To How Many Masters Should You Apply to be Successful? | Student Reviews & University Rankings EDUopinions

To How Many Masters Should You Apply to be Successful?


As a student, one always has some top universities in mind they would like to enrol in for a masters degree. Usually, one spends hours browsing their websites, talking to their alumni, day-dreaming about their campus and what not.  However one always thinks how many master programmes should you apply to before you’re successful. We at EDUopinions are here to solve this query of yours today. Looking for an MBA? Find which MBAs are the right ones for you.

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Since there’s no limit to how many universities a student can apply to for a masters degree, students tend to be a bit confused. For time and cost purposes 3-6 university is a good number. An average student applies to only 3-6 universities. Each university will set its own deadlines, applications requirements, etc. Fortunately, most applications will follow a similar format, and you’ll be able to re-use or adapt the materials you prepare for each application.

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To how many Masters should a student apply to for a masters degree?

As experts, we do recommend applying to at least three and a maximum of six universities. Though students also end up applying to as many as 15 universities as well. One should first identify their 2-3 reach schools, 2 safety schools, and 2 target schools.

To understand what are reach schools, safety schools,  and target schools – let’s explain them in detail.

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Reach Schools

These are schools where your qualifications might fall a little short. These colleges are usually the colleges that are quite high up in the ranks and if you get in there by chance you would love to be there.

Safety Schools

These are usually fall-back options or safety options. One should ideally start by applying to these safety schools as even if you don’t get into your target schools or reach schools this can be a good option to fall back on. They may not be the colleges you have always dreamed of achieving but you have a good chance of getting accepted here.

Your grades might be pretty good for this school or you might have a family connection here. Whatever it is, you should always keep this backup just in case you don’t make it anywhere else.

Target Schools

Target schools are colleges that you have a decent chance of gaining admission to (a 30%-80% chance). A target college is one in which your academic scores make you competitive for admission. It is likely that you will get in but not guaranteed. Your GPA, test scores and class ranks fall within the average range of that particular school.

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Apply To More Schools for a masters degree If you’re selective

If you’re very choosy about the kind of school you want to get in for a masters degree, then you may want to apply to more colleges than the average person. You might have a series of colleges that you might want to get into and none other would work. In such cases, you can apply to 10 colleges you really want and then you might have a 25% chance of getting in them.

If you’re not so stringent, then you should also apply to colleges that you’re confident you will get into.

Apply to Less Schools In Other options

There are many reasons due to which a student might want to apply to lesser schools. Some of the reasons are the application cost, your grades might not be up to par or you might not have time in between schools to apply to other ones.

Applications Cost Money and time as well: Let’s be honest, applying to colleges isn’t cheap. Even though it’s a small investment, the average application fee of colleges can be up to $75. There can be additional costs associated as well. The SAT allows you to send scores to four colleges. Any additional college score report is $11.25 for the SAT. Before applying to many colleges, do consider your budget as well. Consider the budget that your parents are okay with. Though you should consider these applications as an investment. EDUopinions advises students to not go overboard. Going overboard might be anywhere above 10-15 colleges. If you’re unable to decide, think about the invaluable lessons in life you will get at the college of your choice and how it might potentially change your life forever. Also, keep in mind the application process which also takes time. Each college application asks you for essays and other formalities which might take time to fill.

The difference in Applying to EU colleges and non-EU colleges for a masters degree

Most countries have specific rules for applying to colleges. If you’re an EU student and you apply to EU colleges then your application is likely to be easier. However, if you’re a non-EU student then applying to an EU college is a bit tough.

If you’re outside the EU, then also you have certain perks. You can travel to any country in the EU if you get a student visa. However, your university fees might be a bit higher.

If you’re looking to apply to the UK then they accept applications only through UCAS system for a Bachelor degree. In other countries like Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Germany you have to apply for a pre-application procedure and check the criteria of eligibility for your prior studies. Most EEA countries require an entrance exam which may be a written test.

Applying to an American college is time-consuming and one should begin the process at least one year before if not two. One needs to write to several schools, send application forms, take admission tests, receive acceptance letters and finally pay your deposit.

Final Advice

For any student who is applying to colleges for a masters degree this year or next year- the number one advice we at EDUopinions would give it to do all your research about the university, course, country, visas before-hand. This will save you a lot of trouble later on at the actual time of application.

We would also recommend students not to apply to more than 20 colleges. Every college has a different application procedure and applying to more colleges means more budget being spent, more time being spent and it just leads to general confusion from a students point of view as well.

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Written by
Nikita is one of the main authors at EDUopinions, specialised in Higher Education and focused on business studies analysis. She is a digital nomad who works while travelling.

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