How do I learn about graduate programs?
There is a multitude of available resources. A good place to begin your research is to talk with faculty members and other persons you respect about schools and programs. Alumni are good contacts for information. Web sites, such as the many listed here are required reading. Peterson’s Guides to Graduate Education books are easy to use and provide program profiles including degrees offered, enrollment statistics, admission and degree requirements, costs, availability of financial aid, research facilities, phone numbers, and addresses to request information and catalogs. They also offer in depth information about the application process, required tests, types of aid available, letters of reference and application essays. Peterson’s guides can be found on the web at Peterson’s Education Center.
Additional information on program specifics can be obtained from the school’s graduate catalog and from the academic department.
Factors to Consider:
- Quality of the Program
- Other Program Aspects
- Career Opportunities
What is the reputation of the school, department, and faculty?
What are the admissions standards for the school or program?
Is the degree program properly accredited?
Is the program content consistent with other programs you have investigated?
What are the offerings related to your interests?
Is work experience required to enter the program (e.g., top MBA programs require two years of full-time work experience before starting their programs)?
What is the ratio of professors to students and what kind of interaction is there between students and professors?
What is the quality of the facilities (library/laboratories/computer)?
What is the level and breadth of scholarly inquiry, research programs?
What is the faculty’s approach to teaching and student development?
Can the program be completed on both a full or part-time basis?
Is a thesis, comprehensive exam, or internship required for graduation?
How many credit hours are needed to complete the program?
Is there a language requirement for the program?
How diverse is the school? Does it promote academic success for all groups?
Will you be compatible with the college environment and culture of the graduate department?
How do employers view graduates of this program or school?
Have graduates of this program been successful in finding employment?
Does the school or program provide assistance with a job search?
Are the school’s employment contacts nationally and locally based?
What is the projected total cost including tuition, fees, books, housing, transportation, etc?
What internships, assistantships, and other experiential education opportunities are available in addition to other financial aid resources?
What is the cost of living in the area where the program is located?
Students interested in Professional Health Careers should seek advisement from the pre-health professions advisor, Dr. Liz Cowles, in the Biology Department, Goddard Hall 465-4369
Students interested in Law School should seek advisement from the Law School Advisor.
Writing a Personal Statement
You can make an appointment with the Writing Center to review your draft.