What You Need to Know About Online Graduate Program Application

Posted: June 6, 2017 9:30:00 AM CDT

graduate program application graphicChoosing an online graduate program is a big decision, and completing your application is the first milestone to success. Although the list of requirements and deadlines may seem intimidating at first, knowing what to expect before you begin the application process can streamline the path to your program.

Linda Johnson, Director of Graduate Admissions and Programs at the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK), provides insight to guide you through the UNK graduate application process.

Start earlyAs soon as you decide on an online graduate program at UNK, check the requirements and deadlines for that particular program on the UNK website. This helps you plan ahead with the time you need to collect the required documents or information for the application. You can save and come back to where you left off in the application as you continue getting your required materials together.

Do your researchObtaining what you need for the application can sometimes take more time than you anticipate. Knowing the exact details can save time and effort as you prepare the following materials:

  • A statement of purpose is required with most program applications, whether in the form of a letter of intent or a personal statement. Many program applications also require a professional biography or portfolio. Each department lists what you should include in these documents, so be sure to address each of the discussion points and follow any outlines that may be provided by the department.
  • Official transcripts should be requested from every higher education institution that you have attended in the past, except in the case of UNK coursework (include UNK on your educational history but do not request a transcript). Be sure to provide a complete and thorough educational history so UNK can assess all of your existing credits.
  • Recommendations from those who can attest to your abilities and readiness for the graduate program may be required with your application. Typically, recommenders are your professional contacts such as past or current instructors or employers. If you need to include letters of recommendation with your application, give your recommenders ample time to prepare their letters before the deadline. Stay in communication to ensure their letter has been successfully submitted.
  • Other requirements may be necessary or optional for you to complete before you apply to a program. If you plan to take an entrance exam, find practice guidebooks and give yourself enough time to study to get the score you need. Before you apply, reach out to the program contact if you need to verify what is required and what is optional. They can also help you with how to meet any missing requirements. That way, you can ensure your application fee and time are well spent toward successful admission into the program.

Use your resources—UNK resources are available to you before you become a student. The department that houses your program can answer detailed questions about requirements. The UNK Help Desk is available to assist you with technology tasks required during your application. For all other questions relating to the graduate application process, UNK Graduate Admissions is your best resource for assistance and detailed information, including a Graduate Admissions FAQ website.

Check your progressOnce you apply, UNK’s MyBlue system shows the progress of your application, including any outstanding items that you have not yet submitted. The timeframe between when you finish applying and when you hear from UNK regarding your admission varies by degree program. Some graduate programs evaluate applications right away, while others begin the assessment of all applications once the deadline has passed. Check your specific program’s timeframes so you know how much time to expect between application and admission.

Considering an online graduate program?

UNK offers most graduate programs completely online, with more than 40 program options. For most programs, June 15 is the application deadline to begin in the upcoming fall semester, October 15 is the deadline for spring semester, and March 15 is the deadline for summer semester.

Take the first step by viewing the available online graduate programs through UNK eCampus.

By: Rosanna Vail

Category: General, eCampus

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