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Which Graduate School is Right for You?

So you have decided to go to graduate school, congratulations! Your next step will be determining which school/program is the best fit for you. Outlined below are factors you will want to examine as you look to make your decision:

School/Program Reputation
You will want to research various programs to determine their credibility within your chosen field. You will want to observe if the program is accredited, the prestige level of the professors teaching within it, and the success of the program at teaching its students. Most of this information can be found online and most programs post employment statistics for recent grads and their success rate on professional exams following graduation. If that information is not available online, contact the program office directly and they should be able to provide it to you.

Program Particulars
You will want to examine such areas as how long it will take to complete your degree, what specific classes will you be taking, when classes will be held and if there is any flexibility in scheduling, and, for master’s programs, is there a required thesis.

Expense
You will want to factor in cost and review your financial aid options for specific schools and programs. Financial aid is much more limited for graduate school.

Odds of Admittance
Each program will have posted admission requirements (GPA, test scores, etc.) you must meet to be considered. Some programs may provide the previous year’s GPA and test score which was the last to be admitted. You can contact the program office for this information if it is not posted online. This will give you a sense of where you may rank within a potential candidate pool.

Additional Resources

US News and World Report – Best Graduate Schools
U.S. News and World Report discloses their annual “Best Graduate Schools” list and provides users with the best graduate schools within many different fields of study.

GradSchools.com
With almost 60,000 programs listed in its free directory, GradSchools.com is the leading online resource for graduate school. You can use this site to find your ideal program by searching by subject, location and even school.

Peterson’s
A great website which offers resources on How to search, choose, get accepted, and pay for graduate school, as well as entrance exam preparation.

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