March 29, 2023

What Is the Process of Applying to Graduate School Really Like?

Before beginning their graduate studies in healthcare management, students must first gain acceptance to a good fitting graduate program. The first step to becoming accepting is applying.

Finding a Program to Fit Your Career Goals

The first step, and probably one of the most important in the process, is finding the programs to which you plan to apply. In order to target a reasonable list of programs, it is necessary to ask yourself what your specific personal and professional goals for the future may be. Some of these may include:

  • What are the programs I want to apply to?
  • Should I apply to a master’s program or doctoral program?
  • What is the cost of tuition for the program I am interested in and can I really afford it?
  • How will I finance the tuition and am I eligible for loans?
  • What specific areas of healthcare management do I want to pursue?
  • Do I  have the time to pursue traditional classroom curriculum or would I be better pursuing online programs?

If you can answer these questions, you are ready to begin the process of narrowing down your possible selection of programs and schools. According to, students should consider applying to 4 or 5 schools. Although it is wise to pick two or three programs that are your top choices, you will still need to narrow down your selections.

Will I Need to Take Any Standardized Tests to Apply?

Most graduate programs in healthcare, including areas of public health, require applicants to complete Graduate Records Exams (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). However, applicants with extensive experience and who have achieved comparable scores on similar examinations may be exempted from the GRE or GMAT requirements. Students are required to sign up and complete these standardized tests on their own time. The computerized tests are offered at a variety of testing sites throughout the country. The cost of the GRE’s is $195 worldwide with computerized and paper test preparation programs available at little or no cost to students. The cost for GMAT’s is $250 and there are also test preparation programs available both online and in the classroom.

What Materials Do I Need to Gather to Apply?

To submit applications students most typically will need the following materials:

  • Two to four letters of recommendation
  • College transcripts from all undergraduate programs attended
  • Your GRE or GMAT Scores
  • All application materials (for some programs these can be submitted online)
  • Personal information as designated by the specific program

Each school and specific program will vary in its application requirements. Some may require more information than others but it is essential to be aware of what each program’s requirements are, not risking being eliminated as a candidate for enrollment.

What Are the Fees Required When Applying to Graduate School?

Most graduate schools charge fees that range from $25 to $95 for each application. This is important to remember when deciding how many schools to send applications.

What is the Best Way to Submit my Application?

Most programs have required paper format for application in the past, but with the dawn of technology, most colleges are allowing students to submit digital copies for most required forms. It is important to check the requirements for each program for specifics.