Monthly Archives: June 2015

Do I Have What It Takes for Graduate Studies?

consultantSo many aspiring undergraduates dream of doing their Master’s degrees in Canada and other study abroad destinations.  But not everyone will be able to fulfill their dreams of studying a Master’s program in Canada or elsewhere.  Many graduate with seemingly impressive marks only to find that they are not qualified or are rejected.

Most students who opt for a Master’s program in Canada apply to a thesis based program.  There are other options available such as course-based and project-based, but the thesis-based program is popular because that is where international students can get funding or scholarships.

So what does it take to get accepted into a thesis based Master’s program.

Excellent Grades – Of course good grades go a long way in determining your eligibility to study at the graduate level in Canada.  Although most universities state a minimum GPA of 3, these programs are extremely competitive.  One department at the University of Alberta shared that they have over 300 applicants but can only offer 35 positions per year.  Simple math tells you that you should have a minimum of 3.5 to be even considered in the competition.

High GRE Scores – Many universities have either made it a requirement for international students or heavily recommend submitting GRE scores.  They use the GRE score to have a common measuring tool as international students can come from so many different education systems.  The GRE is the one common concrete denominator they can use to determine a student’s eligibility.

Writing the GRE certainly puts you over the edge of other students (by 85%) because it tests verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing; all of which are essential skills for a first-class research student.  That high score will affirm to the department and prospective supervisor that you have the necessary skills and abilities and are just the candidate needed in their pool of graduate students.

Additionally the test scores are good for five years.

Research Experience – If possible, get some practical experience that will include research, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and innovation.  Most universities will not accept a student unless he has something like this to show.

Good Reference Letters – Highly recommended reference letters from academics such as a supervisor, professor or chair of the department, etc. will go a long way in getting you into grad school.

Right Aptitude – Finally, do you have what it takes?  Are you a creative thinker, innovative; can you think outside of the box?  Are you able to problem-solve, critically evaluate something?  Do you look at the bigger picture or do you only see part of the problem?  Are you able to analyse data, events, results etc.?

If you can’t, then you might want to consider a course-based or project-based graduate program if you plan on studying at the Master’s level in Canada or elsewhere.

A good education consultant can help you make the right choice.


Summertime is a Time to Relax

Calg Family 005Summer is on, classes are over and the last exams are being written.  That means it’s time for a nice story instead of hard work and cold facts.

Studying in Canada isn’t all about studying as some students have found out.  It also includes building relationships and finding a family away from home.  One student who came to study at the University of Alberta found his second family in his research supervisor.  The friendship that was built was to the point where this international student was ‘adopted’ into the family.  When you are so far away from home, studying in Canada, it is nice to have a place you can call home and someone cares for you.

Some international centres at universities and colleges have some sort of host family program so that you can feel welcomed and be included in some family activities.  Other activities may include weekend trips to the mountains or some other group activity.  Make sure to look up the International Centre at the university or college where you are studying in Canada to find out what kind of fun activities you can get involved in.