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Considering Graduate School

Are you considering a Masters or Ph.D. program?

You may be interested in continuing your studies at the graduate level. Perhaps you are an undergraduate student, or maybe you have been out of university for a number of years. You may be looking for a career change or seeking to pursue a topic in which you have been deeply engaged for years. You may be fascinated by a particular research project, or completely unsure of the exact field you should pursue. Perhaps you are considering an MA, MSc, PhD, DPhil or a direct entry MA-PhD. You may be looking at graduate programs in Canada, the United States or abroad. Or perhaps you are completely unsure of where to start as you consider graduate studies.

Getting accepted to graduate school is a difficult and lengthy process. Preparing for and applying to graduate school requires time, focus, and organizational skills to build a competitive application package. The application process requires that you develop and carefully implement a detailed plan that meets the requirements of the challenge. Our role is to help you develop a strategy to execute over time in order to maximize your chances of admission.

Questions you might have:

Graduate Schools

  • What schools and programs should I be considering?
  • What options are available?
  • Where would I be most competitive?
  • What steps should I take to become more competitive?


  • How do schools weigh my GPA relative to other components of my application?
  • What strategies should I use in choosing my courses and allocating my time?

Extracurricular, Work and Volunteer Opportunities

  • What experiences should I focus on to help me stand out from my competition?
  • How can I show longitudinal development through my interests and activities?


  • Which schools require the GRE and how will my GRE scores be used?
  • What does the test look like?
  • What is more important – a high overall score or a balanced score across GRE sections?
  • When is the best time to write the GRE?
  • Will I need a GRE II?

Letters of Reference

  • Who should I ask?
  • How should I approach a potential referee?
  • How do I manage the process so that my letters arrive on time?

Written Application

  • What is a statement of intent?
  • How do I write this document in a compelling and effective manner?
  • What should I focus on?
  • How detailed do I need to be?
  • Should the statement be about me (a personal statement) or about my work (a research proposal)?
  • How should I choose a writing sample?
  • What makes a strong writing sample?


  • Do I need to choose a supervisor in advance?
  • How do I go about choosing a supervisor?
  • What is the relationship between a graduate student and his/her supervisor?

Grant Applications

  • What grants do I need to apply for?
  • How do I navigate the SSHRC/NSERC/OGS application process?


  • What are the different types of interviews that graduate schools use?
  • How do I prepare effectively?
  • How do I ensure that my interview performance will provide me with a competitive advantage over other applicants?

Astroff provides coaching sessions to guide you.

If you are interested in pursuing a masters or Ph.D degree, you need to build a competitive profile to maximize your chance of admission when you are ready to apply.   We are here to help coach you through this process, so that you are in the best possible position when you are ready to apply to graduate schools.

Academic Planning

We help get students ready for the application process by providing one-on-one academic planning coaching sessions to provide personalized strategies on profile-building techniques and university selection.

We recommend taking a proactive approach prior to the application cycle to develop and continuously enhance your profile. We coach students (based on their achievements and experiences to date) on the steps we recommend to take to improve candidacy.

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