Grad schools are higher institutions that award masters and doctorate degree masters. They are also known as post graduate programs.
Most people think grad school is hard. After all, you are continuing a degree program that took you a while to complete. However, that is a myth. There are many reputable schools out there with high acceptance rates, it’s just a matter of knowing which ones.
If you are looking to further your education, or vastly improve your knowledge on a specific subject, grad schools are an excellent choice.
The poor reputation of how hard it is to get into grad school comes from a few select institutes which happen to have crazy-high requirements. Luckily for you, there are plenty schools out there who will take a serious look at your application, even if you don’t have an outstanding scholastic path.
In this article, you are going to learn what are the easiest grad schools to get into, and how to best prepare your application so that you can craft the best possible proposal to get accepted.
Remember: even though it’s easy to get into these schools, you will still receive top-quality education in them. Schools stepped it up with their graduation programs in recent years, so don’t expect a cheap and rushed education.
Keep reading to find out more about the easiest grad schools.
Why go to Grad School?
There are many reasons to go to grad school. The first one is to pursue higher education, which is an admirable endeavor in itself, but it’s also crucial in today’s job market. Competition is at an all-time high, and the more education credential you have, the better you can position yourself to get the job of your dreams.
Perhaps you simply want to earn more money, or you want to switch career. Or maybe you are just looking to become more knowledgeable on a certain topic.
Whatever the case, you’ll find plenty of good advice in this guide.
Grad School Prerequisites
We are here to dispel some myths about the difficulties of getting into grad schools. While it’s true that some schools have unreasonable requests, you’ll find that most are well within your grasp, even if you aren’t an outstanding student.
In this section you’ll find prerequisites that are common to all schools, and advice on how to satisfy them. Remember that even if the prerequisites to join schools on this list are low, you’ll still want to offer more than the bare minimum in your application.
Get Your Academic transcripts
You have to prove you completed your undergraduate program before enrolling into grad school. Official academic transcripts also help the school know more about your studies up to this point.
Most schools are fine with copies of your transcripts during your application process, but you will need to show the originals when you actually enroll.
Take the GRE (Graduate Record Exam)
This is a universal exam that you’ll have to take before applying to any grad school, so I suggest working hard towards passing it in flying colors.
What’s great is that you can take the GRE test multiple times during the year, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t pass it the first time. Analyze what went wrong, what areas you need to work on, and come back with a better understanding of what’s required.
There are some universities who don’t ask for your GRE scores for grad school, but even if that’s the case, I still suggest taking it, as acquiring the skills needed to pass the exam will prove invaluable during your studies.
Improve your GPA
Some grad schools accept students with a GPA as low as 2.5, but I suggest to raise yours to at least 3.0 to drastically increase your chances of getting accepted.
Time matters too, some schools will care about your recent GPA scores, while others focus on overall GPA. This varies with each school so make sure to read our list, where I outline the specific GPA requirements of each school.
You will find stories on the internet of people who got accepted with a low GPA, but please notice that these stories are an exception, not the rule. If you have an outstanding application in every other area then your GPA won’t be weighted as heavily by the commission, but again, it’s an exception to have such an application.
Get at Least Two Reference Letters
Reference letters are always hard to come by. At least good ones. Every grad school program will ask you to submit at least two reference letters. Each school has its own preferences when it comes to who should write your recommendation letters, but you can’t go wrong with at least one coming from one of your undergraduate program professors.
The best approach to this is having a good mix of references, both professional and academic. Did you impress a past or current employer? Ask them to write a reference letter. Did you work extra hard for a course during your undergraduate program? Get the professor to write about your talent and dedication.
Craft a Compelling CV (Curriculum Vitae)
A CV helps the university understand your professional and academic life. You don’t need anything fancy, just a list of your past work and school experience. However, it’s not easy to craft a compelling CV.
Most people will make a boring list of experiences and be done with it. Get creative! Explain what you learned from each experience, and also mention if you have any publication or if you’ve attended extra courses outside of school.
Keep it concise, relevant to the school, and interesting.
What Makes It Easier to Get into a Grad School Compared to Another?
When considering grad schools, you must take into account multiple factors. Aside from prerequisites which I listed in the previous section, you should also consider the school’s acceptance rate, and open seats, as well as how many people try to join the grad program each year.
The more people apply, the more competition you’ll face, and the more competition you face, the harder it is to standout. I’m not saying to do everything in your power to apply to some god-forsaken college with 10 attendants, but try to give yourself the best chances to get accepted.
An indirect factor you shouldn’t forget about is your environment. Assuming you are going to live on campus, consider how your lifestyle fits into the local culture. If you aren’t enjoying studying because the city saps your energy, then what good is it to join grad school?
4 Easiest Grad Schools to Get Into
So how does one make a list of easiest grad schools to get into? Well, it’s actually quite simple. First, you take into accounts all the prerequisites and how hard they are to satisfy. For example, letters of recommendations aren’t that easy to get, so they hold a lot of weight into the rankings.
Then, you take into consideration the school’s acceptance rates. You want to apply to schools with a high acceptance rate, as to maximize your chances of success.
That’s about it. Acceptance rates + prerequisites are what really matters when picking a grad school.
1. California State University-Bakersfield
California State University-Bakersfield is a huge university that can accommodate about 18.000 students at the moment.
This university rightfully earned its first spot on this list thanks to its low prerequisites to access grad programs, and an acceptance rate of 100%, while still maintaining a graduation rate above 40%, which is a success if you consider that graduation rates tend to plummet with high acceptance rates.
But what are the actual requisites? Here’s a quick list of the general requirements:
- Hold a baccalaureate degree coming from a 4 years-program given by an accredited institution
- A GPA of at least 2.5, but some courses require this value to be at least 3.0 unless you have passed the GRE exam
- Be in good academic standing
- Demonstrable competence in English (although this is only necessary for students who earned their degree in a language different from English)
That’s not everything though: every program has its own specific requisites, for example to join the Master of Arts in English you will need an English baccalaureate degree.
Another example is the MBA in Business Administration, which requires any student who wishes to apply to have completed courses in accounting, finance, management, and marketing.
2. Simmons University
Simmons University is a private university that offers the perfect mix of acceptance rate and quality of education. While other schools on this list have a higher acceptance rate, with some boasting a 100% one, Simmons University is a little stricter, with its acceptance rate of about 80%.
But easy to get in isn’t everything that goes into making this list, because let’s be honest: there are some universities who will let anyone get in as long as they pay. Simmons University upholds standards of acceptance and education that made it earn its spot on this list.
The school offers over 30 graduate programs, each with its own requisites. They are all quite similar between each other. For example, let’s take a look at the prerequisites for the MS in Library and Information Science:
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
- Official academic transcripts
- Three letters of recommendation – the university doesn’t specify from who, but I suggest getting at least one from your undergraduate professors, and one from an (ex) employer
- A GPA of at least 3.0 – though you can apply with a lower GPA, provided you have taken and passed the GRE exam
Other programs, like the Master of Science in Nursing also require you to have completed courses related to human biology before applying. Make sure to check out the website for each master you want to join, as they will provide all the relevant information needed to apply.
3. Walden University
Walden University is a for-profit school specializing in online education. It offers more than 40 master’s programs and it’s also easy to join.
You could argue that being a for-profit school, education might come second after profits, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, the acceptance rate is 100%, but the professors are still working hard to ensure you complete the graduate programs.
There is a dark side to schools with such a high acceptance rate though: they tend to have very low graduation rates, with Walden’s being around 26%. That’s what happens when you accept everyone though: a lot of people simply aren’t ready to embark on such a long and difficult journey, so don’t take this number at face value.
After all, for-profit schools need to keep their standards of education high if they want students to keep enrolling in their programs.
Prerequisites vary from program to program, but what you will absolutely need is:
- Academic transcripts
- An up-to-date Curriculum Vitae
- Required test scores – these vary with each program, but at the very minimum you should have passed your GRE test and have demonstrable proficiency in English
- Goal statement – craft a statement that explains why you are picking your graduate program, and what impact do you expect to make on the world after getting it
As for specific requisites, such as courses, you should check each program’s webpage to know them. For example, the ms in software engineering requires you to have a technical bachelor’s degree or at least one year of relevant work experience in information technology.
4. Loyola University Chicago
The Loyola University Chicago is an excellent choice for anyone looking to further they education by joining a graduate program.
It’s harder than other schools on this list purely because its graduate programs have a somewhat low acceptance rate: 38%.
It’s not easy to make a requirements list, since each program has its own requisites. But I can tell you that most programs require you to take and pass the GRE general test, and have sufficient English language testing requirements (TOEFL; IELTS; PTE).
Some programs don’t require a minimum undergraduate GPA score, while some ask for 2.7, and others 3.0. Again, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the GPA question, and even if there are no minimum requirements for some program, you should still work hard towards improving your GPA to acceptable levels.
Some programs require 2 letters of recommendations, while others require 3. The school doesn’t specify from whom you should get these letters, but my suggestion is to get at least 1 from a professor, and one from an employer.
Last, make sure to check the prerequisite courses required. While most undergraduate degrees are fine, there are some courses that are necessary before enrolling into some programs.
There you have it. A list of the easiest grad schools to get into. However, even if these schools have a very high acceptance rate, it doesn’t mean that getting your degree will be easy.
Some of these universities accept anyone purely for an economical reason: they are for-profit schools, and since every student is extra money, they accept everyone.
It doesn’t mean these schools don’t care for your education, it just means that they adjusted their acceptance requisites and study paths to accommodate as many people as possible.
As with every school, what matters is how much work you’ll put in. There are no magic shortcuts to getting your graduate degree. Study all the materials, engage in meaningful discussion with your professors, and learn everything there is to know about your chosen field.
There’s nothing left to do. Apply to the easiest grad schools to get into today, and further your education. Wonderful opportunities await you!