Written By - Derick de Souza

Reviewed By OMC Staff

The exact requirements for graduate school can differ for each university, program, and school. However, some elements and criteria are often taken into account during the application process. Here are some general requirements you may come across when applying to grad school:

What are the requirements for grad school?

Bachelor’s Degree

In most instances, you need a bachelor’s degree from a recognized school. Some programs may have specific major requirements, while others may let students from a wide range of academic backgrounds apply. It is also possible to apply for a master’s degree without completing a bachelor’s.

Grade Point Average (GPA

A certain GPA is needed for most graduate programs. This requirement is different for each school and program. You can usually find information on this requirement on the university’s website or in the application materials for the program. Your GPA in your major or certain prerequisite classes may also be considered by some programs.

Standardized Test Scores

Standardized tests like the GRE (Graduate Record Examination), GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test), LSAT (Law School Admission Test), MCAT (Medical College Admission Test), etc., may be required for some types of programs. However, some programs may waive the standardized test score requirement or may not care as much about test scores.

Letters of Recommendation

Most graduate programs need at least two Letters of Recommendation from professors, employers, or others who can discuss your work ethic, academic skills, and likelihood of doing well in the program.

Statement of Purpose or Personal Statement

You will probably have to write a statement about why you want to go to graduate school, what you are interested in in school and research, and your career goals. This is your chance to show you are motivated and a good fit for the program. While some universities ask for a Statement of Purpose, others ask for a Personal Statement.

Résumé or Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Most universities require applying students to submit an outline of their education, work history, research, and other activities that are relevant through a Résumé or Curriculum Vitae (CV).

Portfolios or Writing Samples

Some programs, like those in the arts and humanities, may ask for writing samples, portfolios, or other proofs of your work.

Interviews and Group Discussions

As part of the application process, you may have to go through an interview or, in some cases, a group discussion. Interviews occur in person, over the phone, or via video chat.

Proof of Language Proficiency

International students or people who do not speak English as their first language or whose education was not primarily based on English may need to show their proficiency in English. This can be done with tests like the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Course Requirements/Prerequisite Courses

For students from different academic backgrounds, some programs may require them to take specific courses before starting.


Knowing the exact requirements for each graduate program you are interested in is crucial, as they can vary widely. University websites, admissions offices, and informational sessions are all good places to find detailed information. Remember that meeting the minimum requirements does not mean you will get in; the application process is challenging and often competitive, and other things like research experience, relevant work experience, and how well you fit in with the program are also taken into account.

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