be cautious to ensure the research objectives fall within their areas of interest.

Identifying a supervisor

Graduate students will need to identify a supervisor either at the beginning of their program or just before they start their research project. In cases where students have aobtained research funding, the supervisor will be the Principal Investigator or one of the research team members of that research project. Self-funded students and Students who obtain program/department funding may not need to identify a supervisor until they complete their coursework. It is obvious that students should identify supervisors who will positively support them through their graduate studies. The student-supervisor relationship is a very important one and can easily influence how well a student performs. Supervisors also influence a student's career quite significantly in developing career networks and also depending on how much infleunce the supervisor has in the research feild and industry.

Supervisory Committee

At some point during a student's program, they will need to set up a supervisory committee, Each uniersity has different requirements for the composition of this committee but usually you will need about three researchers, of which at least one of them will be external to the department. And in some cases, at least one member of the committee will be external to the university. Again we can't emphasize enough the need to ensure students select supportive supervisors.

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