Find the Perfect Graduate School
By Bridget Kulla, edited by Kathryn Knight
September 03, 2008
Finding a good job after earning your advanced degree will be easier if your graduate program is well regarded. Talk to your undergraduate professors and professionals in the field to see how a program is perceived. Take a look at college rankings.
Often more important than a program’s reputation, is the reputation of its faculty members. Investigate if a program has professors who work in the subject area that interests you. What kind of research are they pursuing? Schedule interviews with professors to discuss if their academic focuses are relevant to your goals.
Also, talk to students currently enrolled in the graduate program or recent graduates. Find out how satisfied they are with the program.
Part-Time or Full-Time
Both part-time and full-time graduate school enrollment have their advantages. Evaluate what type of grad student you want to be and make sure you explore programs that can accommodate you. Some schools, like Northwestern and Emory, offer part-time programs designed for students who work. A school may have a stellar reputation, but if they don’t encourage part-time studies, you may do better elsewhere.
One of the most important considerations you should make while selecting a graduate program doesn’t take place while you’re enrolled—what do graduates do after earning their degrees? Do they go into academia or have careers in the real world? What kind of career assistance is available to students?
Explore what career services are available to students. Most schools will have a student career services center specifically for graduate students. Campus career advisors can guide you if you are not sure what you want to do after graduate school.