If you are conducting a graduate school search, it means that you may be considering for expanding your career options. You may also be in the process of switching careers, or that you just wish to be more current in your professional knowledge. As you work to find a graduate school, a few things should be kept in mind. First, is the reputation of the institution or program you wish to join should be a key consideration. You want to ensure that the quality of education you get is worth the time and financial investment. Some colleges and universities have been known to have some great programs in some disciplines and/or levels of study, and less than stellar performance in other degree areas. So, yours should be an informed decision based on as much information as you can possibly gather, compare all features and requirements of the programs to help you narrow down your options.
Another issue to think about is financial issues. How will you pay for your graduate education? Will you take out loans? Are you eligible for any scholarships? Does your employer offer a tuition remission plan? What are the admissions requirements? Can you work as a graduate assistant to get a tuition waiver? These are all pertinent questions.
As you search graduate school programs, the next issue is what you will study. Does the program you are interested in have a program that fits your professional and academic goals? How long will the program requirements take to complete? Which professors will you study under? This is important especially if you wish to specialize or conduct research in a particular area in your discipline.
With these, and other questions in the back of your mind, one place to start your graduate school search is the Internet. The Internet is a wonderful resource to use as you determine your best options. This will be a time consuming process as you browse through scores of web site, but well worth the time if you are to make an informed decision. You can use a graduate school search tool to narrow down you options using various criteria like online vs campus, areas of specialization, location, etc.
Some important information to look up includes: The kind of research that is conducted, academic profile of the institution, how the school ranks, how the particular academic program ranks in comparison with other similar programs, opportunities for part-time and/or full time study, availability of graduate assistantships, and the resources and facilities available to students. These are just a few issues to explore but key in helping you make in informed decision.
Another place to get information is from your peers, friends and colleagues. Gather their opinions and experiences. Also talk to students who are currently enrolled in the program. Plan a campus visit so that you talk to a few graduate students. If you can, also try and talk to professors at the institution. Some people to try and get in touch with might include program advisors, program coordinators, career counselors, and department heads if they are available. Many of them will require you to make an appointment.
While fewer people seem to be visiting libraries these days with so much information available online, it is still a good idea to look up graduate school guides and catalogs. These tend to be annual publications and
The articles in these section of the website will provide further information on what you need to know before applying, surviving graduate school, and life after graduate school. After all, a thorough graduate school search entails finding out specifically what you need to accomplish your goals and a plan for how to accomplish them.