The pandemic has rattled many cages since the beginning of 2020, including that of higher education. That didn’t stop people from pursuing their dreams and adapting to a new world of education. But what were the biggest changes and how did they affect the graduate admissions process?

If you are currently looking for a Master’s degree or just beginning your application process, this webinar will help you understand what changes you might be facing. To help shed more light on the subject we welcome Patrick Latimer – Associate Director of Graduate Admissions for the University of California, Riverside (UCR).

Why choose UCR School of Business?

UCR, School of Business is a research university, part of the University of California System. The UC System has 10 campuses, 66 Nobel Laureates, about 280,380 students, and more than 2,700,000 Alumni. Riverside is located in beautiful, sunny Southern California, just an hour away from Los Angeles and Palm Springs.

The county of Riverside is the 10th most populated county in the US and is a big supply chain and logistics hub. UC Riverside has around 26,000 students, it has easy access to international airports and proximity to major destinations.

The Graduate School of Management at UC Riverside has five degree programs: MBA, Professional MBA, Master of Professional Accountancy, Master of Finance, and Master of Science in Business Analytics which is their newest degree program. All of their degree programs have a STEM designation.

How has the pandemic impacted the graduate admissions process?

Standardized testing

One of the first things that changed when the pandemic hit in 2020, as Patrick points out, was that test centers all over the world closed. People could no longer take their GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, and other tests necessary for applying to a graduate program.

He highlights two things that happened: organizations developed a home version of these tests and universities either waived the exams or accepted these online versions of the tests. As a result, there were reduced exam submissions and they had to shift weight toward other elements of the applications.

So, should you take a standardized test? Patrick believes that many universities still won’t require a score, but a reason to take one would be to help boost a GPA that is below average. It is best if you talk to the university you are interested in and ask about their perspective on the matter, and if they require a score to apply.

Undergraduate GPA

Your GPA, essentially, became more important. According to Patrick, some universities will look only at your last two years of your undergraduate experience, while some of them will look at your cumulative GPA.

He adds that the institution where you got your education matters in general, but different universities have varying opinions on what they consider first tier, second tier, or third tier undergraduate institutions. But a poor GPA from a top tier school can still undermine your application.

Application deadlines

Although application deadlines, for the most part, are the same, a lot of institutions have added some extended deadlines and some are keeping them. According to Patrick, if institutions view these extended deadlines as being fruitful and bringing quality applicants to their programs, then they are likely to keep them.

If you want to find out more details about how different application elements have changed due to the pandemic, including work experience requirements and interviews, and how the overall graduate school experience has changed, be sure to watch the full webinar.