How To Complete Your Masters Degree In Seven Quick Steps

Congratulations! You have been accepted to the program of your choice! You future looks bright! But what will it take to successfully complete your master’s degree? Let us break this down into seven important steps. But heading back to school can be a long-term commitment, and often entails months and months of effort. There are some things you can do to make your time in school more worthwhile, rewarding, and expedited.

Step 1 – Prepare your program of study as soon as you get in to the program. In many graduate programs, at least 36 credit hours are required for graduation. So be confirm this information with your department or program advisor. May graduate schools also have what they call a program of study. This is a form that you need to complete showing what courses you will take and when you will take them. Every semester you are in the program, make sure you enroll in the minimum number of required hours. If not advise the school you will be taking a semester of. Some programs require you to re-enroll if you are away from the program without notifying them.

Step 2 – Enroll in and complete all your courses. Of course be careful when planning your course load. It is always advisable to contact and meet your your academic advisor at least once or twice each academic term so as to discuss your experiences and accomplishments in the program.

Step 3 – Put together your advisement committee if you will be completing a thesis or research paper. If your graduate program requires you to complete a thesis, talk with your advise about other team member who would best advise you in different areas of your thesis, for example research methods that you will be using.

Step 4 – Do research on the career you want. As you go through the program, learn about what it takes to succeed in that field. For example if you are a nursing student, learn more about the latest technologies being used in healthcare. This way when you join the field, you will already have a good idea on what is current. You can learn these skills through your coursework, internship, and also your own extra reading and Internet searches.

Step 5 – Prepare and defend your thesis. Work with your advisor or committee to develop a good product. While this can be challenging, it can be done and the rewards speak for themselves! Begin by outlining the topic you propose, the research methods you will use, the confounding theories and a the review of related literature. In some program you might be required to take a comprehensive exam or develop a portfolio instead. Find out what your alternatives are so that you decide on this early if you have a choice.

Step 6 – Start looking at job postings. Prepare your portfolio, which can include your resume, artifacts, credentials and other examples that showcase your best self. It is never to early to start looking. Keep a list of potential jobs and ensure that you are receiving the skills and knowledge from your program. Don’t wait till after graduation to start applying for jobs. After all, that’s why you started the master’s degree, right?

Step 7 – Apply for graduation. Graduation deadlines can sneak up quietly. Put them in your calendar and apply as soon as you are eligible. More than anything, enjoy the academic journey and celebrate your accomplishments.

If you are working full time, have a family, travel a lot for work, flexibility is key in you completing your degree successfully. Therefore you may want to ensure that the college you enroll in has online classes, flexible evening and weekend classes and other options for the working adult. In all these, ensure the program you graduate from is accredited. No need graduating with a degree that is not recognized.

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