The Ten Best New Grad School Programs

Here at Top Tier Admissions, we are in the midst of helping students prep and finalize graduate school admissions applications, essays, resumes and CVs. We have many students who will apply to graduate school this fall and are in the throes of final GRE prep, and many law school applicants who utilized the recent February 10th LSAT test date, as they want to save the June test date as a backup for a retake if needed. We offer tutoring for both.

If you have your sights set on graduate school, exploring programs at top institutions that have just launched new departments or new programs can be a wonderful path to a degree from a top university.

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Here, in alphabetical order, are the ten best new 2018 graduate programs, 8 Master’s and 2 PhD programs, actively seeking applicants (and that is definitely beneficial in terms of admissions odds):

1) Berklee College of Music is launching a new online Master of Music in Music Production and online Master of Arts in Music Business. On Feb. 21, 2018, applications opened for the two programs. They are online, 12 courses each and can be done in one year for $33,695. Berklee confirms this is 20% less than the cost of an on-campus degree. This could be a great way for a music student to obtain a top Master’s degree in a less expensive format with a flexible schedule. You could be part of their first class of students who will begin in September 2018.

2) Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, within their Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, has a new PhD in Historic Preservation, the first in the nation. It is a five year fully funded (tuition and stipend) PhD program. The application deadline is March 15, 2018 and the first class will begin fall 2018.

3) MIT’s hybrid Master’s in Supply Chain Management had its first students set foot on campus in January 2018. The inaugural class of 40 graduate students completed an online MicroMasters Program in Supply Chain Management offered by the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics. The students completed the MicroMasters online, and their online credits are counted toward their Master’s degree from MIT, within the program called “Blended Supply Chain Management” or SCMb. This Master’s is identical to that received by full-time residential MIT students, which is quite unique. The degree can be accomplished in two ways: 1.) SCMr  Residential– requires 10 months of full-time residence (August to June); or 2.) SCMb  Blended – requires completion of the MicroMasters credential (online) and just over one semester in-residence (January to June). The deadline to apply is April 6, 2018.

4) McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management in Montreal is launching a new Master’s of Management in Analytics in which students study analytics from a business and management perspective. The deadline for international students to apply is March 15, 2018 and the program starts in July 2018.

5) NYU is offering a new fully funded 36-credit Master’s program within their Department of Media, Culture and Communication. It is called the ‘NYU at Weber Shandwick: Masters in Residence program’ and is for students who are already enrolled in the NYU Steinhardt Department of Media, Culture, and Communication’s MA degree program. The application deadline was Feb. 1, 2018 for the inaugural class.

6) The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is now offering a Master of Arts program in Nature–Culture–Sustainability Studies. The program seeks to help students “develop scholarly expertise in the rapidly evolving field of interdisciplinary environmental studies.” The application deadline was Jan. 10, 2018, but the department website is clear in stating that late applications may be accepted. Translation: they’re likely actively still seeking applicants.

7) Tufts University’s Institute of the Environment is launching a new, one year Master of Science in Sustainable Water Management (SWM) this coming fall 2018. Students will be able to enroll in one of four program tracks: Water Diplomacy; Water, Food and Energy; Water Infrastructure for Human Development; and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) in International Development and Humanitarian Response. The application deadline is April 1, 2018.

8) The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and McIntire School of Commerce are partnering to offer a brand new one year hybrid format Master of Science in Business Analytics. Applications are not yet being accepted but the program is scheduled to launch in late summer 2018.

9) The Wake Forest University School of Business is expanding their Master’s Program in Business Analytics to now include an online option, making it the first online degree from the business school. Applications are due April 23rd and students will be accepted into the program three times a year. The next class starts August 2018.

10) Washington University in St. Louis has announced they will offer an interdisciplinary PhD Program in Imaging Science, beginning in fall 2018. As the program description states, it “will incorporate the latest imaging technologies, including biomedical, satellite, seismic, sonic and light detection and ranging.” This PhD in Imaging Science is one of only two in the country. The other is offered by the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY, home to Eastman Kodak. The new program at WUSL is thanks to a recent $25 million initiative recently launched by the School of Engineering & Applied Science and the School of Medicine. For this brand new PhD program, you can tell that they’re actively seeking applicants, as there is no application fee in the year 2018 and they’ve already extended their deadline once (to Feb. 15, 2018). I suspect they would also accept applicants in late February as well. They even go the distance to state that PhD candidates “will also receive a generous stipend to cover living expenses.”

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If you are targeting graduate admissions, now’s the time. As the recently released fall 2017 Council of Graduate Schools study on international graduate applications and enrollment found, for the first time in over a decade, there is a decrease in the number of applications to U.S. graduate school programs from international students. International graduate applications went down 3% and first-time enrollments went down 1% from fall 2016 to fall 2017. The study attributes the decline to new U.S. immigration policies and travel bans which are impacting global competitiveness with U.S. graduate admissions. Updated 2017 and 2018 data on international graduate school enrollment is still TBA, but with the above ten new programs now out, many of which promise to toss funding at new 2018 students, it’s worth applying if you’re interested in one of the interesting fields above.

We’ve worked with many students who have a passion for water studies, business analytics, sustainability, media, and art history and preservation. The above programs offer unique outlets for added scholarly pursuits at the Master’s and PhD level. Which field is yours?

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