Choosing

Once you have decided to go to graduate school, the next step is to research and choose a select number of graduate schools to apply to. This can seem like an overwhelming process considering the number of schools to choose from. The key is knowing where to obtain the information needed.

Consult faculty members and individuals who have specialized in the discipline of your choice and have knowledge of the field. They may be able to refer you to graduate schools that they know of, answer questions about the strengths and weaknesses of the programs, admission requirements and refer you to resources that you can use. The staff at the college's career center is also an excellent resource and can assist you in this process from the beginning to the end.

Consult reference materials and books in your college's or community career resource library. Some information you can find in these guides includes number of degree candidates enrolled, prerequisites for admission, size of institution and types of financial aid offered. There are also several excellent websites available as resources.

Graduate School Guide; School Guide Publications.

The Official Guide to MBA Programs; Graduate Management Admission Council.

US News Online; Information on business, law, medicine, education, health, and much more.

Check out GradProfiles featuring in-depth graduate and professional school profiles with information about degree requirements, facilities, research opportunities, expenses and financial aid. The Custom Search enables you to select schools by academic programs and locations.

The Official Guide to the US Law Schools; Law School Admission Council. (text)

  1. Check out to see if the college you are interested has a home page on the Internet. Here is an index to help you get started: College and University Home Pages
  2. Write to individual graduate departments and ask them to send you information on their program and the school. Take the opportunity to ask about assistantships that they may offer and how you can apply for them. When you write also ask for a bibliography of publications of the faculty within the discipline you are considering. This will help you gage the focus areas of the faculty. It will also help you determine whether several of the faculty are being published or just one or two.
  3. Visit schools that you are considering applying to. While on campus, talk to students in the program and find out information you might not obtain from the catalogues. Make an appointment to interview with an Admissions Counselor in your program. Talking with someone in the program, even if an interview is not required, will give you the opportunity to ask questions and demonstrate your interest. As an added source of information, spend time talking with someone in the placement office. Find out where graduates end up --local or national. What kinds of services does the institution provide.