Choosing a Grad School

The first step in this process will be deciding specifically what kind of program you want to attend. This means choosing the degree you want to pursue. In some cases, you may have to choose a specialization. After deciding on your intended degree, begin gathering information on prospective graduate programs. There are a number of resources available to help you with this process, including professors, professionals in the field, Internet resources, and directories. As you continue researching your programs, there are a number of factors to consider in narrowing down your list. Some of these factors include:

  • Geographical location
  • Program emphasis
  • Program/ school size
  • Professional opportunities
  • Accreditation of the program
  • Rigorousness of the program
  • In-state/out-of-state regulations
  • Minority/women’s issues
  • Time to complete the program
  • Cost of the program, including living expenses in the area of the school
  • Financial aid available
  • Graduate placement record
  • Your impressions of the school after visiting

After researching the merits of each program and narrowing your list to a manageable number of schools (approximately 8-10 schools), begin contacting schools for application forms, catalogs, and financial aid forms.