Choosing a graduate school can be overwhelming. It can also be time-consuming and expensive if you decide to send out tons of grad school applications. Rather than wasting your time and money in applying to every grad program, why not narrow them down and focus on your few, selected colleges?
We have listed ways how you can properly select the right graduate school for you.
Explore and compare
Classify schools depending on you, based on your chances of getting in. It may be best for you to have a target list where you can write down two schools that you think will certainly accept you, two other schools that you have a fighting chance to get into, and a dream school that might be hard to get into but still achievable. Discover each school’s strengths and weigh their abilities. Listing these down enables you to keep peace of mind, knowing that one of these schools will be your future grad school.
Keep career in mind
Focus on your goal. Graduate school is all about the academic experience that you are yet to acquire. You certainly did not go to school just for the cafeteria or social life. If you want to gain a professional edge, concentrate on a school’s overall quality of education. For example, focus on the school’s overall faculty quality rather than finding your ideal mentor. But this is not always the case. In Ph.D. degrees, a supportive and great professor that acts as your thesis advisor will help you reach your goals. Search for colleges that have reputable professors who do intensive research in your field of interest, those you can think of building a good relationship with.
Talk to a faculty member
For you to have a certain school’s true capabilities, go directly to the source. It might be best to talk to a faculty member as they will tell you the school’s scoop and the department’s dynamics and strengths. You need to have the courage to approach them. Building a personal connection with your professor will surely improve your application.
Consult actual grad students or alumni
Talk to grad students currently taking grad studies in your preferred department. This way, you will have an insight into the college. Getting their opinion is much better than those shown on college websites as it provides an authentic and no filter perspective about your chosen college. Because they have experienced studying in the school first hand, they know how to answer your questions. Do they learn a lot from school? Do they get to have the chance to develop their own research? What are the downsides and upsides of attending classes in the school?
Consider resources and facilities
To have a clearer view of your future in grad school, do not forget to check the college’s facilities and program resources. Such resources and facilities you must check are laboratories, libraries, teaching assistantships, and more. Check your course’s curriculum or course catalog to make sure that these programs interest you and back up your research.
Do you plan on pursuing grad school? Explore different grad school options by reading our articles here at MSM Unify.