Reasons not to go:
- You've clueless about what you want to study or what you want to do once you;ve earned an advanced degree.
- You're secretly trying to avoid finding a "real job"
Preparation- Getting Started
Decide what discipline and sub-area(s) interest you.
discuss career options/ interests with advisors and professors;
go online-research career opportunities and job market forecasts (e.g. Occupational Outlook handbook);
decide the type of degree you'll need- master's or doctoral
Choosing a Program
- does the expertise of the faculty provided a well-balanced representation of relevant sub disciplines?
- does the faculty have professional experience outside the academic community?
- are the faculty well-known? what have they published recently?
- what is the faculty/student ratio, and are the faculty accessible to the students?
Talk to advisors, use web and suggested sources on handout research faculty.
2. The program
- Look at the required and elective courses. Will they suit your educational and professional goals?
- Is a thesis or final exam required? Is there some sort of practical experience or internship included?
- How long is the program, and how many credits are required? The same program can vary in credit hours from one school to another
- What is the reputation of the school in general and what is the repuation of the program within the field?
- is the program accredited and if so, by whom?
- what kinds of jobs do graduates obtain?
Look at information provided by programs, discuss with advisors, talk with graduate students in the program.
3. The Place
- do you want to attend a large or small school? Do you prefer a large or small program?
- in what geographic area would you like to attend school? Would you like the school to be located in an urban or rural setting?
- What activites does the community offer?
- is graduate housing available? How difficult is it to find off campus hoursing? What public transportation is available?
4. The Price
- What is the cost of the program? What are the hidden costs?
- How much financial assistance is available in the form of assistantships, loans, and fellowships?
Applying to Graduate School
- Personal statement
- Research, relevant professional experience
- Funding, fit, available space