What Are the Admissions Requirements For Most Master’s Degree Programs?

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If you are a college student who is thinking of pursuing a masters degree after graduation, you may be wondering about admission requirements. This might be especially true if you do not know which field you want to study.

Even though this is a fairly easy question to answer, it also depends on the field in which you plan on studying. However, many of the admission requirements are the same across the board. What this article will do is describe the most common requirements for many masters degree programs in the United States. It will also give you tips if you are lacking in some of the prerequisites of your desired field of study.Tests

Most masters degree programs require that you take some sort of admissions test. Some of the most common tests include the LSAT, GMAT, GRE and the MAT. Below are brief descriptions of each of these tests:


The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a standardized test that measures your quantitative reasoning, analytical reasoning, verbal reasoning and critical thinking skills. This test is one of the more common tests used by graduate admissions committees to screen candidates.


The Graduate Management Admissions Test is administered to people who wish to apply to graduate management programs such as those that bestow a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree. The tests measure much of the same skills that the GRE does.


The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) assesses your reading comprehension, verbal reasoning and logical proficiencies. Four times a year, law school applicants take the LSAT at designated testing centers around the world.

Miller Analogies Test:

Another test taken by applicants to masters programs. Unlike the other three tests, the MAT is exclusively verbal.

Other Admission Requirements

Most masters degree programs require the following documents from their applicants. They include:


Graduate admissions committees require applicants to submit transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.

Letters of recommendation:

Applicants to masters programs need to submit two to three letters of recommendation from professors or work supervisors who are familiar with their capacity for graduate-level work.

Personal Statement:

This is a required essay that can be about the work you plan to do in the program, your reasons for pursuing the degree or another topic of the admissions committee's choosing. Closely follow the directives of the admissions committee before choosing an essay topic. Admissions committees look for applicants who can follow directions.

Academic Writing Sample:

Some masters programs may ask you for an academic writing sample from your time as an undergraduate. Contact the admissions office if this is a requirement for your desired program and you no longer have any undergraduate papers in your possession.

Lackluster Application Components

Applying for masters degree programs can be fairly straightforward if you have a 3.9 GPA, stellar GRE scores and glowing letters of recommendation. But what if you do not? The good news is that all is not lost. Some tips you can use to beef up your masters application include:

  • Not being afraid to discuss a low undergraduate GPA
  • Enrolling in a couple of graduate-level courses
  • Retaking your required admissions test (GRE, LSAT, GMAT, etc)

Applying to masters degree programs may be a lengthy process, but the good news is that you only have to do it once – if you get in. If you get rejected by one or all of your programs, don't worry. Your chances of admission go up exponentially when you re-apply. Just go about the process in a strategic manner and think positively! The application process will be a lot more arduous if you go about it in a dour manner.