Department of English

What If I Don't Get In?

The process of applying to graduate school is quite stressful, especially because of the uncertainty involved. It is psychologically helpful to have a “plan B,” especially one that truly appeals to you. If, in fact, you don’t get in, you will have something else to do. You might find out that you really like your plan B. If not, you can always re-apply to grad school.

  • People typically do much better on the GRE after completing a year in a Master’s program, or even spending a year reading on their own.

  • At most universities, you don’t have to be admitted to the graduate program to take a graduate class. In fact, enrolling in a class as a “special student” can be a good way to get a foot in the door, with an eye toward re-applying. This is true at UW-Madison.

  • At “comprehensive universities,” the deadline for Master’s applications is often much later than the deadline at research universities. If the schools to which you’ve applied do not accept you, consider a last minute application to a master’s program at a comprehensive, such as UW-SP, UW-Lacrosse, UW-Eau Claire, Humboldt State University in California, or CSU-Long Beach (to name only a few).

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