Are you planning to talk to university representatives while searching for the right Masters programme? In that case, there are some important questions you need to ask to make the most of these conversations.

Just like in a job interview, you should always try to make a good impression, even if you end up picking another school. Asking good questions will paint a positive picture of you to the admissions advisers, which might help your Masters application. But even more importantly, your well-researched questions will be essential in distinguishing between programmes so you can make the best decision for your future.

While this list is quite detailed, you may have other enquiries for schools. In fact, it is recommended to tweak and customise your questions to fit the university you are meeting. You might be looking for more information about a very specific course or perhaps you need clarification about the essay or another application requirement.

No matter how little time you have for chatting with the university representative, you can always manage to ask the most important questions first. Just be aware of the time and prepare in advance.

University and programme

Let’s start with the basics. Before asking about the student clubs and career counselling, you should ask some of the broader questions on your mind. Those can be about the subjects, teaching methods, and generally anything about the university or programme.    

  1. What is the emphasis on research, teaching, and experiential learning in the programme?
  2. What is the ratio of lectures, exercises, and self-study?
  3. Does the university provide support for the needs of students from different backgrounds?
  4. How flexible is the course schedule?
  5. How available are professors outside classroom hours?
  6. What is the attrition rate and what are some of the reasons students leave the programme?

Admission requirements

Overall, you should be able to find everything you need to know about the Masters application on the official website of the university. From application deadlines to available scholarships, most of the details should be just a click away. However, if there is anything unclear about those, meeting a university representative is the perfect opportunity for clarification.

  1. What do the admission officers find most important in the application and/or personal statement?
  2. Is it an advantage to submit the application early?
  3. Are there any reading or practice materials that can help prepare a stronger application?
  4. What is the weight of test scores for the admission decision?
  5. Are there separate deadlines for scholarship applicants?
  6. What criteria does the university follow when awarding scholarships?

Student life and extracurriculars

University is about more than just studying. Making friends, socialising, and dedicating time to hobbies and professional interests are just as important. You need to make sure that there would be ample opportunities to do all of that once you get to your new school.

  1. Are there any activities to help classmates get to know each other before the start of the programme?
  2. What are some of the most popular clubs or extracurricular activities for students with a particular interest?
  3. What kind of support services are available – mentoring, mental health support, etc.?
  4. Can students take language classes at the university?
  5. Is there a cultural event programme on campus? Can students volunteer at festivals or in other activities?
  6. Are there alumni or current students of the programme available for an additional conversation?

If you get a “yes” on this last question, do everything you can to take advantage of the opportunity. Even a quick talk with alumni or a current student can reveal a lot about the authentic experience of the programme.

Jobs and career after graduation

Of course, one of the main purposes of the Masters degree is to make you more employable and able to pursue your dream job. Don’t skip on asking a question on this topic that is relevant to you.

  1. Is it possible to maintain a part-time job during the programme?
  2. Are there any jobs on campus available for students?
  3. What are some companies that recruit graduates from the programme?
  4. What percentage of graduates are hired in their chosen field after graduation?
  5. Does the university provide support in finding an internship?
  6. What specific services are available at the career support centre – CV checks, networking events, etc.?

Location and campus culture

Some of these questions will vary depending on your desired study destination. If you decide to pursue a Masters degree in your home country, you will already be familiar with the environment and local specifics. Fine-tune your enquiries for university representatives with this in mind.

  1. What is the city like?
  2. Are most things available on campus? How well-connected is the university campus to other essential city spots?
  3. What type of students thrive and feel most accomplished in your university?
  4. Can I arrange a campus visit or sit in on a class?
  5. What are the options for on-campus accommodation? What about off campus?
  6. Are there opportunities organised by the university to get to know the local people and culture?

Now you should be feeling much more confident and prepared to meet university advisers. You definitely don’t need to ask them all 30 questions, so just keep it simple and enjoy the conversation.