How do I select the "right" program for me?
Choosing the "right" graduate program is a matter of finding the programs that match the goals you have for this degree. How will this degree help you with your career goals, and what program will offer you the type of training you need? Consider factors including location, size and culture of campus, faculty research interests, size and culture of the department, and reputation of the department:
Here are some additional resources that may help you as you choose a graduate program:
How do I research graduate programs?
There are many resources to help you collect the pertinent information about graduate programs in your field of interest. . In addition, here are some factors for you to consider:People
Some of the greatest yet highly underutilized sources for information about graduate school are the very people that you encounter everyday at your college or university. Academic advisors, career advisors, professors and other college or university personnel are excellent sources of information because many of them hold graduate degrees in their chosen fields. Check out these two resources to help you generate a list of important questions to ask these professionals:
- Survey on Doctoral Education and Career Preparation
- Dr. Luisa M. Rebull, Research Scientist, California Institute of Technology
In addition, you can talk with other students who have similar interests and identify current graduate students in your field. Not only will they tell you about the program, but they can give you a "real world" preview into what your life might be like as a graduate student.Accrediting Organizations
Within some fields, professional organizations offer guidelines for graduate-level preparation programs. By visiting the professional organization's web site you will be able to learn more about your chosen profession, requirements for preparation, and gather information about individual schools and programs. Many sites offer additional information to help future graduate students prepare for professional exams and entry into a career.
Many graduate departments have a wealth of information about their programs on their website. Pay particular attention to the faculty biographies as they will provide you with insight into their research interests and areas of expertise.
Many students overlook the value of campus visits during their research and application to graduate school. If possible, get a firsthand perspective of where you will spend your time as a graduate student. Visit the campus to meet faculty and students in the academic department as well as the chance to check out the culture and resources of the school.