Like job hunting, investigating and choosing and applying to graduate
schools takes considerable time. Your final decision can have an impact
on your future academic success and your career/life achievement later.
Some of the more important factors to investigate are program details,
the general nature of the program, faculty and reputation. Some students
also look at admission requirements, competitiveness within a
department, on‑the‑job training opportunities and placement of
graduates. Still others may be concerned about the size of the
institution, geographic location, cost and the availability of financial
assistance and housing.
Getting this information does not have to be difficult but will require
time and effort. You may want to begin with Peterson's Annual Guide to
Graduate Study and other specialized directories available in the Career
Development Center's Career Library, 109 Netzer. Based on your specific
criteria you can narrow down the possibilities and begin looking at
college web sites.
Other sources for investigating graduate programs include faculty
advisors, faculty and others who are alumni(ae) of particular schools,
and program representatives who often visit college campuses to recruit
students. Of course, you will want to write or call the graduate schools
of your choice for detailed information and applications. However, you
should do some preliminary exploration to avoid receiving information
from schools that you would not consider.
If at all possible, you should visit those colleges that are most
attractive. In addition to seeing physical facilities, living quarters
and geographic features, you can make arrangements to talk with
students, faculty, advisors and career center personnel.
When you finally make applications, you will want to consider schools in
which you believe admission will be difficult, somewhat difficult and
not difficult. This strategy combined with your intensive information
search will allow you to make the best choice from alternatives